Mundaring Christian College science convention adds wow factor to student learning


Year 3 student Abbey Cartland-Hore with her homemade volcano.
Year 3 student Abbey Cartland-Hore with her homemade volcano.

MUNDARING Christian College recently held its biennial science convention, where a volcano, lava lamps and aquaponics were among the 50 experiments demonstrated.

The event falls in the school’s integrated curriculum planning, which started in 2013 and led to it being a case study at the Australian Council for Educational Leaders conference in Sydney last year.

Year 4 teacher Michel Chan said each term had an integrated curriculum theme, starting with a ‘wow-day’ on the first day of term, projects and ends with experiences or works to demonstrate progress in learning.

“This term, it was ‘Fun factory: all things science’ and the science convention was part of our experience and final project for the students, linked to multiple investigative skills developed through the curriculum,” he said.

“Students were required to choose their own experiments.

“We covered planning, contingency plans, and presentation factors in order to prepare them.”

Working individually or in pairs, students researched a science experiment and demonstrated it at the convention.

The variety of chemical reactions included goo, flubber, crystallization, rocket launches, invisible ink and lava lamps.

There were also experiments featuring magnetic and aerodynamic forces, lenses, balloons, heating, flammable liquids, electricity, aquaponics and an erupting volcano.

Parents and other year groups came through the convention where the scientists explained the science behind their experiments and reported failed experiments as part of the learning process.

They tailored their presentations according to their audience, with the explanations to Kindy students different to those for the Year 6 students.

“This is visible learning in action,” Swan Christian Education Association institute of teaching and learning principral Mathilda Joubert said.

“It was so powerful to see children learning from other children and there was such tangible excitement in learning, also amongst the visiting year groups, parents and even grandparents.

“What impressed me most was how each student could articulate their learning of advanced science concepts.”

The dry ice phenomenon was a crowd favourite as were the edible experiments.