School science takes a quantum leap in the Great Southern

13/04/2023 | 2 mins

A new partnership which will bring one of The University of Western Australia’s most innovative science education programs to schools in the Great Southern has been announced to mark World Quantum Day.

"Everybody's got the right to know the amazing universe we have discovered in the past hundred years."

Emeritus Professor David Blair

Funding over the next three years from WA resource company, International Graphite, will support the Einstein-First program in schools in the Hopetoun-Ravensthorpe region.

On World Quantum Day, Friday 14 April, scientists around the globe celebrate the study of quantum physics – the foundations of modern science that explain how the world works and which is driving ground-breaking innovations in renewable energy, medical technology, computing and space.

David Blair with the Einstein First teamImage: UWA Emeritus Professor David Blair, beside International Graphite managing director Andrew Worland, with members of the Einstein-First team .

The Einstein-First program uses hands-on activities including toys, games, models and lasers, to encourage primary and high school students to build their understanding and excitement about science.

The funds provided by International Graphite, which is developing a graphite mine at Hopetoun and downstream processing at Collie, will provide training and support materials for local teachers, activity equipment for schools, and new learning videos, particularly around climate science modules in the curriculum for Years 6 to 10.

Emeritus Professor David Blair, from UWA’s School of Physics, Mathematics and Computing and Einstein-First project leader, said the team wanted children to be enthusiastic about science because it was behind almost everything in our lives today.

“Everybody’s got the right to know the amazing universe we have discovered in the past hundred years,” Professor Blair said.

“Often country schools are too small to have science specialists and do not have access to the city resources to enhance their science education.  We have developed education programs to teach science to the Year 10 level.”

International Graphite managing director and CEO Andrew Worland said the company was excited to bring Einstein-First to the Great Southern.

“This is a great way for International Graphite to be involved in the local community and help build a bright future for young people,” Mr Worland said.

“Hopefully some of these students will grow into the physicists, metallurgists and engineers that our company – and the rest of the WA resources industry – will be looking for as the industry expands over the next 20 to 30 years.”

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA PR & Media manager)                  08 6488 3229

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