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Year 8 Geography - CSIRO’s Rocks to Rockets


On Thursday, 20 March Melissa Lane from the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) spent 3 session with the Year 8 geography students conducting experiments to compliment what students have and will be learning in science and geography.

The CSIRO Rocks to Rockets classroom experience exposed students to the ins and outs of the mining industry with close links to the Australian Curriculum in both Science and geography. According to Lane, 'The program aims to introduce students to the benefits and processes involved in mining, a variety of minerals and the ways that these minerals are used in our day to day lives.' Students got to try their hand at copper coating a nail, simulating the processes of solar panels in space, core drilling through marble cakes, chemical weathering, and gold panning.

'We try to have a little bit of fun along the way - with gold panning and erupting volcanoes'- Melissa Lane.

Taliesin: 'The CSIRO visit was interesting, fun and I learnt a lot of things I didn’t know. My favourite bit was using the hairdryer to heat the nitinol wire - it changes shape like the solar panels in space do!'

Cadeem: 'In the volcano activity we had to combine vinegar and bicarb soda and boom it exploded!'

Keyah: 'The activities help us gain knowledge about different rocks and how they are used. It was cool.'

Romi: 'I like the hands on activities because it’s enjoyable and doing the experiments helps us learn more.'

We would like to thank James Cook University and the North Queensland Government CSIRO Education Centre whose partnership made this travelling classroom accessible for the students at State High.