Clare’s affinity towards science and tennis rewarded

St Clare teacher Mrs. Natalie Hastings and student Clare Rosin

A love of tennis and a keen interest in science came together when Clare Rosin from St Clare’s College, Griffith won the Affinity Award at the Catholic Schools Cultural Festival and Recognition Awards.

The Affinity Award, awarded for achievements in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) was the first award announced on the night, and while Clare received advance notice that she’d won, she was still busting with excitement when her name was called out.

“I just felt really happy,” she remembers.

“I’ve never received anything like this before. My sister’s always getting these awards and stuff, so it meant a lot.”

Clare had submitted a project as part of the CSIRO Blue CREST award. The Blue CREST program is a non-competitive activity which encourages student success through the development of skills and processes. It allows students to choose, organise and undertake their own open-ended science project.

The Question that Clare, a keen tennis player, investigated was “How high does a tennis ball bounce on different surfaces?” She designed an experiment that tested the bounce height of a tennis ball on grass, wood, concrete and carpet. She then related her findings to her research on gravity, gravitational potential energy and energy transfer. She was able to come to the conclusion that a tennis ball will bounce much higher on a harder surface than a softer surface.

Clare’s teacher, Natalie Hastings, explained that students needed to design their own question to test for the Blue CREST Award, and it just needed to be a physics question as the class was studying physics.

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“We studied friction, gravity, air resistance, magnetism, electrostatics, and Clare decided to go with friction,” Mrs Hastings said.

“But Clare also went into more depth than what she’d learnt in Year 7. She explained a lot of concepts in there, so it was very impressive.”

Mrs Hastings, who teaches general science and senior biology, said she was very proud of St Clare’s promotion of STEM studies.

“We have made STEM very accessible,” she said.

“There are so many projects that the students are participating in. There’s lots of robotics at the moment, we’ve got the engineering games coming up, and then the CREST Awards. We only started the CREST Awards last year with Year 7 doing the Blue Crest, but this year we’ve also got Year 8 doing the Bronze Crest.”

Also a big fan of St Clare’s support of STEM, Clare is a walking advertisement for the College. There’s a lot that she likes about the place and she’s happy to pass that on.

“There’s a lot of clubs here that you can go to, like there’s a science club, sports clubs, lots of different interests. And the staff are very helpful and support your strengths,” Clare said.

“That’s good for me because I really like things like Maths… straight forward things. I’m mostly sciency and mathsy.”

And as someone who likes straight forward things, Clare also sees her future in straightforward terms.

“When I’m older, I want to become an anesthetist,” she said.

“It’s involved in science, and you get to help people as well.

“And apparently it pays well.”

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And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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