Two students from Year nine at Wallan Secondary College, Connor Hamilton and Aydin Cihan, took part in the R.I.S.E. camp in Melbourne during November.
R.I.S.E (the Residential Indigenous Science Experience) is a week-long program based at Melbourne University and aims to inspire students who are interested in the exciting career possibilities that can follow on from studying maths and science.
Connor and Aydin were representing the college at the camp and they gained hands-on experience through participation in academic and cultural workshops at the University of Melbourne and the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC).
The boys stayed at the Trinity College residential campus with around fifty other indigenous students and were involved in workshops and learning activities on genetics, geology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. They worked in groups with academics and PHD students at the university and saw what it was like to work with cutting-edge technology doing scientific research.
Some of the highlights of the week were visiting the Eureka Tower in the city, The Synchrotron and the Sciencesworks museum.
Aydin said, “We listened to lectures, did robotics, made a lot of new friends. It was really interesting and we had lots of fun.”
Connor said, “They made it really interesting and fun. One of the things we did was learn about chemistry through doing experiments with chocolate. Some of it was disgusting, but eventually they got to the good ones.”
The boys also said that one of the best things about the camp was meeting other indigenous students from other schools in Victoria and interstate. “We got to meet new friends and learn a lot about them. Most were from Melbourne, but some were from Queensland and even the Northern Territory.” (Connor)
“The food was good, lots to choose from, different lunches each day and we were taken to a restaurant one day.” (Aydin)
“The staff members were very friendly and the experience has made me think about what electives I’ll pick and future career choices, maybe sports science.” (Connor)