23 Nov 2015
STEM learning: Timaru Girls' High School pupils pitting their science skills at the South Canterbury CPIT Year 10 Competition were Kelly Penty, Rebecca Tapper and Christiene Batoon.
An applied science taster for South Canterbury secondary school students organised by CPIT at Timaru last week also tested the skills they will need for science-based careers.
The South Canterbury CPIT Year 10 Competition involved students and staff from throughout the region who used the opportunity to arm themselves with knowledge about the growing demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM skills in the workforce.
The event also introduced participants to CPIT's New Zealand Certificate in Applied Science Level 4 and the new New Zealand Diploma in Applied Science Level 5.
Based on specific content from these courses, teams of students competed in exercises that used procedures such as automated pipetting, a laboratory tool used to perform programmed transfers of liquid between preselected groups of containers, commonly used in molecular biology, analytical chemistry and medical tests. Students were tested on whether the pipette was within specification for each volume. They also carried out an isomerism exercise to look at atoms in the molecule and different properties, along with scenario-based situations to test their skills in analytical thinking, collaboration and communication.
Timaru Boys' High School won the competition, with Timaru Girls' High in second place ahead of two teams from Mountain View High School.
CPIT also hosted a Science Day at the Madras Street campus this week (Wednesday November 18), where department heads from various learning initiatives, institutes and secondary schools shared their expertise in the STEM area and how it could be better incorporated into the school curriculum in a modern learning environment. Sessions included biology, chemistry, physics/electronics and agricultural/horticulture.