Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Inflating an interest in science for rural students

Lauren Waldhuter, Thursday June 26, 2014 - 09:45 EST
ABC image
Students from Burra Community School gather to watch the launch of the weather balloon. - ABC

South Australian schools are taking a novel approach to getting kids interested in science.

Ten schools in the state's Yorke and Mid North region got together in Burra to launch a weather balloon.

The project is the first of its kind and was run in partnership with the University of South Australia, the Department of Education and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

"It's pretty easy for kids who spend a lot of their time with textbooks to think that science as an abstract concept," says Aaron Warn from the Department of Education.



"But you don't study science to be a scientist anymore, you study it to be an electrician, or anything."

A team of 41 students helped inflate the balloon and prepare the 4.5 kilograms worth of tracking equipment launched with it.

They were also in charge of monitoring its progress once airborne, and locating the balloon once it burst.

Ben from Minlaton District School, says it was a great day to be involved in, but living in the country means these opportunities are few and far between.

"You take them when you can really," he says.

"I've always been interested in a job in science and engineering and that's why I've come along."

Burra Community School's senior science teacher Michelle Pullan, says the project is dream come true for educators.

She says it also helps make university a less daunting prospect for rural students.

"The universities coming out here, for them, it takes away that mystifying factor," Mrs Pullan says.

"It makes for a lot of them a 'would be nice' option, into something concrete they can aim for."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Top End residents could be waiting until Christmas for a bit of rain relief

18:43 EDT

Top End residents are unlikely to be relieved of the oppressive hot and humid build up conditions until Christmas, because the rain-bringing La NiƱa weather pattern is unlikely to eventuate in coming months, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.

One dead after Mt Warning campers struck by lightning, rescue operation underway

15:52 EDT

An international tourist has died and a woman has been injured after being hit by lightning while camping at Mt Warning, on the NSW north coast, police say.

Hot and stormy start to summer in NSW

15:50 EDT

The opening week of summer has been a hot and thundery mix in New South Wales and there is more to come.