The Wondering and Wandering through Curious Minds after-school course has begun, with gifted girls of various ages and from schools all over Perth inquiring and investigating the big questions they are curious about.
Year 4 student, Sophie, loves cats and is intrigued by their intelligence, behaviour and personality so asked the question “what are cats really thinking?”. Since asking her big question, Sophie has considered further questions about cats:
- Does the way a cat looks at you tell you something?
- Do their ideas affect their newborns?
- Do traits pass through cat generations? How? Why?
- How do different breeds of cats affect their habitats?
- Do male and female cats demonstrate different behaviours?
Year 5 student, Scarlett, is exploring the question “what if there was no ozone layer?”. Her curiosity stems from her intense interest in Science and the world around us. In a previous Imaginarium after-school course, Scarlett’s curiosity led her to explore black holes in our universe. While considering her question, Scarlett pondered further, “how was the ozone layer formed and what caused this to happen?”, “what is in the ozone layer?” and “why would having no ozone layer be a problem?”. Scarlett found the ozone layer is thinner over Australia, and created an app with her findings, developing new digital technology skills in the process.
Year 3 student, Milla, started the Imaginarium course with an abundance of questions from “why do we read horror stories?” to “what if people were 2D?” and “what if we didn’t grow up?”. Following deep reflection about what she would like to explore further, Milla decided to investigate why someone tried to slash the famous Mona Lisa painting. She considered if the Mona Lisa painting is the most famous painting in the world, and why. She also asked why the Mona Lisa has so much protection, whether many people were jealous of the painting and who the creator was. As part of her investigation, Milla painted a replica to explore the technique of portrait painting and created figurines that portray the information she has acquired through researching her questions.
Year 2 student, Abigail, also commenced the course with an abundance of questions from “what if the environment could change?” to “why do some people call some colours boy colours and some girl colours?”. Abigail, who is intensely interested in giraffes, especially the albino giraffe, decided to ask if you could make a giraffe out of boxes. She created a design, labelled its features, identified the materials she would need and has constructed the shape of her giraffe. Throughout the journey, Abigail has applied creative thinking and considered many physical aspects of the giraffe.
Year 4 student, Chloe, is curious about the existence of Megalodons. She is also interested in black holes and whether the sun would turn into a black hole because of a super-nova. Chloe asked, “if the Megalodon does exist, would it live in the deepest part of the sea, the Mariana Trench?”. As part of her investigation, Chloe created a painting of a Megalodon appearing in a wave with the sun turning into a black hole in the distance and has written a story exploring some imaginary adventures of the Megalodon.
Year 2 student, Kenzie, loves painting, animals and using Lego. She considered many questions she was curious about like “why is the earth so hot in the middle?”, “why do trees help us breathe?” and “how would people move if they didn’t have a brain?”. Kenzie decided to explore the question, “why do cats hunt?”, supporting this with smaller questions such as “why do panthers have claws?”, “why do lionesses do the hunting?” and “why do tigers have stripes?”. She has created a habitat for wild cats out of maker and craft materials to present all the different kinds of big cats, how dangerous they are, and how hard it is to catch them.
Year 1 student, Elise, started the course with an abundance of questions from “why can fish breathe under water?” to “why is the moon able to shine when the sun can?” and “what if dogs could live for 69 years?”. She decided to explore the question, “if things are certain shapes, what happens when we change their shape? Can they still be useful?” Elise drew a range of different things to explore their shapes, including eggs, a ball, a tree, a card game, the school crest, the sun, a butterfly, a vase… Elise decided to investigate if a turtle’s shell could be changed from an oval shape to a rectangular shape. She considered why turtles need shells and designed and created a new shaped shell for a turtle.
Year 3 student, Ari, has been participating in Imaginarium courses for two years. She is intensely passionate about animals and she recently gained a new pet a few months ago – a blue tongue lizard. As part of her project, Ari decided to explore some of her pet’s features she was curious about, questioning why blue tongue lizards do not have opposable thumbs. She further inquired, “why do lizards have blue tongues?”, “why do blue tongue lizards need light?” and “why do lizards have scales?”. Ari has researched the answers to these questions and created a habitat for her pet to travel in when she brings him to school for news. She has also created information cards and a chatterbox to help others learn more about her unique pet.
Year 5 student, Chloe, is passionate about space and wants to become an astro physicist. She would like to work for NASA, studying planets to see if they have/had oceans, determining if there is another planet in the same position as Earth but with a different star, and exploring if there are other life forms. Chloe came into Imaginarium with an array of questions from “what if aliens are real?” to “what if there is a multiverse?”. She chose to explore the question, “what if there could be lifeforms on Venus millions of years ago?” and is currently immersed in a deep world of information, excitedly telling us about the new understandings as they evolve.
Year 6 student, Scarlett, loves to be creative, solve problems and is passionate about her schoolwork. Scarlett brainstormed many questions she was curious about from “what if humans didn’t evolve to have hands?” to “what if there was another type of humankind?”. She eventually refined her thoughts down to the question, “what if there were no humans on Earth?”. Scarlett created a series of art pieces using different textiles to consider what the world would look like, and created sub questions to guide her inquiry:
- Would the Earth be a better place?
- Would many extinct animals still be alive?
- If they came back suddenly, what effect would it play on the world?
- What would creatures look if they evolved differently?