Science experience tops for St Mary’s College student
What do ice cream, glandular fever, sunburn and Walt Disney all have in common?
Leticia Fuller of Maryborough and her nine state counterparts attended a three-day science experience at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Toowoomba.
Still beaming with excitement, Ms Fuller shared details of her experience with her sponsor, the Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise, at a recent breakfast meeting.
Rotary Sunrise President Glenda Pitman said the club sponsored Ms Fuller by covering the program cost.
“Leticia is a very conscientious and hard-working student,” Mrs Pitman said.
“It’s wonderful to hear such an eloquent and enthusiastic student talk about her experiences. She is obviously passionate about science and a great ambassador for Rotary.”
‘Absolutely amazing’ science experience
Leticia told Rotarians her experience in Toowoomba was “absolutely amazing!”
“We studied all different science things from engineering and hematology to agronomy and astronomy,” the Year 9 St Mary’s College student said.
“During the event, we made soft-serve ice cream using liquid nitrogen, cream, milk and vanilla essence.
“We also went into different science and medical laboratories to see what university labs look like.
“In the medical lab, we looked at hematology and did a full DNA test. Within the samples I had, I diagnosed someone with malaria, glandular fever and diabetes.
“With agronomy, the study of plants, we looked at wheat, barley and sugarcane and the different sorts of root crops, as well as photosynthesis and how changing the C02 levels, temperature and colour of light, can affect how fast and slow they grow.
“We also looked at UV radiation. Even when it’s cloudy UV radiation is still there so you can still get sunburnt, just not as bad. We had clear UV beads and when we were inside a building they were completely clear and see-through but when we went into the sun, depending on the strength they changed colour to vibrant pink, purple or yellow.
“Even sitting in a car, if you have windows that aren’t tinted the UV is coming through so you can still get sunburnt. We learnt how it causes skin cancer and kills cells within us.”
Ms Fuller said engineering activities included designing the keyboard of a laptop computer using a circuit board, paper and a pencil so that when keys are drawn on the paper were pressed they connected to the computer.
“It’s amazing to see what you can do with a computer. You wouldn’t think a computer could take your life so far but it does.
“One of our instructors used to work for Walt Disney Productions. She was one of those who did all the animations in movies and showed us in-depth how they’re all created.
“We also looked at computer programming games and created our own programs while we’re there.”
Ms Fuller hopes her interest in all things science will lead to a career in pediatric nursing.
The ConocoPhillips Science Experience is designed to provide Year 9 and 10 students who have an interest in science with an opportunity to engage in a wide range of fascinating science activities under the guidance of scientists who love their work.
The event takes place in over 35 universities and tertiary institutions across Australia.
Photo: Maryborough’s St Mary’s College Year 9 student Leticia Fuller joins other science enthusiasts at this year’s ConocoPhillips Science Experience.