STEM and Robotics


Year 8 STEM

In Term 2, the Year 8 STEM Elective students programmed a video game or musical instrument in Scratch and designed original game controllers using MaKey MaKey, a USB device that lets them replace the computer keyboard with any object that is conductive.

They developed their understanding of conductivity, design, collaboration, creativity, programming, construction and revising their designs as the went along.

We hope to show these games to a younger class, once we’re back at school.

Last year we showed the games and instruments to two Year 1 classes, who loved playing them.

Here we have Ella W and Ashley B’s racing car game and steering wheel. They also made a virtual guitar that played the real guitar sounds that Ella recorded. 


Science in Motion – Another Fantastic Science Week!

In its sixth year, Science Week at Bialik saw students engaging in a range of activities around the theme of ‘Science in Motion’.

The ELC students investigated how neurons work to help them think and make connections by looking at and touching real brains.

Students in the Primary School got friendly with a variety of Australian animals like Serendipity the baby wallaby, crocodiles and snakes, and learned all about the human body by seeing and touching bones and body parts from different animals. The Year 3 and 5 scientists were amazed by the ‘Big Science Show’, where some brave students helped create a ball of fire!

In the Middle School, students learned the neuroscience behind magic, played with drones and robots, exploded a ball pit with liquid nitrogen, had a scavenger hunt around the school, and connected their Maths and Science skills whilst playing bubble soccer and using the crash carts.

Students from the Senior School honed their Physics skills when they took part in our axe-throwing activity, learned how to protect their brains and battled it out during a domino tower competition.

Throughout the week, students participated in forensics and sport activities, explored virtual reality and hugged some friendly animals during their lunchtimes.

Bialik gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Science Week at Bialik, in memory of Bettie Kornhauser.


Year 4 Monash University Bioeyes Science incursion

The Year 4 students had a Bioeyes incursion to investigate Zebra fish. They are important as they use them for medical research. On day 1, Laura from Monash University came and explained to us we were going to be mating and growing some Zebrafish and we were all really excited.

We got to see the fertilised egg through the microscope – it only took 30 minutes for it to happen! We wrote our scientific observations and drew what we saw. 

On Day 2, when we looked at them they wriggled like worms and every day they grew much bigger.

By Day 4, we could see their hearts beating as they are transparent!

By the end of the five days there were hatched zebrafish swimming around.

It was amazing!

Written by Jesse S, 4C

If you would like further information about Bioeyes and how you can support this projec, please contact Laura Reid (Outreach Education Coordinator.


First Lego League (FLL) Robotics 2019

The Rosenkranz Centre for Excellence and Achievement

Well done to the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Robotics team, including Olivia W, Eliana F, Jaiden K, Nathan S, Joseph Z, Jack R and Shakked F. 

The team competed in the regional FIRST LEGO League competition in Roxburgh Park on Sunday 17 November. Even though it was not Bialik’s first FLL competition, it was the first time competing for all the current team members.

While Bialik’s team did not win this time, it was a quick learning curve. The students’ designs, building and programming got better each time between Rounds 1, 2 and 3. It was a great first experience of an FLL competition for all. The judges loved our team’s description of the research project and were impressed by how much our students had done. 

The students had a great time and were outstanding representatives of Bialik College with their positive attitude, values and teamwork. 


STEM Day for Middle School Focuses on Homelessness

The Years 7, 8 and 9 STEM Day focused on homelessness, understanding what it is, developing empathy and coming up with solutions.

Students heard from a guest speaker who developed the Ask Izzy mobile website to help people experiencing homelessness to find services. They also heard from another speaker who had been homeless before.

The students then worked in various fields, from Human-Centred Design to Support Technologies, Systems Thinking, City Design and they made awareness campaign videos. They worked in teams with members in each portfolio. That way, they were able to share their learning with the rest of their teams so that all benefited from all the workshops.

The day ended with watching the videos and having an expo, in which each team had a wall display of all their designs and solutions. Students visited each other’s teams and took turns at pitching their designs and solutions to each other and the teachers, who donated an amount of ‘Bialik Cash’ that they thought fit the quality of the ideas.

To conclude, gold, silver and bronze medals were given to the teams who raised the most ‘funding’ for their team’s ideas.

It was a rich day of collaboration and learning for all.


