Young scientists shine at YCIS Beijing symposium
"A scientific discovery is only as good as its communication" - Dr Noelle Cutter
This was a quote Oscar Goncalves, Secondary Teacher and Head of Science used to describe the science symposium (presented by Years 10 and 12) where students showcased their work.
Since the beginning of the school year, students have been participating in various Project-Based Learning (PBL) activities to highlight their understanding and interpretation of specific subjects. This time science was in the spotlight.
How is the symposium connected to Project-Based Learning?
"Connecting our students through interdisciplinary inquiry projects creates opportunities," said Mr Goncalves. “It brings students to the realisation that they can contribute to the learning process of others, including their peers, teachers and family."
During the symposium, students and faculty participated in experiments and asked questions at various booths. Science is synonymous with complex concepts. This symposium served as an inspirational platform for "our young scientists to exchange ideas and establish collaborations,” added Mr Goncalves.
Collaborations, deadlines and delegations
Preparations for the final presentations included asking questions, gathering information and critically evaluating results in front of an audience. The students' ability to process and evaluate results under pressure left a lasting impression on the science team.
For their final research question, Chen An L and her teammates Luis, Alina, Ray, and Vladimir selected the popular true-to-life game "Counter Strike Global Offensive".
Because this was of common interest to the team, researching for the project was stimulating with collaboration at its core. "I discovered how teams could assist one another despite having differing research questions, especially for the final infographic," said Chen An.
The month-long project required students to put on their forensic pathologist coats to enquire into things like surviving bullet wounds, the science behind smoke grenades, and how the gaming industry affects climate change.
Their Year 10 counterparts Charlie L, Nigel S, and Kerry W, chose to focus on food preservation. They explored which spices were best for conserving food. Sara, Anna and Gerard researched the water quality in our very own backyard of Honglingjin Park.
Not only did students discover the importance of meeting deadlines and delegating, but also improved other soft skills through work on the project.
The students' dedication was evident in the results, as Chen An and her team were among the top-performing groups.
"We all rehearsed it a couple of times before our actual presentation, and it paid off," she says with a smile.
"We couldn't be more proud of their work,” said Mr Goncalves. “It was a rigorous presentation.”