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High school students experience science at UQ

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UQ PhD student Gurion Ang will present at ConcoPhillips Science Experience.

More than 165 high school students from Queensland and northern New South Wales will converge on The University of Queensland to discover the wonders of science and technology.

The ConocoPhillips Science Experience, which runs from January 17 to 20 2017, is a fun four days of hands-on science activities for Year 10 and 11 students being hosted by UQ, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and Griffith University.

ConocoPhillips Science Experience UQ director Michael Jennings of the School of Mathematics and Physics said students would have the chance to tour scientific facilities, hear from some of Queensland’s leading scientists, participate in hands-on workshops, explore science-based careers and use their creativity in exciting innovation challenges across all of the campuses.

“Interactive workshops are led by experts in their fields and cover an array of exciting areas including forensic science, physics, biological sciences, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, the environmental sciences, and engineering,” he said.

At UQ, students will discover how to design a new molecule, learn about black lung disease from coal mining, and battle a highly contagious fictitious virus known as the Zen virus, transmitted by blood-sucking mosquitoes and other parasites.

Students will also play a game about learning to live with and train your brain, and experience hands-on challenges in chemical engineering and be ready to start their own businesses.

Students can also learn how and why big earthquakes happen using microfossils from the highest places in the world, the Himalayas, and explore the mathematics of chance to understand about probability and evidence in science.

ConcoPhillips Science Experience speakers will include:

  • UQ geneticist Dr Carmen McDougall, whose research includes discovering how to grow the perfect pearl for industry;
  • Associate Professor in UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Gwen Lawrie, who will highlight impacts of changing climate and ocean acidification, and how these are affecting Queensland’s marine environments;
  • UQ Dean of Agriculture Professor Neal Menzies who will share his passion for agriculture and the environment; and
  • Professor Ben Burton who organises the Queensland Informatics and Programming club at UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics and is an elected member of the International Committee that oversees the International Olympiad in Informatics.

Young Scientists of Australia staff will organise a social BBQ dinner and disco (Supernova) at Centenary High School, Jindalee.

The program will finish Friday with a keynote lecture as well as exciting science experiments at the Advanced Engineering Building (Building 49, near the lake) at UQ at 2pm.

The ConocoPhillips Science Experience has run at UQ since the early 1990s and has seen thousands of school students exposed to areas including anatomy, quantum physics, engineering, chemistry, computational science, robotics, mathematics, neurophysiology, materials science and biology.

The program began in Melbourne in 1990 and now runs at 35 universities throughout Australia.

The event is supported by ConocoPhillips, Rotary International, Science Teachers Association of Queensland, the Science Schools Foundation Incorporated, and Young Scientists of Australia.

The UQ Faculty of Science offers the most extensive range of scientific disciplines within Queensland.

The Faculty is ranked #26 in the world for life sciences and biomedicine, #1 in Australia for agricultural research, and in the top 3 Australian institutions in molecular biology/genetics, biology and biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, ecology/environment, and plant and animal science.

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