Year 5 and 6 Students Make Bialik a Little Bit Greener

During the Year 5 and 6 STEM Day in July, the Carbon Footprint group proposed we plant more trees on the Bialik campus and came up with suggestions for where to plant them.

Four students worked with Simon Gemmill and Pete Jowett to choose trees and plant them.

On October 30, the plans finally came to fruition and the group planted the trees. It was a satisfying outcome after three months’ work. 


Science Talent Search Stars

Congratulations to all the students who submitted entries to the Science Talent Search competition, which took place over the past few months. The following students were awarded bursaries at an award ceremony held on 28 October:

Kiera E, Year 6; Rebecca P, Year 7; Leon P, Year 10; Eden G, Year 9; Vanessa R, Year 9

Eden and Vanessa wrote this account of their experience:

Earlier this year a number of students from the Primary, Middle and Senior Schools began the journey to create a project for the Science Talent Search competition. This is an opportunity for school students of varying ages to express their scientific interests separate from the environment of a classroom.

The theme for this year’s competition was “Destination Moon: More Missions, More Science”. However, each student got to choose the format in which they wanted to present their project. Some students even diverged from the theme to do their own experimental research.

My team decided to stick to the theme and make an animation on moon exploration. Our animation centred around a fictional character, Dr Alex Stephan, and the moon base, M1SS1ON: MOON. He led a tour around the base explaining the purpose of each environment and how it came to be.

Earlier this year, we participated in the Jewish Schools STS Judging day held here, at Bialik College. Here explained our project and its purpose and answered questions from external judges.

In the last few months, all the submissions from across Victoria were assessed by a panel of judges. We were among the 667 other students across Victoria to win a Bursary Award. There were 2327 entries from over 3000 students.

On Monday the 28 October, we joined some other students from Bialik at the award ceremony at La Trobe University, Bundoora. Here we got to see other winning entries as well as explore the vast campus. We also got to hear from an interesting keynote speaker, James Kennedy. He is the author of the well-respected book, Fighting Chemophobia.


Science Fun For Year 1!

Earlier this month, the Year 1 students visited the Science labs to join the Year 8 Science students who were making games using circuits and a program called Makey Makey.

The Year 1 students were filled with so much wonder and excitement that their teachers decided to continue the investigation back in the ELC. Middle School Science teacher, Simon, visited them in their classroom to teach them about the basics of electricity and circuits.

The students are now investigating which materials conduct electricity using the same program as the Year 8 students.






The 8th BrainSTEM’s Innovation Challenge (STEM)


For the past term and a half, a small team of four Year 9 students have been involved in The 8th BrainSTEM’s Innovation Challenge. BrainSTEM is an organisation that connects students with lecturers or PhD students from universities within Melbourne to explore an area of interest. Our students have travelled weekly to Swinburne University in Hawthorn to work with Professor Paul Stoddart to create a solution to a real world problem.

Professor Paul Stoddart is Director of Swinburne’s ARC Training Centre in Biodevices. His research interests include applied optics and biophotonics with projects in the areas of fibre optic sensors, Raman spectroscopy and laser nerve stimulation.

Our students chose to design and create a prototype of a wearable device used to measure ones alertness or wakefulness. They researched, within the laboratories of Swinburne, that through the use of electrodes (gel and dry electrodes, and tiptrodes), we are able to measure brain waves from points at the top and back of the ear. With the use of an app on a smart phones, they plan to analyse this data to measure how tired someone is. Their wearable device was originally to be glasses; however, upon meeting challenges and technical glitches, they re-designed their product to be earphones with dry electrodes embedded into them.

Over the 12-week period our students were guided by Professor Stoddart through all of the stages of design and on Thursday evening last week they presented their research and device at The BrainSTEM Celebration Evening. This presentation, hosted by Swinburne University, was attended by those within the BrainSTEM community as well as university lecturers, parents and friends.

At the start of Term 3 we will be inviting Year 9 students to join the 9th Innovation Challenge. Students interested should contact Caity Faiman via email [email protected] .


Robotics Fun With The Boroondara Gifted Network

On Tuesday 11 June, Bialik hosted a full-day Coding Workshop as part of the Boroondara Gifted Network. Students from Bialik and neighbouring schools were able to interact with and code for autonomous companion robots, using text and block coding languages. The focus of the day was on building interactions between companion robots (such as MiRo and NAO) and humans.