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St Joseph’s College Albany students to represent their school at STEM MAD National championships in Melbourne

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St Joseph's College year 4 students Sammy Hutton and Noah Piercey.
Camera IconSt Joseph's College year 4 students Sammy Hutton and Noah Piercey. Credit: Laurie Benson

A team of Year 4 students from St Joseph’s College Albany will represent their school at an interstate science competition next week.

Year 4 students Sammy Hutton and Noah Piercey will travel to Melbourne for STEM MAD National, the national gathering of the Catholic school competition which gives students the opportunity to create STEM answers to real-life problems to “make a difference” (MAD).

STEM MAD started as a Melbourne-based competition in 2018, and the first online national event took place last year for Catholic schools across the country.

Sammy and Noah’s project, Turtle Tank — a prototype of a nesting box for long-necked turtles — won the Inspired by Nature category for primary students.

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Their project took inspiration from Sammy’s experience of seeing the decline in the population of long-necked turtles first-hand on her family’s farm.

St Joseph's College year 3 students Sophia Whitelock, Lilly Whiting and Michael.
Camera IconSt Joseph's College year 3 students Sophia Whitelock, Lilly Whiting and Michael. Credit: Laurie Benson

“We decided to do the long-necked turtle nesting boxes because long-necked turtles are becoming more and more endangered, because farmers are shooting them in dams for eating yabbies and marron, and they were getting run over on roads on their quest for a good nesting site,” she said.

The students will present their invention at the national STEM MAD conference on Tuesday, after last year’s conference was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Year 3 and 4 teacher Jessica Cramer said the school’s involvement in STEM MAD gave students opportunities to create STEM-based solutions for real issues.

“It’s been really good for some kids in the class that may struggle academically,” she said.

“The ideas that they’ve got they can put into hands-on science, so it’s been fantastic for them.”

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