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The Week That Was STEM Explorer 2019 - feature image, used as a supportive image and isn't important to understand article

Just some of the highlights included a visit to SAAB, where participants learned about national security and defence. They tested Aurrigo's driverless cars and saw the first ever hologram machine with Voxon Photonics, both at Flinders University's Tonsley Campus. 

The NYSF is pleased to report another successful delivery of the STEM Explorer program in Adelaide. On the 15th of July, 80 year 7-8 students ventured to the Adelaide Hills from around the state (as far as Port Lincoln, Mt Gambier and Woomera). This was the third year the program ran and wouldn't be possible without the collaboration with South Australian Department for Education. We'd also like to thank all those who hosted our participants, sharing their passion for STEM - University of South AustraliaFlinders UniversitySAAB, Cleland Wildlife Park, Waite Research Clinic, OpSys Cyber Security, NRM Water Testing, University of Adelaide, SA Water, 1414 Degrees, and Aurrigo

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During the week, students were exposed to cutting edge science at different locations around Adelaide. The goal of the STEM Explorer Program is to encourage excitement and engagement with STEM, inspiring young students to continue with these subjects through their schooling and then into university. The program shows participants the incredible ways science is being used in our everyday lives, in many ways we may not even realise. 

Just some of the highlights included a visit to SAAB, where participants learned about national security and defence. They test drove Aurrigo's driverless cars and saw the first ever hologram machine with Voxon Photonics, both at Flinders University's Tonsley Campus. 

The Week That Was STEM Explorer 2019 - content image

Supplied by SAAB

At the end of the week, students reflected on some of their favourite activities and what they had learned:

"Something I found interesting today was how they turned dirty water into clean water, and all of the electronics and systems they use to do it."

"At Saab I liked learning about what they do and how things operate. I also enjoyed finding out about a place I might like to try to get a job because it looks and sounds really cool."

"I really liked learning about the different type of creatures that live in the river and what they eat and how they live."

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"I really enjoyed working the gaming board at the university."

"I really enjoyed learning about the prevention of spot fires and how easy it is to spread fires is the firefighters aren't cautious enough about the area they're working in."

"My favourite activity that I did today was learning about the civil security and how the different alarms work and trigger." 

At the start of the week, it is common for students to be shy and reserved, but the beauty of this program is that students are surrounded by like-minded peers, and even those who were shy at the beginning emerge from their shell and make new friends to enjoy the experience with. In an exercise to encourage the students to reflect on their experience and what they learned, everyone was asked to consider something they used to think or know, compared to what they now knew after their week at STEM camp.

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I used to... think STEM was just science. But now I know that science is most of our future.
I used to ... wonder what career I would choose. But now I know I want to be an engineer.
I used to... think science was labs and the environment. But now I know that it is so much more!
I used to... believe I couldn't work in STEM because I'm a girl. But now I know I can.
I used to... think that science was a fascinating subject that we learn in school and not much more. But now I know that science is a part of every day like and is everywhere.

Thank you very much to all the STEM professionals who hosted and inspired our young STEM Explorer participants as well as our Rotary volunteers and NYSF Student Staff, without you the NYSF wouldn't be able to host such an inspiring event.