Year 7 - 10 Learning Labs

Learning Labs workshops for Years 7 to 10

How to apply?

  1. Find out what workshops are available and which ones interest you - see "Available workshops" section below. January 2017 are now available for viewing.
  2. All workshops are for Year 7 to 10 students DURING 2016 unless specified otherwise.
  3. Then visit to our application information and process page for next steps.


3D Printing and CAD Modelling: Become a Maker! 

Presenters: Ben and Heike Roberts, Modfab Pty Ltd

3D printing is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. Have you ever dreamed up an idea or product but not known how to make it real? Participants in this workshop can begin their journey towards becoming designers and makers. Starting off with learning how to model your ideas in 3D CAD software, you will then be familiarised with the process of 3D printing and doing hands-on work with the machines. You will take home with you a number of 3D printed objects including a handbook for future reference. After this hands-on workshop you will be aware of how to:

  • Operate a generic FDM (fused deposition modelling) 3D printer
  • Prepare models to print with slicing software
  • Learn how to troubleshoot your prints
  • Bring your own designs to life using free CAD software
  • Engage in project based learning
  • Use critical thinking skills linked to projects
  • Create your own 3D printed name tag, and design, and 3D Print a solution to a problem!
  • Create your own 3D Printed Tic Tac Dispenser. If you would like your Tic Tac Dispenser 3D Printed, it will cost an extra $15.00.

If we don’t get the time to print all of the students work during the sessions, Modfab will produce them and mail them out to you.

The course is structured for both fun and competition among individuals, and deep thoughtful cooperation among the group.

AIIM Experience (Year 9 & 10 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenters: Assoc. Prof. Michael Higgins, Assoc Prof. Simon Moulton, Dr Steven Beirne, Dr Tony Romeo, Dr KhayWai See, Paul Scully, Prof. Will Price

This workshop will be based at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) at Innovation Campus where you will have access to state of the art technologies. The purpose of AIIM is to develop new materials and devices for energy and medical applications. Students attending this workshop will have a unique opportunity to work with leading science academics and researchers. During this workshop students will be taking part in the following areas:

  • -3D Printing and Additive Fabrication, specifically designing and working with 3D printers.
  • -Nanotechnology; you will have the opportunity to make nanoparticles and sensors
  • -Microscopy; using electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to look at samples prepared in the nanotechnology theme
  • - Race Car Engineering; the race car built in AIIM will be the focus of various activities and ideas

Broaden Your Horizons, Get Ready To Embrace The World - Learning French!

Presenter: Benedicte Henry, Education Officer, Early Start

During this fully interactive workshop, you will learn from a native french speaker:

  • 10 reasons why it is a great idea to learn French
  • about the "Francophonie" or French-Speaking community around the world
  • about the Euro and buying things in France
  • about French everyday culture and how it is slightly different to yours
  • about French art, sports and food

Of course, you will as importantly learn:

  • the basics to get around, introduce yourself and meet new people
  • to express your likes and dislikes
  • what to say in different situations: at a shop, in public transports, at a restaurant, etc.
  • what to say when you don't understand in order to avoid getting stuck and learn more!

A bientôt!

Crazy Contraptions using LEGO NXT EV3 Robotics (7 & 8 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: John Burfoot, Sci-riffic

Following in the footsteps of famous inventor/engineer Rube Goldberg, students will have an opportunity to design and build elaborate mechanical and programmable contraptions, in pairs and as a whole class. Activities will start small and will progressively become more challenging to encourage creative thinking and novel engineering. All activities will use the LEGO Mindstorms NXT hardware and software, which includes an assortment of motors and sensors, as well as a large supply of LEGO Technic parts.

Creative Writing For Beginners And Beyond

Presenter: Timothy Daly

The basis of a powerful contemporary writing style lies in using language in a fresh and innovative way. This practical, hands-on workshop gives you dozens of techniques to use, regardless of the medium you’re most interested in. Special attention is given to short story, short film, poetry and theatre writing. Led by one of Australia’s most experienced teachers of writing, the multi-award-winning playwright Timothy Daly, this workshop is suited to both smart beginners and committed writers.

