Junior Scientia: Years 3 - 6

The Junior Scientia Program is designed for gifted and talented primary school students in years 3-6. The program features a 3-day workshop. The courses are developed and presented by teachers qualified in gifted education and aim to encourage the interests and curiosity of gifted children. The level of difficulty in the courses is generally two years above the enrolled school level of the child, providing a rigorous and challenging program for gifted students.

Are you a student in Years 3 – 6 at an Australian primary school? Are you bright, intellectually inquisitive and looking for something more challenging, more intellectually demanding, and more fun than you may sometimes experience in school? Would you like to take part in program that will really stretch your mind?

Workshops are now open for the next GERRIC Student Program, 16 - 18 January 2018.

Years 3 and 4

Map for Years 3 and 4 workshops (PDF) [2 Mb]

Chess for Beginners
Chess is often referred to as the game for the mind, as many consider it to be the ultimate test of concentration, intellect, logic and creativity. Are you ready to exercise your mind in a fun way? Do you want to learn the game considered the oldest and greatest skill game in the world? In this workshop, students will be introduced to the game with a brief historical overview (that is, how each piece reflects medieval times) and become familiar with all the pieces and how they play (rules of chess). Basic tactics and strategies will also be shared with students that will help them develop their game play. Students will come to understand basic chess notation while experiencing various chess puzzles and strategies to unlock their secrets.

The Engineer Challenge with Yooie Choi
Want to learn and apply mathematical principles and challenge your problem solving skills against some common engineering problems? Then this workshop is for you.
Using mathematical concepts such as Measurement and Pythagoras theorem you will apply your understanding and skills to a number of real life, hands on experiences. In a workshop designed to be fun and interactive, students will be involved in many “mini-challenges” including logic puzzles, and designing and creating structures. Are you up to the challenge? We can't wait to see you there.

How to talk so people will listen with Megan Dredge
Learning how to talk so people will listen is a big part of being successful in life. Communicating well is important in daily conversations and also in more formal public speaking settings. In this workshop, you'll learn important and practical principles of communication. Through the use of theatresports, drama games, and voice projection exercises you will have many opportunities to apply and hone your communication skills. This workshop will be hands-on, interactive, and fun!

The Games People Play with Tim Huang
Toys and games reflect the culture of our times and they have always incorporated the evolution of new technologies. In this challenging workshop you will take your first steps in designing your own toys and games. We work together to build a conceptual framework for toys and game development from first principles, including the origins of toys and games and the psychology of why people play games. Toys and game designers draw on popular culture and diverse knowledge and skills. Psychology, literature, computers, art, architecture, mathematics, physics, ergonomics, safety and marketing are some of the learning curves you will be starting. Get ready for some serious fun!

Switch on to Electricity with Marie McGregor
We can’t see it. We can’t smell it…but where would we be without it. Electricity lights up our world, gives us music to dance, games to play to and even keeps our heart beating.
Did you know that there is electricity in your body right now? Or have you ever wondered why birds sitting on power lines don’t get electrocuted? Even more curious…did you know that you could use lemons to light a bulb?
In this workshop you will explore electrical energy. You will investigate the creation and transfer of energy through hands-on investigations. You will create electrical circuits using buzzers, bulbs, motors and switches. You will learn about and test conductors and insulators and finally design a challenging electrical game

Creative Arts Workshop with Daryle Newman
Who came first the science or the art?

‘Both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us. The subjects and methods have different traditions, and the intended audiences are different, but the motivations and goals are fundamentally the same.
-Dave Featherstone Professor of Biology and Neuroscience.

As part of your art making process and practise you will be encouraged to take a closer look at the world around you . Using elements of chemistry, earth and environmental science and Biology as springboards you will endeavour to understand how art and science can be combined to create interesting and imaginative artworks.

Conversations in Conservation with Laurie Strommer
(formerly known as Adventures in Conservation Biology)
Everyone wants to save the whales (and the reef and the rainforest). But how? In this workshop, you will explore questions about ecology, evolution and conservation through a series of hands-on activities. You will unravel DNA sequences and draw family trees, investigate foraging and adaptation, track migrating animals and design reserves to protect their habitat. We will also discuss how conservation often comes into conflict with people and their livelihoods, and you will act as stakeholders in role playing activities. Find out what conservation biologists do in this broad and rambling romp through some of the ideas and techniques scientists use to conserve biodiversity.

