The University of Sydney hosted an intensive three-day workshop in Newcastle recently, for members of it’s STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy program.  Macquarie College delegates Mrs Michelle Cottier (Head of Mathematics),  Mrs Deb McCord (Head of Science) and teacher Mrs Stephanie Chaumont participated in the highly interactive program. 

Participants were tasked with the STEM project of making our own solar cookers. After splitting the group into Math teachers and Science Teachers, the Math teachers were given a formula to follow were the Science staff were given a task to cook a piece of frozen pizza using a pizza box and other materials. Using our understanding of reflection and absorption we were able to successfully cook our pizza, crispy bottom and all.

The math teachers worked with an equation to create a parabolic mirror, that had a focus point for the sun’s rays to concentrate on. The math teachers were able to cook a bunch of different things.  Mrs Cottier chose to heat a pencil, which she successfully heated to the point of generating smoke.

The STEM Academy is a 12 month program for teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, to help advance the level of STEM learning opportunities throughout Macquarie College.  Watch this space for some more news in coming weeks about STEM developments and student projects.