Skills in science, technology, engineering, and maths continue to be in high demand in Australia and globally. The STEM focus at University Senior College aims to ignite passion for those subjects and assist students and staff to deepen their knowledge, challenge their thinking and ensure we provide authentic learning opportunities.
As part of USC STEM Community Connections & Partnerships with The University of Adelaide, we arranged several tours of various departments, all tailored for USC needs, and our students visited research labs and heard from academic staff and Ph.D. students about real-world issues firsthand. Students visited and engaged with staff in Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic engineering departments and the Andy Thomas Resource Centre. The students engaged in a community focused seminar taking place on campus involving a guest speaker from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab hearing about NASA’s Plans for the Dark Universe and attended Women in Space - Impacting the World and Beyond seminar at National wine Centre. These activities engage students in high levels of learning while developing their critical thinking skills, thus increasing student interest and achievement. At USC we make great connections with the academic staff and invited them to visit USC to make our partnership even stronger. Through their visits they delivered STEM Focus talks to interested USC students.
Students also learned about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning from Dr. Paul Dalby, CSI Adelaide and Somerton Man mystery from Prof. Derek Abbott, Science from Dr Nicole Foster, Optical Fibres from Prof Shahram Afshar, Nuclear Medicine from Prof. Eva Bezak, and more.
In the future we commit to on-going improvement in our practice to increase our connections with The University of Adelaide, as well as other organisations such as the SAHMRI, CSIRO, to enhance the learning experience of students, while contributing to the professional learning of staff to ensure USC remains the senior secondary school of choice in South Australia.
STEM Community Connections & Partnerships
CSI STEM talk - Professor Derek Abbott
As part of University Senior College STEM Community Connections and Partnerships, Professor Derek Abbott from The University of Adelaide delivered a talk on The Somerton Man to our students. He clearly showed how work on human identification combines Engineering, Computer Science, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Genetics, History, Art and more. Thank you all for your participation.
STEM talk - Dr Nicole Foster
In May 2022, the South Australia Young Achiever Awards winners were announced during a Gala dinner, in front of an audience of over 300 people. University Senior College was there as one of the partners for their Create Change Award. The University of Adelaide STEM Award went to Dr Nicole Foster for her molecular approach to analyse environmental DNA, uncovering historical changes that have occurred within coastal plant communities in SA. This work informs the adaptability and resilience of these important habitats to climate change. We made connections with Nicole on the night and invited her to University Senior College to share her STEM journey and great achievements with us. Our students were inspired by her presentation as she shared her experience, which displayed her joy for learning.
AI STEM talk - Dr Paul Dalby
Dr Paul Dalby, Chairperson of the University Senior College Council, delivered a productive and inspiring talk about Artificial Intelligence, its role in the future of Australia, university pathways and career opportunities, and its impact on other fields to interested USC students. Our students and staff appreciate hearing first-hand from the experts in the field.
Tour of the Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Department at The University of Adelaide
Twenty-three Year 11 and Year 12 students participated in a tour of the Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Department at The University of Adelaide and visited 3 Engineering labs including the Flight Simulator, the Wind Tunnel, and the Sports Aerodynamics labs. They were explained about the engineering experiments and research going on in those labs and the available Engineering courses. The tour was guided by two Professors and two Ph.D. students in the field.
Andy Thomas Resource Space Centre
USC students had an exclusive opportunity to visit the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources (ATCSR) at Adelaide University. The centre, named after Dr. Andy Thomas AO, Australia's first astronaut and University of Adelaide alumni, is dedicated to space resources and aerospace engineering. During the tour, students had the privilege of exploring the ATCSR laboratories, including access to the specialist research lab. ATCSR focuses on sustainable resource exploration, extraction, processing, and utilization in extreme environments. It serves as a central hub for engineering, science, and technology related to ISRU and the supporting supply chain. Students, researchers, and industry partners have access to the university's space and resources ecosystem, fostering collaboration and innovation.
Women in Space – Impacting the World and Beyond
As part of the USC STEM program, 15 people from USC attended the Women in Space event to hear from leaders of the space industry firsthand and learned about the nation’s space capability and why the space industry is so important to South Australia. INSPIRING, EMPOWERING, ADVANCING were the drivers of this much anticipated event with female leaders from within the space industry coming together to share their rich experiences and inspire greater participation in this exciting and growing sector of the South Australian economy. This was a great opportunity for some of our students who were proactive in making connection with the scientists and asked their questions regarding their Research Project and beyond. Some speakers promised to visit USC and present to our students in near future!
Space Seminar 2023
As a part of STEM activities at University Senior College, students participated in an exciting space event called "Writing History in the Stars" held at The Braggs Building on the grounds of The University of Adelaide. Space, being the final frontier, is one of the most thrilling areas of research and discovery. The event hosted several prominent speakers from the Space industry at The University of Adelaide, who discussed how space science and satellite imagery are addressing humanity's greatest challenges. This was a great opportunity for students in Year 10, 11, and 12, who have a keen interest in space.
As a part of University Senior College STEM activities and in partnership with the Aerospace Engineering department of The University of Adelaide, we had the privilege of visiting The Adelaide Wind Tunnel research and testing facility. It is the only industrial-scale wind tunnel in South Australia and the largest in Australia, located in Thebarton. The state-of-the-art facility serves a diverse range of purposes, making it suitable for various wind engineering and aerodynamics testing. This tour was exclusively organized for University Senior College students, who thoroughly appreciated this unique opportunity.