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Year 9 Science: Challenge: Home
This guide is designed to assist students studying the Challenge course to develop a solution that is STEM inspired for chosen local or global community problem. For example: Environment and Climate Change
Disability and Accessibility
The most effective way of avoiding plagiarism is to write in well-developed paragraphs. Each paragraph should have a clear main point, which reflects your individual response to the question or task. The main point should always be written in your own words and should be sufficiently general to allow you to explain, elaborate and illustrate it using research.
Effective note-taking from lessons and readings is an essential skill for study. Good note-taking allows a permanent record for revision and a register of relevant points that you can integrate with your own writing and speaking. Good note-taking reduces the risk of plagiarism. It also helps you distinguish where your ideas came from and how you think about those ideas.
Many of the strategies for reading note taking also apply to listening note taking. However, unlike reading, you can't stop a lesson and review as you listen. Therefore, preparation prior to listening can greatly improve comprehension.
Have a clear purpose
Recognise main ideas
Select what is relevant; you do not need to write down everything that is said
Have a system for recording information that works for you
Disability and Accessibility
Making STEM Accessible
There are many aspects to study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) that are easily accessible for students with vision impairments and learning disabilities that affect reading. Any screen reading technology will manage the text. The problems arise when diagrams, graphs and equations are used. While no technology is perfect yet, things are progressing at a rapid pace and there are already many work-arounds that are making STEM more accessible than ever before.
While many individual solutions are dependent on the assistive technology (AT) the student is most confident using, LexDis has a wealth of strategies, guides and advice as well as a simple, easy to read table showing how to make STEM information accessible, cross referenced by AT, disability and information-type.
Descriptions of STEM content
Descriptions of diagrams are an essential element of making STEM texts accessible for students with a range of disabilities who may be using a variety of assistive technology (AT).
As a starting point for content specific to STEM, The National Center for Accessible Media (US) has published Effective Practices for Description of Science Content within Digital Talking Books, which describes, chapter by chapter, how to describe elements such as bar, pie and flow charts, line graphs, Venn diagrams, scatter plots, tables and equations. The site contains a wealth of research and advice on making all forms of digital media accessible to people with disabilities. In a simpler format, you can find similar information from The Diagram Centre. However, both of these sites only offer information on how to describe existing texts, not how to create accessible content in a live setting, nor how students can respond in like format.
STEM accessibility for students with mobility and psychosocial disabilities
Accessibility for students in STEM subjects may not all be about the equations and diagrams. Professor Graeme Earl of the University of Southampton talks about another aspect of making STEM accessible to students who may not be able to participate in working out in the field, in his case in archaeology, though the same could be applied to geology and some study in civil engineering. The University have shared both a video and a transcript of his ideas.
STEM for students with Colour Deficiency
The Institute of Physics (IOP) has published a short guide for supporting students with colour deficiency with study in STEM subjects. IOP suggests labelling all colours that are necessary for a student to identify, using black borders around colours and using black or blue on white as much as possible.
Mathematics content for students who are Blind or have a Vision Impairment
There are some basic free or reasonably priced solutions that may be a starting point that will suit most students.
It may take a little learning for the lecturers, but students in a post-secondary setting will be familiar with Microsoft compatible applications such as MathType, an application that allows the creation of mathematical notation for inclusion in desktop and web applications. Equations can then be read aloud using MathPlayer, a free application. These are both a step beyond using Microsoft’s built-in text to speech.
What seems to be the most common practice in universities is to publish mathematics in LaTeX, because lecturers find it easier to use. While the LaTeX code can be read aloud, it is just that – code, and unless the student has learned the code (much like learning a new language), they will be unable to access the content using a non-visual desktop access (NVDA) AT software package until it is published in HTML or MSWord. To get the information from LaTeX to MS Word, the easiest process is to copy and paste into MS Word and then use MathType to convert the content to maths objects. Alternatively, if you want to use HTML, then you can embed LaTeX equations in an HTML file and use MathsJax to convert the LaTeX material into MathML content.
Where a student uses voice activated dictation using software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate rather than use a keyboard to enter equations, Scientific Notebook can be used as a scientific word processor with MathTalk enabled to perform the full range of functions required of students needing to work with complex mathematics.
