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National Science Week puts the fizz into modern physics for remote students

Students in remote Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe were given a rare insight into the mysteries of the universe when International Graphite brought the award-winning Einstein-First and Quantum Girls education programs to schools across the region as part of National Science Week 2023.

The innovative programs aim to build strong science experiences in the classroom by turning students on to STEM careers and halting the growing shortage of skills in Australia’s workforce, particularly under-representation of women and a lack of qualified people in country areas.

Developed by science educators from The University of Western Australia and Australian National University, the program is headed by renowned physicist Professor David Blair, who conducted workshops for local students and teachers.

If you’ve ever wondered why lightning is three times hotter than the sun, why wavy merino wool keeps you warmer, and why the Eiffel Tower is taller in summer than winter, it’s time to brush up on your physics which is the study of how things move, and the forces that make them move – from tiny atoms to whole galaxies.

As well as giving you the edge at your next quiz night, modern physics is the basis for quantum computing and many of the medical and scientific breakthroughs that are creating the jobs of the future.

As a future regional employer, International Graphite is investing early in its STEM workforce and has funded science programs in the Great Southern for the next three years.

Managing Director and CEO Andrew Worland said competition for STEM skills was growing in the resources industry and access to skilled people in regional areas would be vital if Australia wanted to achieve its goal of being a critical minerals superpower.

“We are proud to be bringing this amazing Science Week experience to local schools and helping to establish strong opportunities for young people to build a great future without having to leave our regional communities.”

This was a perfect opportunity for students to build their confidence in tackling modern science so more students choose to take up STEM careers.

The roadshow kicked off in Katanning, before heading to Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun, and onto Esperance and Kalgoorlie.

Photography by Dene Bingham, Hopetoun.

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International Graphite acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, particularly the Whadjuk, Wiilman, Kaniyang and Wadjari Peoples of the Noongar Nation, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.