Banksia Grove: Joseph Banks Secondary College launches SCIscope program

Junior scientists visiting Joseph Banks Secondary College. Photo: Martin Kennealey
Junior scientists visiting Joseph Banks Secondary College. Photo: Martin Kennealey

JOSEPH Banks Secondary College launched an initiative called ‘SCIscope’ to engage primary school students as junior scientists this week.

The first cohort of 55 primary students and their parents visited the Banksia Grove college on February 21, where teachers showed them dry ice experiments and living species.

SCIscope coordinator Blake Segler said they also had displays of virtual reality headsets, drones, rocket launches, modern telescopes as well as microscopes and 3D printing technology.

Teacher Blake Segler. Photo: Martin Kennealey

“SCIscope is an exciting new initiative that aims to engage primary school students from Years 4 to 6 in the role of junior scientists,” he said.

“At Joseph Banks Secondary College our motto is ‘building curious learners’ and our aim is to empower our next generation of scientists with the tools to explore their own curiosities and pursue a passion for science.

Logan Marx (y4 Hocking Primary School) with a Spiny Leaf Insect. Photo: Martin Kennealey

“The program itself will grow to see our cohort developing their own purposeful experiments that may seek to benefit the wider community and plant the seeds of curiosity that will help them grow into the innovators of tomorrow.

“We have a core team of nine science specialists, all of whom have a passion for science stemming from their own wealth of experience.”

Mr Segler said the science specialists would explore real-world curiosities with junior scientists during the first phase of the weekly program this term, guiding how they investigate them using available resources.

Teacher Philomena Bradley. Photo: Martin Kennealey

“As the program progresses, our junior scientists will begin developing their own curiosities and designing their own investigations,” he said.

“As their skills evolve they may begin to consider practical solutions to some of the real scientific issues facing our local and wider community.

“We also intend to introduce ‘science ambassadors’ from our own cohort of high school students that will be able to mentor those enrolled in the program.”

Tilly Mitchell (y10-Joseph Banks Secondary College) with her Stimson Python. Photo: Martin Kennealey

Students involved in the program mostly attend Tapping, Banksia Grove, and Carramar primary schools, with some from St Anthony’s, Springfield, St John Paul II, Francis Jordan, Spring Hill, Hocking, and Joondalup schools.