VISIONS takes a tour of the new Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences which is dedicated to training the scientists of tomorrow.
Year 11 student Emily Cook has a passion for science.
I really love how science is always changing and everything in our whole world is based on science. So whether you change your mind away from science there is always something else you can do and it's always based on science
Emily is one of the first cohort of year 11 students enrolled in 2014 at the new select-entry Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences. Like Emily, the school too, has a passion. It exists to teach high-performance students about science, technology, engineering and maths. Each year the school will enrol up to 100 year 11 and year 12 students with a passion for science.
Rob Newton (Principal University High School)
Were really excited about providing a pathway for young to be engaged in science. We're looking for passionate scientisists. We’re looking for young people that have chemistry kits at home or are into geology or astrophysics, mathematics, computer science. If they're really keen in those areas we cant to develop that enthusiasm and take them on a pathway, or a journey, right through until he end of university.
The unique school is the result of a partnership between the University of Melbourne, University High School and the Victorian Government. It's named after Australia's first female Nobel Laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn, who had a message for the students.
Professor Elizabeth Blackburn
Science itself. That's what matters. I hope you will also have exciting journeys in science as you pursue your school and then your careers in science.
Colocated at the University's Bio21 Institute and University High School, it is a stone's throw away from the Parkville Precinct, which has research instates, hospitals and the University not far away. Such proximity to scientific powerhouses means the school can provide every students with access to a scientist mentor, for extended research study.
Professor Tony Bacic (Director Bio 21 Institute)
So the intention is to use the young scientists, the already trained scientists within these organisations, to mentor the Year 11 and 12 students and expose them to what scientific discoveries is all about, and the excitementy that comes to making new discoveries. And also informing them of how this impact on society.
And not only will the new venture supports advancements in the development and delivery of science education, it will also provide training opportunities for trainee teachers interested in science education.
Professor Field Rickards (Dean, Melbourne Graduate School of Education)
The (Melbourne) Graduate School of Education has had an extrodinary partnership with the University High School, it has had for 6 years and it's been a fundamental component of the development of our innovative Master of Teaching Program. I see the science school as not just the training facility of the next generation, but it is also what I would call a 'science education lab'. So we can investigate teaching techniques and see what is effective,” said Melbourne School of Graduate Education dean Field Rickards.
The students will be able to use the building as a living experiment, with direct access to the data generated by geothermal system fitted to heat and cool the building. The first intake of students say the experience at the school has been rewarding.
I just love how everybody is like minded. Whether you're struggling in a subject, you have a friend who can always help you out. The teacher, they're so passionate about the subject. It's really great.