Science alive in Penrith

Penrith South Public School, the lead organisation in the Western Sydney Science Hub, will join Western Sydney University, the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest, Bunnings and community groups to deliver a whole host of exciting science activities for students and their families this August to mark both National Science Week and Education Week.

The festivities begin with an open morning on Wednesday 2 August where parents and local community members can visit classrooms and participate with students in a wide range of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities. These will be delivered by Year 10 students from neighbouring Jamison High School as well the local branch of the Country Women’s Association, making the occasion a truly intergenerational, fun learning experience for all.

A highlight will be a visit from Western Sydney University’s Solar Car Racing Team who will be on hand with the vehicle they constructed as part of their university studies.

Penrith South Public School Science Fair coordinator Liz Johnson says that audience members will get a chance to explore both engineering and sustainability issues.

“We are so excited to have a real Solar Car coming to our school and we can’t wait to welcome current university students into our community to share their stories about building and racing solar cars and the exciting places you can go with STEM studies.” she said.

Later in the month, students will visit the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest. Joining the Penrith Science Hub’s National Science Week line up for the first time, the Gallery will welcome 120 Stage 2 students over three visits.

“The students will tour the Richard Goodwin, Navigator display and then participate in hands on activities including making paper planes and building bridges. They will also experience gravity-fuelled drawing machines and geodesic domes,” said Liz, who has also managed to bring Bunnings into the program.

“A new addition to this year’s activities will be a community workshop planned for delivery at the local Bunnings store, where students will get a chance to dabble in electronics and all kinds of hands on making activities.”

Next up will be an exciting visit from expert astronomers from Penrith Observatory who will bring a Planetarium to the school and talk to the students about the cosmos.

Then, over 2 days Year 5 students will again have a chance to join researchers at Western Sydney University’s  Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment to enjoy the Reptile Experience.

“This is the fourth year running that Penrith South Public students have had the opportunity to visit their local university, ” said Liz. “It is hugely exciting for these young students to get up close to Australian reptiles and record their visit on iPads.”

“But even more memorable for them is meeting and talking with current university students and lecturers. These personal interactions are always a highlight and I am sure will have lasting influence on these young and eager minds.”

Penrith South Public School is the convenor of the Western Sydney Science Hub that received funds from Inspiring Australia to deliver the National Science Week program. Find out more here