EquatIO is the ‘new kid on the block’, released in 2017 and based on marketing materials appears to be revolutionary. Produced by TextHelp, EquatIO allows the user to type or handwrite virtually any mathematical expression directly on their keyboard or touchscreen.. EquatIO is also compatible with the Desmos software used to create graphs, which most students who are Blind or who have a significant vision impairment will know how to use before completing their schooling. EquatIO is available to download free of charge for teachers.
Where AT falls down is where PDF files are used. Currently, AT cannot read aloud any maths equations in PDFs and readers using NVDA must rely on descriptions provided through Alt-text. Another accessibility issue is that technically, e-readers should support MathML through the ePub3 standards, but in reality very few do. Simple advice to lecturers who use equations and prepare materials in LaTeX is to advise them to keep the original .tex files and make them available to students who rely on NVDA and to refrain from using PDFs entirely.
Finally, higher education and training providers need to be aware that some students, mostly adult entry, will be most comfortable with Nemeth Code, or Braille for Mathematics. Although Nemeth Code is American, many blind Australians became used to it because this was what their devices were programmed for. While adjustments must be made if this is the only AT a student is used to, they would benefit from intensive training in the use of more modern AT as it is more instantaneous and flexible.
Krista Greear, who works with Blackboard Ally and is currently serving as Vice-President of ATHEN (Access Technology Higher Education Network), presents Factors involved in making STEM content accessible.
Fiona Thomas from Texthelp focussed on how EquatIO can provide students and staff a truly digital maths alternative. EquatIO supports the creating and consuming of complex maths by providing alternative input methods for all. (May 2019)
Offers thousands of top-quality videos and clips across the entire high school curriculum, including life skills and guidance.
Statistics, Graphs and Surveys
Statistical data will lend credibility to your research by providing facts and figures supporting your position. Therefore, statistics may be important to include in your class assignments, research papers, and theses. However, statistical data is not always easy to find since there is no single source for this type of information. Statistics may come from scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, reports, websites, books, statistical databases, and more.
It is important to keep in mind that the most current statistics may actually be a year old or more. Organizations publish reports and statistics according to the data collection cycle (not necessarily annual), the time it takes to analyze and report the data, and the public release schedule.
This collection features open curriculum materials that integrate science, technology, engineering, art and math. A STEAM curriculum encourages students to think critically and use engineering or technology in imaginative designs or creative approaches to real-world problems while building on students' mathematics and science base.
Free resource for up-to-date imagery, address, terrain and boundary information. Also includes census data, land values, property sales information, transport routes, schools and other points of interest.
Online archive of articles 1994-2014.
Australian Social Trends presents a picture of Australian society through a selection of articles. The articles describes social concerns, and focus on population groups of interest and changes over time.
Online archive for years 1908-2012.
Provide a comprehensive statistical overview of social and economic conditions. Useful for researchers who require key data on a specific topic or who wish to compare social and economic trends across a number of years.
Useful for researchers who require key data on a specific topic or who wish to compare social and economic trends across a number of years.
Presentation of Assignment Resources
The digital presentation of your ideas needs to convey your information in an engaging way. Your speech should entertain the viewer and emphasise the key points. A speech should be around 3 minutes in length and if you choose a powerpoint, it should be a minimum of 15 slides. Some different examples are shown below.
Imagine the hottest day you've ever experienced. Now imagine it's six, 10 or 12 degrees hotter. According to climate researcher Alice Bows-Larkin, that's the type of future in store for us if we don't significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions now.
Students entering the 2021 Australian STEM Video Game Challenge have been commended for persevering throughout an often challenging school year.
Nearly 2800 students in Years 5-12 from schools around Australia entered the competition to design and build an original video game, which this year had to address the theme ‘scale’. Winners in six categories defined by age group and game design platform will be showcased at gaming convention PAX Aus Online this weekend (8-10 October).
Established in 2014, the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge aims to engage students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Challenge manager and ACER Foundation Director Lisa Norris said this year’s entries showed incredible resilience and resourcefulness to complete their games in such a disrupted school year.
“Several teams mentioned in their submissions the challenges they had to overcome to collaboratively design and build a video game during a pandemic,” Ms Norris said.
