How to make a scientist... Compass style

3 November 2011

What is a tropism? How does a Venus Flytrap close so quickly? Have you heard of etiolation? Just ask student from one Compass's partner schools who participated in the 3-Phase science program they will know the answer.

The Experiment
Compass primary school students performed an experiment many of us remember from our own school days - watch what occurs as seeds are grown under different light conditions. The participating classes observed that plants bend towards sunlight. We all knew that…but what you may not know is HOW plants bend towards light (and other stimuli).

The Follow-up Lesson
With the help of our enthusiastic volunteers, the students compared what they had expected to happen to the seedlings in their plant experiment with what ACTUALLY happened. The volunteers spent a session with the class talking about the different ways plants move. There are now almost 700 Year 4, 5 and 6 students in Sydney who can tell you all about phototropism, including how and why it occurs! There was also an opportunity for the students to reflect on their visit to either the University's Giant Science day, or Science in the City at the Australian Museum, as well as examining the world of science that is opened up when studying at The University of Sydney.

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of Caroline Marin-Edwards from Campus Infrastructure Services who made the environmentally friendly Prius available for chauffeuring our volunteers around Sydney.