Jacqui Watson participated in an immersive hands-on research experience with researcher Mr Scott Barnes, in the manufacturing laboratories in Waurn Ponds, Victoria
Jacqui was keen to experience the laboratory environment and working in a scientist's role. After years of being in the classroom she felt distant from the world of research. Being able to bring her experience back into the classroom by developing a unit of work based on current research was appealing.
The project: Improving room acoustic performance
Jacqui was placed on a small research project investigating acoustic panels working with CSIRO's Manufacturing team. Jacqui's hands-on experience involved the testing of acoustic panels and understanding the methods used for sound attenuation. Jacqui's experience allowed her to learn about new materials, the acoustic properties of various materials and the testing process they go through.
Through the experience Jacqui has gained many stories that she can share with her students about what working in research is like, what a lab looks like, some current science, how research is used to help people or develop new products.
The experience has provided confidence in developing a unit of work based on research and Jacqui looks to include career and research opportunities to keep the science that students are learning relevant in all areas of study.
Jacqui's students have investigated sound and sound attenuation. The students conclude their sound investigation with an open inquiry, designing their own research methods. The goal of the student’s investigation is to design a quieter classroom, applying the knowledge of sound they have just learnt to a real-life problem, as there were some rooms in the school that had poor acoustics.
The students were able to take a problem-solving approach during the sound investigation, rather than just learning content and completing some practical tasks in the lab. The students used real data from research to help solve the sound acoustic problem.
This was then used to prepare a report for the principal, to suggest ways and propose a budget to transform the classroom to have better acoustics to promote learning.