Years 5 and 6

Map for Years 5 and 6 workshops (PDF) [2 Mb]

The Secret Language of Graphic Novels with Tamryn Bennett
From ancient cave paintings to graphic novels, visual storytelling has transformed our understanding of history and literature. In this workshop, you’ll explore the history of graphic storytelling from Egyptian hieroglyphs to Mayan codices and experimental comics, before writing and scripting your own graphic novel. You’ll get to workshop your creative writing and come away with mini zines’, word machines and the foundations for your own graphic novel.

Look out! There are Problems to Solve! with Voni Howard
Formerly known as: Minecraft and Mathematics
Do you enjoy critical thinking tasks, problem solving, and decision making challenges? This workshop will have you working independently and in teams to solve science, mathematical and STEM inspired challenges in a variety of ways including specific Minecraft challenges. You will design and build working models, explore tools and digital resources whilst working in the computer room. You will creatively plan and conduct tasks reviewing the success of your model. Let your imagination and knowledge take you to a world awaiting your construction.

Map for Robert Webster Building (PDF) [4 Mb]

Performative Radio Stories with Adam Hulbert
Do you have what it takes to be a master storyteller with your voice and sound effects alone? In this workshop, you’ll work in small groups to create a radio play based on a story of your own creation. We'll explore script writing, voice acting, field recording, sound design and performance. The resulting radio plays will be performed live at the conclusion of the course, and parents and public will be welcome to attend. The radio play will be recorded and made into a podcast to share with your family, friends, and the world!

Map for Robert Webster Building (PDF) [4 Mb]

Odd Maths and Even Weirder Stuff with Daniel Judd
Mathematics can be normal. "1 plus 1" is "2", usually (sometimes you get "10" or "window"), and an equilateral triangle always has three 60° angles (unless it’s drawn on a sphere, in which case it will have three 90° angles). Most mathematical questions are completely settled, right? Well...in this course, you're going to learn that mathematics is completely weird.
Among other things, we're going to explore number sequences that probably shouldn't work (but they do work, we think). You're going to learn about mathematical problems so astoundingly evil that they have million dollar bounties on offer to any brave soul who can just figure them out. You're going to fold shapes that disappear inside themselves and then reappear later. You're going to work with patterns that are so beautiful that they leave you lost for words and...yeah...umm...

This workshop requires well-developed mathematical skills, but not much more than you learn at school (i.e., multiplication, division, addition and subtraction).

The Science of Earth's Changing Climate with Aaron MacLeod
Today everyone is talking about Earth's changing climate and the impact of global warming. But what does that mean? How do we even know that the Earth’s climate is changing? Join us on this expedition as you investigate scientific principles (through hands-on experiments we will begin to discover the integral role the ocean plays in the Earth’s Climate) behind Earth’s Climate and the integral role that the ocean plays.
Over the three days, through a range of real-world hands-on experiments, you will explore: the Scientific Process; physical and chemical properties of water; mapping and features of the ocean floor; global winds and deep ocean currents; the Carbon Cycle; the Coriolis Effect; how Earth’s climate has been recorded; natural causes of climate change; and human impact on climate change.
Most importantly you will work with a group of like-minded students to understand the scientific principles behind Earth’s climate and learn that as global citizens and scientists you can have a real impact on your local and global environment and be positive catalysts for change.
‘The Science of Earth’s Changing Climate’ is based on the hands-on science curriculum 'Climate: Seas of Change’ produced by JASON Learning in partnership with the National Geographic Society.

 Map for Chemical Sciences Building (PDF) [4 Mb]

Moving Through Time with NIDA
From Martin Luther-King to Emma Watson, find your voice as you explore some of the greatest speeches and moments from the 20th and 21st century. Explore accents, learn power warm-ups and engage in a dynamic physical workshop. Rock your audiences' world with a powerhouse of sound and movement in your class.


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