Last weekend four CERES teachers packed up the energy classroom and many gardening resources and set out on the road to Maryborough, central Victoria, for one of the largest science, technology and education events for schools in Australia, the RACV Energy Breakthrough.
The main feature of the four-day Energy Breakthrough event is a series of Human Powered Vehicle and Hybrid Vehicle races. Around 8000 students from competing schools across Australia take to the racetrack, with teams of students working hard throughout the year to create a vehicle to race on tracks constructed each year around Princess Park in the heart of Maryborough. Each year the town is completely taken over by the event, which includes temporary campsites, marquees, racetracks, fairground rides, and food stalls.
Now in it’s 24th year, RACV Energy Breakthrough is bigger than ever and offers many other attractions including the Energy Expo, electric vehicle demonstrations, technology workshops, a ‘junkyard challenge’ and many more. As a community partner, CERES was invited to present a range of participatory activities and to exhibit our interactive education resources at the Energy Expo.
Participating students, teachers and the local community were keen to explore all that was on offer and CERES teachers Julia Roebuck and Alex Hoffman enjoyed meeting so many visitors who were already familiar with CERES education. The gardening exhibit within the Energy Expo included a Plant A Seedling activity, with information about CERES Fair Food also provided and images of the farm and market displayed. Students and adults alike were keen to make their own newspaper plant pot and take a seedling home for their own garden. Thanks to the hard work of the CERES propagation team we were able to offer an attractive selection of healthy basil, watermelon, lettuce, cucumber and beetroot seedlings to inspire the attendees to add to their edible gardens at home. The other CERES table within the Energy Expo focused on renewable energy at CERES, electric vehicles, and energy consumption of electrical appliances in the home. The Make A Paper Windmill activity was a popular craft activity, whilst other students enjoyed getting hands-on with our renewable energy gadgets. In a few cases this experience helped to provide inspiration for the young engineers who were already planning next years vehicle!
Education manager Shane French and Energy programs manager Ian Culbard delivered a range of participatory activities for students and staff outside the Energy Expo marquee, including Transport Timeline, Car Bag, The CO2 Game and Carbon Monitoring.
CERES education joined with RACV as a community partner to widen our opportunity to reach a larger schools audience around Victoria