The Immersive Day at USC Sippy Downs is designed to involve you in a range of activities and demonstrations that will enhance your understanding of the interactive nature of systems within the human body: hence the module’s name : The Sum of Our Parts.

You will be guided through a series of hands-on activities by USC STEM students: people who have a specialisation in one or more of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Take this valuable opportunity to talk to your group leader. Ask them about their pathway to STEM, the jobs they have had, or why they chose to study a STEM discipline. They might be able to guide you towards a STEM mentor on the Sunshine Coast, or elsewhere in the world, such is the depth of their collective knowledge and experience.

Remember, you only get as good as you give, so get involved, get excited, get busy.

Goals of the Young Scholars Project

  • Encourage students to develop skills in the process of inquiry, critical thinking, discerning quality research literature
  • Inspire and challenge students to extend their learning in Science
  • Promote a critical and an action-based approach to problem solving and design thinking
  • Encourage students to consider vital questions that are not only based in Biological Science, but also directly impact upon their own health and well-being
  • Promote collaboration between USC and local secondary schools



  • You will visit the Paramedics Hub, where you will encounter a simulation involving an illegal susbtance overdose. An emergency is now in play.
  • Prof. Bill Lord and USC Paramedicine academics will talk students through the scenario and explain the biological processes that are going on inside the body and how their intervention reverses the process.

Systems Interacting

  • You will experience a larger-than-life 3D overview of the interaction of the circulatory and respiratory systems in the USC Visualisation Studio (Cave 2).
  • This activity will be facilitated by 2D/3D designer, Simon Orsborn and PhD candidate (Sport and Exercise Science), Angela Hinz.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  • An interactive workshop where PhD candidate(Chemistry)Danny Meloncelli will help you to start thinking critically when you research for school assignments. The take home message is the value of critical thinking and its importance in study at school and beyond.

Incredible Biotech

  • Associate Professor Joanne Macdonald and her team will lead you though a rapid detection test that has been developed by global leaders in mosquito-borne virus detection. You will experience the incredible speed at which diagnostics work in 2018.

After-Lunch in the Lab

A whole cohort Lab investigation will take place in the USC Teaching Labs with PhD candidate Beth Brunton. You will move through a series of tests including Spirometry and blood pressure, recording your biostatistics and gaining valuable experience in using state-of-the-art data logging software.

Reflective/ Brainstorming session

You will return to your small groups and take part in a reflective/brainstorming discussion. You will reflect upon on your experiences during the day and explore the link between your Biology studies and your own lives: how can your knowledge of Biology improve your lives and those around you (friends, family, the greater community, global community). This segues into a discussion about pathways to STEM study and careers.

Available learning resources

Young Scholars Project website ( )

The website has been created as a place you can return to in the future to find tips and hints on research and referencing, teamwork and presentation skills, and careers in a STEM-related field.

Research signposts

We have put together a Research Resource Guide for each of the systems that have been investigated within the Young Scholars Project over the past three years. Go to the webpage and click on the links to these stimulus questions and guides.

Referencing and Research Skills

These tip sheets contain vital information on:

  • how to approach the research process (where to start, planning your response, what resources to use)
  • how to accurately reference your research findings

Teamwork Tips

Teamwork Tips will alert you to the common highs and lows encountered by anyone who is required to present as part of team. It will show you how to enhance the highs and lessen the lows.

Pathways to a STEM career

Perhaps you are considering a future in STEM-related career. Take a look at this tab to get some information and hints on what a career in STEM may look like for you.