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LabRats invade ECU

Monday, 28 September 2009


Last week, over 370 Year 10 and 11 students visited Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) Joondalup campus to take part in hands-on science activities as part of the annual LabRats program.

Over three days, the students from 12 different high schools attended various science workshops in an effort to encourage students to pursue science subjects in upper school and to consider careers in health science, human biology, natural sciences and chemistry.

ECU student ambassadors greeted the student groups and escorted them around the campus for the day.

This was also a valuable opportunity for high school students to talk with current students about future study decisions and university life.

Students participated in hands-on activities including health monitoring techniques of the lake, DNA testing for melanoma and taking care of ‘SimMan’ ECU’s virtual patient in the nursing demonstration laboratory.

Carine Senior High School students India Ranson and Rob James said they had a great time at ECU, and they both agreed that learning how to make bouncy balls was the highlight of their day.

“I was able to see what a real chemistry lab looks like, not just the ones we have at school,” India said.

“I really enjoyed wading through the water of the ECU lake to catch little bugs,” Rob said.

ECU’s Faculty of Computing, Health and Science has been successfully running the LabRats program for nine years, aiming to inspire high school students from the northern suburbs to continue study in science subjects and offer the students an experience of university life for a day.

ECU Community Officer for the Faculty of Computing, Health and Science, John Poland said it was great to get so many high school students on campus during the week.

“They are able to participate in many science activities, interact with ECU staff and students and get to see the beautiful campus and quality facilities on offer at ECU Joondalup,” John said.

“Hopefully some of these students will be inspired to pursue further science studies at high school and then at university level due to programs like LabRats,” he added.

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