MLC School’s New State of the Art Senior Centre plays host to Science Conference

Seventy Science delegates representing 50 independent schools across New South Wales gathered at MLC School Sydney for the Australian Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW) Science Conference on Friday 9 August 2019. Chosen by AISNSW for its new state-of-the-art Science laboratories and large open spaces, the new Senior Centre at MLC School seemed the ideal location to share best practice, collaborate on ideas, discuss the futures of Scientific research and STEM education, and focus on new technologies that are used in Science teaching and learning.

The conference will feature Keynote Speaker, Dr Will Jorgensen, a young chemist who is designing neurological medications that could reduce the agony of nerve pain for one in 20 Australians that currently suffer from chronic pain.

Dr Jorgensen is a recipient of the 2019 NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship and A NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, and he understands the need for more students to be taking up Science in the senior years of high school.

“Students today will have the technology to solve some of the greatest problems that we are currently facing – global warming, fossil fuel shortages. They’re going to be the ones who are solving these problems and if they know that these are the opportunities to really make a name for themselves. Why wouldn’t they be excited?” he says.

The theme of the AISNSW Conference 2019 is ‘Infinity and Beyond’. Teachers will have the opportunity to attend many interesting sessions with highly accomplished presenters. Associate Professor Wan Ng, Director of the STEM Education Futures Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) will be presenting on ‘Real World Problems are Interdisciplinary: A Case for Integrated STEM Education in Schools?’, Dr Lauren McKnight from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research will be presenting ‘Investigating Genetic Technologies, DNA & Disease in HSC Biology, and MLC School’s Assistant Head of Science, Ms Mora Soliman, will be presenting ‘Modelling in Science’.

Science has a long important history at MLC School. In 1924, MLC School built its first Science Lab, were early adopters of Physics and Chemistry into the curriculum, and the first school in the State to present girls for the Leaving Certificate in Physics. There is also a long list of MLC Old Girls who have become notable Scientists. Two of those Scientists include Dr Liz Dennis (1960), eminent plant molecular biologist and PhD graduate from the University of Sydney, received a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 2019 Australia Day Honours List ‘For eminent service to science as a researcher andacademic in the area of genomics and plant development, and to professional organisations’, and Professor Elizabeth New (2000), a member of The University of Sydney Nano Institute, who won the 2018 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science.

MLC School’s Principal, Ms Lisa Moloney, also began her educational career as a Science teacher and spent time in the USA running the Centre of Science and Industry (COSI), which is one of the country’s leading Science museums. Ms Moloney said “We welcome AISNSW to share our magnificent new facilities in the Senior Centre. MLC School is committed to providing our girls with the highest quality Science education, so they can become leading women in the Scientific fields of endeavour”.

Ref: Science in the Spotlight. Retrieved from AISNSW