The Wheatbelt Science Forum was held in Wongan Hills on August 18 and 19th, bringing together students, educators, and science professionals from the wheatbelt and beyond.

In a surprise announcement, Prof. Lyn Beazley AO was given the title of patron of the Wheatbelt Science Forum at the opening in Wongan Hills.  On receiving a plaque from Ms Alison Ramm, Regional Executive Director, Wheatbelt Education Region, and Mr Velu Ramasamy, Forum Coordinator, Prof Beazley said she was honoured to receive the title. “I’m thrilled to be back here. I’d like to say my congratulations to everyone involved in putting this forum together, particularly Velu.”There were several addresses at the forum opening. Mrs Tracy De Grussa conducted an inspiring welcome to Ballardong Noongar country and spoke of the traditional six seasons, indicated by changes in the land. “We all walk on sacred ground and if we do not look after our earth we will all suffer” she said. “During our lifetime we are only passing through. We need to leave our land in good health so whoever comes after us can enjoy what mother earth has given for us to survive”.Ilona Jachmann, Inland Lighthouse Network Principal, acknowledged the amount of work that had gone in to producing the forum with 19 principals committed to making this happen. Some students come from very small schools with only one or two students in their year group. However the network, and events like the forum, ensure they receive a range of opportunities”.

Ms Alison Ramm, Regional Executive Director, Wheatbelt Education Region, challenged the students to imagine what the jobs of the future might look like. “The way we will do jobs will be different,” she explained, before highlighting the need to focus on STEM for students, teachers and principals. “But becoming brainy in science isn’t enough. The great thing about today is not just the fun science activities but that you can practice your skills of communicating and working well together.”

Following the presentation, students were able to participate in a range of workshops covering cardiology, robotics, digital technology, gaming, agriculture and much more. This was the second forum presented by the Inland Lighthouse School Network.