NYRSTAR Hobart recently donated lab equipment to the Jordan River Learning Federation (JRLF) Senior School to help students engage with science subjects and to ensure excess equipment is put to valuable re-use in a school environment.
Rather than just deliver the equipment, Nyrstar employees visited the school to observe and assist students conduct a lab experiment as a fun classroom activity. The students participated in a small competition based on a titration experiment dubbed the ‘Titration Off’ on the day.
Students were chosen to participate based on their genuine interest in science.
According to science teacher, Heather Waugh, the students were chosen to participate in different ways.
“They were selected based on our assessment that they currently work hard in science, are really good at science or are showing great improvement in the subject,” Heather said.
Among the Nyrstar team was Dr Emma Eaton, a former JRLF student. Emma grew up in the area and attended the JRLF Senior School before going on to UTAS and becoming a research scientist.
“I am very proud of being a student here and hope I can demonstrate it doesn’t matter where you grow up or which school you have been to, if you have a goal it is always possible to achieve the path you want to take,” Emma said.
JRLF Senior School wants to partner with Nyrstar to have Dr Emma Eaton become the school’s STEM ambassador. The school is trying to emphasise the value of aspiration with learners and wants to followup this recent visit with an industry tour of Nyrstar before the end of term.
“Science unlocks a way to think about improvement opportunities and problems,” said Nyrstar Hobart technical manager Graham Reynolds.
“It’s applicable to any situation. It’s great to see students engaging with sciences. We need them for the future, to help improve Tasmania and Australia.”
Nyrstar’s stakeholder engagement principal, Caley Pearce said the company was committed to developing strong relationships within the local community and in Tasmania more broadly.
“Building awareness of who we are and what we do at the ‘zinc works’ is really important to our future. Today’s students have the potential to be our next workforce. We’ve been operating in Hobart for more than 100 years, and we want the community to benefit from our presence,” Caley said.
Welcoming the collaboration, Heather Waugh said the connection allowed students to explore local jobs in science, which could inspire them to potentially choose a science-based pathway in future studies.
“We are hopeful this is just the beginning of a great partnership between Nyrstar and JRLF Senior School. We are hugely grateful for the connection and donation of equipment,”Heather said.