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, 17 - 19 July 2018.


Years 3 and 4

What came first: Science or art? With Daryle Newman

What 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.


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!


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!


Spark your curiosity with Voni Howard

Do you love the challenge of combining creativity, innovation, and critical thinking skills? This course will have you using inquiry, questioning and collaborating with others to design and create STEM activities with specific mathematical concepts. If the idea of constructing model catapults, cars and applying the golden ratio captures your interest then this course is for you. You will be sure to leave with many interest projects ideas of your own!


NASA’s Space Craft Engineering Challenge with Courtley Mancell

In this challenge, students will investigate gravity, motion, and forces to design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two "astronauts" when they land. Landing on the moon is tricky. Since a spacecraft can go as fast as 18,000 miles per hour (29,000 km per hour) on its way to the moon, it needs to slow down in order to land gently. And if there are astronauts on board, the lander needs to keep them safe, too. Similarly, spacecraft on their way to Mars may be traveling as fast as 13,000 miles per hour (21,000 km per hour) when they reach the red planet and need to slow down to land safely on the surface. Future missions to Mars will also need to safely land astronauts on the surface. Just as engineers had to develop solutions for landing different vehicle types on the moon and Mars, students will follow the engineering design process to design and build a shock-absorbing system out of paper, straws, and mini-marshmallows/ or boiled eggs; attach their shock absorber to a cardboard platform; and improve their design based on testing results.

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Years 5 and 6

EcoWarriors: Explorations in Ecology and Conservation with Laurie Strommer

How are we going to save endangered species?

In this fast-paced and hands-on workshop, we’ll work with the tools scientists use to conserve biodiversity. You will investigate foraging and migration, explore predator ecology, discover the complexities of endangered species management, unravel DNA and family trees, meet characters who have made a difference, and create an action plan to address a conservation conundrum. We’ll romp through science, values, choices and challenges in biodiversity conservation.


Arts (of Cryptography) and (Spy-)Crafts with Daniel Judd

Imagine this: you are the legendary Double-O 3.14 (license to do working out), and you’re on a mission to try and save the world (again). You’ve come across some valuable information that will help you to finally beat your enemies but you think you’re being watched! How do you report back to your boss and the rest of your team, and make sure that no-one else can read what you have to say? You write to them in code! You wear a bright red carnation and try to look inconspicuous!

In this workshop you will learn all about the trade of spying. This will include two major parts: (a) cryptography, or communicating in code; (b) acting as if you're completely normal and definitely not up to anything at all (nope, not at all).

(Essential Criteria: students must be good at working collaboratively with others in small groups)


Chess Masterclass: Strategies and Tactics with Julius Anuari

Are you ready to delve deeper into the mind-bending mysteries of the ancient game of chess, to learn more about strategies and tactics? Chess is such a complex game of skill and strategy, that after only 4 moves apiece, there are over 288 billion possible positions on the board!

In this workshop, students will be introduced to more advanced concepts, middle-game plans and various tactical motifs, with practical examples of how these ideas can be used in real match play. Students will be presented with a range of puzzles of increasing difficulty, to test their understand of the new material being taught, as well as having lots of fun on the way!

Essential Criteria: Some prior chess experience is necessary. You will need to understand the full rules of the game, plus how to make a basic checkmate.


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.


Logical and Lateral Thinking with Esther Cheung

Creativity is fundamental to the formation of new and innovative ideas in today’s ever-changing world. Lateral thinking trains students to use a creative or outside-the-box approach to solve problems. Often these outside-the-box ideas can only become possible if we look from innovative or non-traditional perspectives, rather than opting for the obvious answer. Thinking laterally can be rather challenging; therefore, the main purpose of this workshop is to provide a few interesting topics and demonstrate how to think differently. We will explore the mystery of magic squares; counting embedded figures and irregular 3D cubes; discover different types of number and diagram patterns and many more. Join our workshop and start thinking outside-the-box!

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