“The fact that two of the six winning teams are from Melbourne, where there have been extensive periods of remote learning, demonstrates the problem-solving, creativity and collaboration skills that students can develop through game design.”
In their last biennial report on gaming in Australia, ‘Digital Australia 2020: The Power of Games’, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) and Bond University found a quarter of parents surveyed in 2019 said their child had developed video games in school as part of their formal education. ACER’s Professor Pauline Taylor-Guy says since then, the move to remote learning created more opportunities for the use of digital technology and games in education.
“This year we have seen remarkable ways in which teachers and students have adapted to remote learning,” Professor Taylor-Guy said.
“While this has undoubtedly been challenging, digital technology and critical and creative thinking on the part of both learners and educators have generated major changes in the way we think about the where, what and how of learning.
“The educational benefits of the past 18 months include greater flexibility in curriculum implementation, collaboration within and across schools, an increased appetite for innovation, and recognition of the potential of digital technologies, including games in education, to provide a more individualised learning experience.”
The Australian STEM Video Game Challenge is coordinated by the charitable arm of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), the ACER Foundation. Sponsors and supporters of the 2021 Challenge include BigAnt Studios, Creative Vic, IGEA, Roccat, Scienceworks and PAX Aus, as well as universities, corporate partners and game developers.
Registrations for the 2022 Australian STEM Video Game Challenge open in early 2022. For more information, visit www.stemgames.org.au.
Winners of the 2021 Australian STEM Video Game Challenge:
Years 5-8: Playable game – Open category
Team: ‘Mega Power Up!’ – Dylan W, Liam D and William
School: Richmond North Public School, NSW
Game title: Scalyze
Game description: This game is a platformer game with a unique twist. All the levels have portals scattered in them and you must use them to your advantage in order to beat the level. You can turn bigger, jump higher and move faster only if you go through a portal and transform into a bigger size.
Years 5-8: Playable game developed in GODOT
Team: ‘Jele’ – Elena C, Emily Q, Jessica L and Laura J
School: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, VIC
Game title: Scrapyard Escape
Game description: Our game is about a man called Nox, who wakes up in a scrapyard dazed. He has amnesia and does not remember what has happened before he woke up in the scrapyard, but he knows he needs to escape.
Years 5-8: Playable game developed in Scratch
Team: ‘Two Frames Per Second’ – Lily M, Mary M, Scarlett H and Eunice O
School: West End State School, QLD
Game title: Arachnophobia
Game description: A text adventure style game (similar to choose your own adventure) with occasional "mini games" that the player will have to beat to progress. The game takes place in a secret cave system underneath main character Lemon Boy's backyard.
Years 9-12: Playable game – Open category
Team: Unidentified Inc. – Henry R, Nicholas T and Zach W
School: The Knox School, VIC
Game title: Space Blob Advance
Game description: This game is about a character who breaks through levels of the Earth to gain access to the Underworld. To get through each level of Earth, the character starts as a small blob and gains mass.
Years 9-12: Playable game developed in GODOT
Team: ‘studio tromboon’ – Jason D and Joseph N
School: Perth Modern School, WA
Game title: Global Scale
Game description: The objective of the game is to gain the 7 orbs by completing puzzles centred around 7 mechanics, in order to complete a major scale and restore music to your islands.
Years 9-12: Playable game developed in Unity & Unreal
Team: ‘Soulcube’ – Maxwell A and Jade S
School: Lumen Christi Catholic College, NSW
Game title: Murus
Game description: Murus (the Latin word for ‘wall’) sees players traverse a plethora of unique levels by scaling walls, with a ‘floor is lava’ death system. Players must collect all the magical orbs as fast as they can in order to progress through the variety of stages.
The Victorian Government is working to ensure our public transport network is inclusive and accessible for all Victorians.
In Victoria, 1.1 million people have either a physical or non-physical disability. Our ageing population and those with other mobility barriers also need accessibility support on the transport network.
We’re developing a Transport Accessibility Strategy to improve accessibility for everyone across the transport network.
The strategy will identify and prioritise accessibility enhancements across the network.
Inclusion and diversity
The Department of Transport is committed to advancing an inclusive workplace culture where our people are safe, diverse, engaged, valued and high performing.
This will enable us to deliver an integrated transport system that supports Victorians from all walks of life to have simple, safe, connected journeys.