History - Weird Wild Conspiracies

Presenter: Glenn Mitchell and Stephen Brown, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts

This Learning Lab will look at some of the most famous conspiracies such as the assassination of JFK/the death of Marilyn Monroe and ask some important questions: how and why have so-called 'conspiracies' emerged? Why do they persist? And given that there is much evidence to dismiss some conspiracies, why do many people accept 'conspiracies' or weird and wild histories as fact?

Introduction to Building Video Games

Presenter: Alexander Kelly, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences

Video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment across the globe. A flexible medium, Video Games allows the player to experience things that would not be possible in any other medium. But have you ever wondered how video games are built, and what goes into building one?

The “Introduction to Building Video Games” workshop is a crash-course introduction into the world of game construction. In this workshop, you will learn about how video games are produced, by constructing your own game! Learn to draw your own game art, create your own special effects, and of course tie it all together with some programming. 

Legal Ethics

Presenter: Karina Murray, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts

Lawyers need to be mindful of certain ethical principles. However, if you’ve ever watched an episode of Suits you would know, ethical standards vary from person to person. Our ethical values are influenced by many things: such as, money, relationships, personal experiences and political ideologies. How then can we expect lawyers and other practitioners working in the justice system to behave ‘ethically’? What does that mean exactly? These are the kinds of questions we will explore in this workshop. Over the course of the workshop you will be introduced to legal ethical dilemmas; analysing case law as well as looking at contemporary television and movie examples. If you decide to do this workshop be prepared to think, argue and have fun!

Let's Get Physical

Presenter: Michael Lewis, Faculty Science, Medicine and Health

If you are interested in the field of sport science and/or medicine then this a great introduction for you. In this workshop we will explore the nervous system, the skeletal system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system and examine the integration of these systems in human movement and exercise. The workshop will cover basic theoretical knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics and apply it to exercise. Within the workshop students will be exposed to the anatomy laboratory and learn how to identify specific anatomical structures including bones, muscles and nerves that are responsible for generating movement. Students will also be exposed to the physiological measurements such as muscle activity, heart rate and force produced and how these measurements can be used to quantify physical performance. The bio mechanical principles of levers and torque will be introduced in a way that can explain how movement is possible. 

Meet The Microbes

Presenter: Martina Sanderson-Smith, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health

Did you know that you are covered in bacteria? Have you ever wondered why some bacteria make you sick and others don’t? In this learning lab you will explore the microscopic world of microbiology. You will get to see some of the many bacteria that grow on your body, and discover why they are not all bad. You will then have to solve the mystery of which bacteria is making patient X sick, and decide which medicine they need before it’s too late!

Momentum Mathematics (Years 7 & 8 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: Liza Booth

Learn the secrets of SPEED MATHEMATICS. You will amaze yourself, family and friends when you discover the world of mentally multiplying very large numbers faster than you could tap the digits into a calculator. You will learn to recognise patterns and increase your speed and accuracy. Mental mathematics not only enhances the precision of thought but it improves your memory. If we don't exercise our memory it slowly depreciates so it's important to keep those brain muscles active.

The Momentum Maths workshop will promote your confidence, offer you a real understanding of numbers, increase your mental agility & intelligence and most importantly, sharpen your mind!

You will also have the opportunity to participate in some FUN competition by racing your colleagues to the top of the mathematical ladder.

Bring your calculator along to CHECK your calculations but NOT to actually DO your calculations.

Musical Mathematics (Years 7 & 8 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: Deepti Rameswary

Have you ever wondered how we are able to play lovely songs on our musical instruments? Also have you ever thought that Mathematics plays a BIG role in this? You will explore this secret in this two day workshop through some fun activities and games.
You will learn the relation of musical scales and rhythms with the help of fractions and will put them to action with some hands on activities. So fractions will be our friends throughout this workshop.
You will then put the knowledge of fractions in scales and rhythms together to build your own musical instrument. This will be a great opportunity to see how you finally play some popular songs on our own instrument and amaze everyone.
No previous musical knowledge is required for this, but this workshop may bring out a little Mozart or Beethoven hidden in you.

