Science for the future: the 3-phase program

28 August 2012

This year students from Compass partner primary schools again were able to build upon their experience at Science Unleashed through a follow-up visit from university staff and volunteers. The popular program enriches students' learning in a specific subject area and comprises:

  • Phase 1: Teacher-delivered pre-lesson to provide context for the activity
  • Phase 2: Visit to the University of Sydney or a museum
  • Phase 3: Compass volunteer-delivered post-lesson to make positive connections between the activity and higher education

Developed in conjunction with the Faculty of Science, the Science 3-Phase Program asks students to start and manage an experiment themselves: growing plants in different light conditions. The students successfully nurtured their plants during Phases 1 and 2 of the program, in time for the Compass Classroom Activity Facilitators (CAF) volunteers to visit for the Phase 3 lesson.

In the Phase 3 lesson, volunteers lead the students through observations about the plants' growth and explain how these plants embody the phenomena of etiolation and phototropism. After an in-depth look at how nastic movement allows the Venus Flytrap to move so quickly, the students finish the program informed and inspired to pursue science in high school and beyond.

The Science 3-Phase Program has again been a tremendous success in 2012. The CAF volunteers were constantly impressed with "how incredibly bright the kids were and how much they really grasped, and so quickly!" while teachers felt it was a "wonderful experience for students". Thank you to the students and staff of Bexley, Fairfield, Kogarah, Panania and Villawood East public schools for their participation in the 3-Phase Programs - and we look forward to seeing their budding scientists in the future!