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Over the school holidays, we hosted a two-day Explorology course where participants were able to delve into an array of complex themes with interactive technologies and conduct experiments in a laboratory.

Participants explored the solar system through an interactive 360-degree tour using simulation software, wondering through the extremophiles, and considering what they know and what could possibly survive in the unique and harsh conditions found in space.

Dr Ellen Fortini contributed her expert knowledge to facilitate each session, stimulating each participant to explore concepts they were curious about. She challenged them to consider the ethical and biological considerations integral to conducting experiments that lead scientists to new findings.

Woodside Energy Senior Petroleum Engineer, Kathryn Levey, also gave a fascinating presentation to participants on the exploration of resources, which prompted plenty of curious questions about the environmental challenges engineers encounter.

Participants also took part in hands-on investigations simulating the drilling of an oil and gas reservoir demonstrating the layers of rock, sea creatures, seismic survey, extreme pressure and temperature.

Imala said her favourite part about the incursion was “learning about a new job”.

“I also really enjoyed programming the robots and thinking about how we could use them in a job like Mrs Levey’s,” she said.

“I can’t wait to tell my friends about the experiments I did.”

Zoe said she liked the presentation and the oil-finding investigation.

“I also really enjoyed exploring the stars and galaxies in our solar system using the interactive program,” she said.

Frederique said she “couldn’t wait” to do more similar activities in the future.

“I found the incursion interesting as I didn’t realise how dangerous drilling for oil was,” she said.

“The experiments in the lab were also a highlight.”

“I enjoyed being able to do great things with my mind,” Katarina added.

Parents also had plenty of positive feedback following the course.

“The Imaginarium captivates, challenges and stretches my daughter. It opens her mind and builds her passion for learning,” one parent said.

“Teaching critical thinking was a standout,” another parent added.