The Armidale School’s STEM Academy launch attended by 400 students

Making slime, exploring Virtual Reality, eating liquid nitrogen ice cream, solving crimes, testing bridges, distorting soundwaves, punching oobleck, cracking codes, scaffolding marshmallows, racing drones, flying balsa planes... there was something for everyone at the launch of The Armidale School’s STEM Academy on Saturday, with more than 400 people getting a glimpse into the future of education.

About 100 TAS students were joined by a similar number of non-TAS boys and girls whose families had travelled from as far as Sydney to be fed, entertained, and challenged at dozens of activities all focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Getting his hands stuck in the oobleck – a gooey substance which can be both a liquid and a solid – was the favourite activity for Sam Strelitz.

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“It was great how when you try and pull your hands out of it quickly they get stuck and you can’t,” he said.

Click below to watch students punching above their weight to find out whether oobleck is a liquid or a solid:

Minnie Chick’s pick of the day was the slime: “we put all the ingredients together and it was really fun to play with. The (liquid) nitrogen ice-cream was also really yummy.”

The forensic science activity ticked all the boxes for budding detective for Ty Schalk-O’Brien, who was also transported by the Virtual Reality.

“It was so cool the you felt like you were actually there doing the scenario you were experiencing through the googles,” he said.

Click below to watch the lift-off in the Coded Drone Challenge:

Director of Studies Mrs Seonia Wark said the day had exceeded expectations in terms of attendance and engagement.

“Our staff worked hard to create fun activities that inspired children to explore learning across key STEM areas. The level of engagement reflects a craving for discovery and reflects our commitment to provide a breadth of subjects in these areas as well as further develop strategic alliances with external organisations,” she said.

Mrs Wark said such was the success that planning had already begun on holding a similar event in 2019.

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