On Monday, the 30th of April, Monash Tech School conducted its first Superpowers Professional Development program. This one-day program was held to give teachers and pre-service teachers insight into the upcoming year 8 program that focuses on new and renewable energy.
The Professional Development program started off with the Director, Ashley Van Krieken, giving a brief introduction of Monash Tech School and the programs it currently conducts. We were then taken to Monash University for a tour of the facilities held at Monash that currently undertake various projects around renewable energy.
Our first stop for the day was the Woodside Future Lab. Lee, the lab manager enhanced our understanding of the various research that Woodside is involved in, including data science and material engineering. We were also introduced to various 3D and metal printers housed within the labs and got to see some of the prototypes developed by the lab over the last few years.
We then visited the FLEET laboratories which stands for Future Low Energy Electronic Technologies. Their aim is to develop new types of transistors that do not lose energy and one of the ways that they test that is using the STM (Scanning Tunneling Microscope) which we got to see in person. We also got to see the laser labs located within FLEET and an interesting experiment on superconductors using liquid nitrogen and a magnetic track.
The Wind Tunnel located within the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering wing at Monash was our next stop. Here, we got to see the largest wind tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere and was also able to witness the setup to test a vechicle within the facility.
We ended the tour at Monash with a visit to the CAVE2 site. This was one of the highlights of my tour as we got to see 2D and 3D virtual reality environments. We were able to observe the wind patterns across the city of New Orleans and also see parts of Victoria.
The professional development day concluded back at Monash Tech School where we were run through the content for Days 2 and 3 of the Superpowers program. This involved us getting hands-on experience with the solar, hydro and wind experiments for the program; creating an app and visual imaging through e-learning tools as well as how to promote our new renewable energy company.
Overall, the day was exciting and one that was valuable for teachers and pre-service teachers alike. Having just completed my placement rounds where I facilitated the Superhumans program, this professional development day was particularly rewarding for me because I was able to see what the students would do at a year 8 level if they came back after the year 7 program.