Affordability and availability are important elements of the public transport system. Victorians who are unable to afford a ticket or access transport services might be prevented from accessing employment, educational and social opportunities.
A number of concessions are available to assist Senior Victorians, students, people on low incomes and people with special needs. For more information, see Free travel passes or concession fares.
There are also services and support to enable everyone to feel more confident in using public transport. Use the links below for information about accessible transport in Melbourne and Victoria:
Health Reference Center includes comprehensive, in-depth coverage of body systems, current health issues, major diseases and conditions, treatments, and procedures, as well as health and nutrition information specific to men, women, children, teens, and seniors. The up-to-date information comes from hundreds of authoritative sources, plus users can find thousands of videos, illustrations, journal articles from PubMed Central, and reference articles from MedlinePlus.
Google Scholar is a search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Ideal for Senior students searching for journal articles and other research literature.
The ProQuestplatform makes hundreds of full text and A&I (Abstracts & Indexes) collections available to researchers around the world. The ProQuest Platform hosts multidisciplinary content containing scholarly journals, books, video & audio, dissertations & theses, newspapers and more. More on the Content page.
In addition, researchers will benefit from robust information management and workflow tools and functionality integrated into the platform, like the ability to cite results in numerous citation styles, save as a PDF or other document formats, save searches, and export documents to reference management tools like RefWorks.
Content discovery is an integral part of the ProQuest platform’s goal of driving better research outcomes for subscribing organizations and their users. An organization's ProQuest content is discoverable through Summon and Ex Libris Primo Central. You can also link to ProQuest from Google Scholar and PubMed. When available, researchers can find and use their organization's ProQuest ebook holdings alongside their ProQuest platform database content. Similarly, Academic Video Online (AVON) subscribers can also now discover and use their video content while searching the ProQuest platform databases or even selecting to search AVON on its own within the ProQuest platform. For more information, visit the Surfacing ebooks and video content on the ProQuest Platform, Administrator Resources and Support Center Articles sections below.
Objectives of this session: Identify features that help provide effective and rapid searches; Discover options for resetting to a collection or subject areas; Locate commonly available search fields and operators. Duration: 5 minutes.
Objectives of this session: Incorporate search syntax into queries; Employ logical operators and proximity to focus a search query;
Use truncation to efficiently incorporate word variations in a search. Duration: 7 minutes.
Mater Christi College has a number of databases you can search for journal articles that will help provide informed research to find a stem inspired solution to problem. Proquest is a large database. Log in using the password, use the guide above to assist with searching.
Recent programmes from ABCIview and SBS to support solution 3D, Biodegradable Plastics, Recycling, Coding, Technology
When some people see trash, Veena Sahajwalla sees opportunity. The engineer and her team of innovative thinkers are opening new doors to manufacturing where one day your home could be tiled using those old beer bottles and clothes you're throwing out.
Interactive anatomy and pathology 3D resource. Includes 3D animations showing function, biomechanics, and surgical procedures. Also MRI images, clinical slides, radiology slides, X-rays, dissection slides and videos.
Google has partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives to host the world's cultural treasures online. Here you can find artworks, landmarks and world heritage sites, as well as digital exhibitions that tell the stories behind the archives of cultural institutions across the globe.
National Geographic magazine features the complete archive of the magazine from 1888 up until one month behind the print version. The Archive includes every page and every photograph, all fully searchable.
STEM MAD is designed to acknowledge and promote STEM learning initiatives that address real-world problems and demonstrate how students in Catholic schools take action that matters. Student teams are invited to design a product, service or innovation to Make A Difference (MAD) to others or the environment
Global warming is beginning to cause big changes in the environment. The extra heat energy is also beginning to cause large-scale changes in the weather. These changes in weather patterns around the world are called climate change.
As we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas for energy or cut down and burn forests to create pastures and plantations, carbon accumulates and overloads our atmosphere. Certain waste management and agricultural practices aggravate the problem by releasing other potent global warming gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide.
Global air temperatures near Earth's surface rose almost one and one-half degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Eleven of the last 12 years have been the warmest on record. Earth has warmed twice as fast in the last 50 years as in the 50 years before that.
One and one-half degrees may not seem like much. But when we are talking about the average over the whole Earth, lots of things start to change.