Mythbusting Physics (Years 7 & 8 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: Lorna Jarrett, School of Physics, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences

Are you interested in what physics is and how it influences our everyday life? Have you seen things in movies that you suspect are impossible?

Starting with some movie clips, this workshop will look at common misconceptions and physical impossibilities, before getting to grips with the real physics. You will carry out experiments and take part in demonstrations, learn fundamental physics concepts, and work out what the movies ought to have shown.

This very hands-on workshop will focus on two key areas of physics - mechanics and waves. It will help you begin an exciting journey developing the tools necessary to debunk common myths in our society today.

Nerds, Geeks and Fandom

Presenter: Raewyn Campbell, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts

Nerds are everywhere at the moment. You can’t turn on the TV, read a book, watch a film or surf the internet without bumping into a nerd. Whether fictional or not, nerds seem to occupy every and any position in society: from politicians, business magnates, media personalities, to school students, superheroes, super villains, and wizards. More interesting still, nerds are now cool. How did a label that has historically been derided and ridiculed become a sort-after badge of pride and respectability? In this Learning Lab we will investigate how attitudes towards nerds have changed over time by looking at the relationship between content creators, audiences and pop culture fandoms.  

Ocean Engineering (Years 9 & 10 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: Ashley Heath, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science

Do you like designing and building? Do like being around water or the ocean? Well this workshop is for you. In this workshop you'll be working in small groups to designing and build from scratch a remote controlled sailing vessel to carry cargo in a simulated ocean generated by the Universities wave maker. This is an important mission, seeing as 90% of all container goods are moved by ship. But don't worry, we will give you the engineering skills needed to design a sturdy vessel.

In this lab you will learn about the engineering method, hydrodynamics, hydrofoils, structural resonance, balancing forces and torques, wave dynamics and the ocean environments. And naturally you will also have a lot of fun.

Physics - Designing Energy Efficient Buildings (Years 9 & 10 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: Lorna Jarrett, School of Physics, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science

Are you a keen physics student who wants to go beyond the school syllabus to apply physics to today’s real-world problems?

We all need buildings to live, learn and work in - but do our houses, offices and schools have to consume huge amounts of energy in order to be the right temperature, functional and well-lit? Can we save energy without sacrificing our comfort?

In this workshop you will learn the fundamental principles of thermodynamics - one of the three foundations of classical physics. Using computer modelling, hands-on experiments and small-scale models, you will apply these to the problem of keeping buildings cool in summer and warm in winter - while minimising energy use. We will be working at both Wollongong and Innovation campus. Transport will be provided.

Reflections: Digital Portraiture (Year 7 & 8 during 2016 ONLY)

Presenter: Louise Alexander

This workshop is for the visually and/or digitally creative student. Students will be provided with opportunities to develop their understandings of portraiture and expand the range of expressive possibilities available to them in giving meaning to their works. To achieve this, students will be using Photoshop and other digital technologies to recontextualise themselves within a famous artwork/s using either symbolic or actual aspects of their lives. Subject matter will be used to develop new insights into aspects of the their world, address something of personal significance and provide for different levels of meaning. These layers of visual meaning will aesthetically be threaded together to create a contemporary self-portrait that visually decodes aspects of their personal identity. In this sense, their artwork becomes a visual treasure hunt ¬ cleverly including only those things that help to visually communicate their uniqueness within their personalised world. Students artworks will be unique and conceptually and technically resolved.

The Power of Imagination: An Actor in Action

Presenter: Jackson Davis, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts

This practical workshop introduces you to the imagination of the theatrical space. As performers you will begin building those elements key to sustaining yourselves as creative artists: an awareness of the body, engaging with theatrical texts and an appreciation of actively working in an ensemble. Over the two days you’ll be working practically with a series of exercises, games and theatre texts all catered to kick start and maintain your investigation of performance and the theatre medium.



Last reviewed: 5 October, 2016