ConocoPhillips Science Experience – Days 2 & 3

The start of Day 2 saw students attending a lecture about forensic DNA technology presented by Professor Adrian Linacre. Students had the opportunity to hear about some gruesome crime scenes Professor Linacre had attended during his days as a forensic investigator. During the lecture, students learned about different types of blood spatter and how they form, leading to conclusions being drawn about how a victim was murdered.

Students then split into groups to participate in three workshops:

  • Marine Biology: students analysed samples of water and vegetation from the boat ramp at West Beach to identify various invertebrates within the system; some of their discoveries under the microscopes were quite amazing!
  • Science of Flavour: students learned how we obtain senses of smell and taste from various foods and how internal body structure, genes and past experiences can influence an individuals’ senses
  • Forensic Science: students had the opportunity to act as a forensic investigator and solve a crime using physics, chemistry and biology; activities included in-depth blood analysis, testing surfaces for microscopic amounts of blood, fingerprint analysis and matching DNA profiles

On the shorter Day 3, students first took part in a physics lecture about light and sound presented by Professor Jamie Quinton. After the lecture, the focus was on the science behind bubbles and how we can use bubbles to solve network problems such as designing highways and railway lines to connect towns using the shortest path.

They also had the opportunity to make various bubble wands to try and make either the biggest bubble, a bubble that could stay together the longest or a bubble with the most corners. Again, it was great to see students working together, problem-solving and experimenting with different designs to optimise their bubbles!

An action-packed three days came to an end with students relishing their experience of university life and discovering where a career in science could take them. Now for the bus ride home…

~ Mr Stewart Calder and Ms Lucy Legge (Accompanying Teachers)

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