In this issue:
This semester our Year 8 LEEP STEM students are investigating how engineers and medical doctors work together to improve the lives of amputees and the challenges faced when designing new prostheses with functional and cosmetic criteria and constraints.
To aid these students in their understanding of prothesis, we were lucky enough to have a prosthetist from Prosthetic Solutions bring in some real-life examples of upper limb prosthetics. One of the devices included a myoelectric prosthetic hand which works by placing sensors that harness the electrical signals from your muscles to control the movement. We challenged Zeph Hardie to pick up a plastic cup without squashing it. The resulting crumpled cup highlighted just how challenging it is to use these electrical signals to perform finer motor tasks. Zeph was able to redeem himself once lollies were added to the challenge!
Students also got to try out a conventional body powered limb which is held in place by a harness and powered by a high tensile cable and provides a very high level of durability and control. Ben McGrath and Charney Swarts were quickly able to master the use of this device.
A huge thank you to Prosthetic Solutions for showing us these devices and allowing our students to get a better understanding of what everyday life is like for amputees.
Last term, Maryborough was flooded with our Year 9 cohort as we ventured up to visit the Military and Colonial Museum for an excursion. With a focus on World War I in History, the museum offered the students over 10,000 items of memorabilia to see, touch and experience from the War. Additionally the new multi-million dollar “Gallipoli to Armistice Trail” gave the students real world experiences as they walked the trail learning about local soldiers and Australian heroes while also paying tribute to the ANZACs.
John Meyers and 23 wonderful volunteers from the museum gave the students an up-close opportunity to take history from the textbook page and give it a voice with unique tales, perspectives and encounters of war and military life since. The day was filled with special experiences as we were greeted on arrival by a piper playing the bagpipes. Over lunch, we were given the privilege of witnessing the Time Cannon being fired just metres away as it represented a scaled version of the real thing.
The Museum’s collection of military memorabilia is unusual and eclectic with an exceptional display of all Australian theatres of war from the Boer War to the Iraqi conflict. The extensive range includes rare war medals, uniforms, the water carrier “Furphy”, original ship bells plus so much more.
The three-storey murals, the Ferret Scout reconnaissance vehicle and the WWII Harley Davidson motorbike were just some of the many items that provided the students with both amazement and a solemn reflection of our brave Australian soldiers and the sacrifices they made for our country.
This History excursion gave our students an extraordinary adventure that was rich in Australian History and provided an opportunity they wouldn’t get elsewhere.
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