Term 2 has seen the introduction of a science club held via video conference connecting students at Auburn Library, Blacktown Library and Hurstville Library Museum & Gallery to the science presenters at Fizzics Education and Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA). Known as ‘Leadership; It’s Not Rocket Science’, the weekly after school science club integrates character and leadership development exercises by SOPA integrated with engaging hands-on science activities by Fizzics Education in an immersive video conferencing environment. Working with local Council IT and education officers the club was brought to life by meshing tablets and formal video conference infrastructure through the VCme bridging solution. Together with internal WiFi secured and local training conducted on using H.323 software multi-point conferencing with different hardware endpoints works a treat!
Fizzics Education runs the club as a central helpdesk, which means students can work at their own pace on their experiments once the initial guidance is given. This has the additional safeguard on connectivity as any difficulties in connecting the external sites can be solved by pulling them into the conference via the multisite function on the Fizzics codec.
In addition to the science and aspirational aspects of the club, weekly guests from across the Virtual Excursions Australia community also contribute to the mix where guests speak about how they got to work in their job and how might students use science as a possible career path. Open to students in Years 5 and 6 plus their parents or guardians, the science club can be extended into any site wanting to foster community engagement using science & technology via a informal setting as the medium.
Further information on the science club can be found through the website