The greenhouse effect…global warming…climate change…phrases that have been at the centre of public debate in Australia and around the world since the 1980's. This site is exploration of the uncertainties of the science relating to greenhouse needs to start with those elements of the subject that are the most broadly agreed before moving to the more contentious issues.
The Climate Council regularly publishes groundbreaking research reports on issues such as extreme weather, climate solutions, health, coal closure and international action. Our reports are used as an authoritative source of information for briefing politicians, providing updates to health and emergency services, teaching resources for schools and universities and as background research for the media.
Learn about thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, lightning, floods, damaging winds and severe winter weather. What is a wall cloud? What's the difference between a watch and a warning? Is it ever “too cold to snow”?
looks at the building codes, and also at other factors that influence the protection of homes.
NSSL RESEARCH: DAMAGING WINDS
There are a variety of types of damaging winds formed by different thunderstorm processes, but thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds when the thunderstorm downdraft hits the ground and flows outward. Anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this phenomenon. Winds can cause damage when they reach 50 mph.
DAMAGING WIND RESEARCH AREAS
Types of Damaging Wind Events
We are working on simulations of derecho events, widespread, long-lived windstorms that are associated with bands of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Derechos can produce widespread straight-line winds up to 100 mph over long periods of time. Our simulations allow us to dissect the storms that produce derechos to better understand how to forecast and warn for them.
Damaging Wind Evolution
A macroburst is a an outburst of strong winds on or near the ground with horizontal dimensions of 4 km or greater, while a microburst is an outburst of strong winds with horizontal dimensions less than 4 km. Macro and microburst winds, known as downbursts, can cause significant damage. Microbursts are a concern for forecasters because of their rapid onset and noted relevance for aircraft safety. It is difficult for a forecaster to anticipate which storm will produce a microburst. NSSL's dual-polarized mobile Doppler radar is used to collect data on microbursts and dust storms to compare with the Phoenix NWS dual-polarization radar data. NSSL and the NWS hope combining both data sets will reveal clues about their existence. NSSL also uses the Multifunction Phased Array Radar to capture the evolution of damaging wind mechanisms when thunderstorms are within 70 miles of the radar.
Predicting Damaging Winds
NSSL developed an algorithm in collaboration with Arizona's Salt River Project (SRP) to alert the power company of the potential for a dust storm called a haboob. A haboob is a wall of dust that is pushed out along the ground from a thunderstorm downdraft at high speeds. The algorithm runs on NSSL's Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system and automatically monitors the radar for thunderstorms reaching thresholds that could result in outflows producing strong surface winds and blowing dust. When thresholds are reached, SRP operational personnel receive an alert to prepare for the impact of wind loading on SRP power poles and substations.
While radar remains the number one tool for forecasters evaluating storms, lightning data may be able to provide additional clues because electrical charge generation in the storm updraft and ice microphysics are linked. NSSL is working to provide a physical understanding how three-dimensional lightning data may be used by forecasters for microburst or downburst prediction. Due to the rapid updates and high spatial resolution of both the phased array radar and the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (LMA), both of these systems are able to capture the quick generation and evolution of microbursts.
PAST DAMAGING WIND RESEARCH
Bow Echo and MCV Experiment (BAMEX)
BAMEX (Bow Echo and MCV Experiment) was a field experiment involving scientists from NSSL, NCAR, the NWS and OU that was designed to gather data to understand bow echoes and their resulting high damaging surface winds. The mobile project tried to understand and improve prediction of mesoscale and storm-scale processes that produce severe winds in bowing convective systems lasting at least four hours. The project used aircraft and mobile ground-based instruments to map the thermodynamic and environmental structure of thunderstorm complexes and mature mesoscale convective vortices.
An NSSL scientist studied low-altitude “mesovortices,” (atmospheric spin on the scale of a few km to several hundred km) and learned that they may be the one of the causes of damaging straight-line winds. These results helped motivate the objectives for the BAMEX program defined above.
Damaging Downburst Prediction and Detection Algorithm (DDPDA)
To help NWS forecasters, NSSL developed the Damaging Downburst Prediction and Detection Algorithm using radar-detectable features. The DDPDA works best predicting the onset of damaging downburst winds from high-reflectivity storm cells that develop in an environment of weak vertical shear.