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GTCASA Youth Workshop 2017

Gifted and Talented Children's Association of South Australia

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Friday, July 21, 2017 at 4:00 PM (ACST)

GTCASA Youth Workshop 2017

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Early Bird ticket - all sessions   more info 100 Tickets Not Started A$205.00 A$10.22
Standard ticket - all sessions   more info 100 Tickets Not Started A$250.00 A$12.24
Wednesday afternoon only 50 Tickets Not Started A$35.00 A$2.57
Thursday afternoon only 50 Tickets Not Started A$35.00 A$2.57
Friday afternoon only 50 Tickets Not Started A$35.00 A$2.57

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Event Details

The Gifted and Talented Children's Association of South Australia organises events to aid the intellectual, emotional and social development of the gifted children of South Australia.

The GTCASA youth workshop is a learning experience at Flinders University designed for intellectually gifted school age students in school years 8,9 and 10. It is held annually.

This workshop introduces gifted school age students to a University learning experience, and features a choice of subjects presented by University staff and world experts. There is a discount code for country schools, and a discount code for GTCASA members and member schools. If you are eligible, please contact GTCASA for the discount codes.


Who is this event intended for?

Intellectually gifted school age students in years 8, 9 and 10.

Do students need a formal assessment for giftedness to attend?

No, just a referral by school or parent is required.

Do students get to choose their learning?

Yes! There are a number of workshops to choose from in each of 4 sessions:

Morning sessions, Middle sessions, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday afternoon.

Choose from the list of abstracts

The Abstracts can be found at the end of the FAQ

How is the workshop structured?

There are subjects that run over 3 days, and some subjects are stand alone for an afternoon session.

Do we have to enrol for the entire 3 days?

No. You can choose to enrol for all sessions over 3 days (Standard ticket), or any of the afternoon sessions separately.

What can/can't students bring to the event?

Students need to bring lunch and recess to the event. Students can't bring any food with nuts in it.

What about bringing electronics?

Use of personal electronics during the event is strongly discouraged, so laptops and tablets should not be brought. A phone can be brought for emergency use. During free time, students are encouaged to take the opportunity to meet and socialise with like-minded peers from other schools.

Can I update registration information?


 Why is it not in school holidays this year?

It needs to be held during the Flinders mid-Semester break, which doesn't align with school holidays this year.



MORNING SESSIONS, 930-1100 (Pick One)

Simulation and Serious Games with Marissa Bond and Ryan Hodson

What are serious games? Find out how computer games can be used to improve people’s health and education, and work with a teammate to build your own ‘serious game’. (Max 20)

Tricking the eye with Associate Professor Amy Hamilton

Creating illusory artworks using a variety of methods to trick the viewer into ‘seeing’ impossible images. Participants will explore techniques such as drawing impossible shapes and scenes, and using perspective, tone and colour to create false viewpoints in street art. (Max xx)

Space with Dr Michael Southcott

An open ended primer on space across 3 sessions, with preparation recommended.

Space Travel. Beforehand: Discover what interests you about Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton, and share your discoveries. Come with questions on orbits, transfer orbits, launch sites, cycler orbits, Lagrange points. We will introduce online resource for further discoveries at home.

Space Engineering. A primer on engineering process and system engineering. Discussion of challenges and hazards in space. An introduction to International Space Station, and the telemetry.

Cosmology. Beforehand: Discover things that interest you about pioneers in astrophysics. Who were Ejnar Hertzsprung, Henry Russell, Edwin Hubble, Fred Hoyle, Arno Penzias, Robert Wilson, Chandrasekar and Fowler, but especially Jocelyn Bell. How did pigeon poo help the Big Bang Theory? Some open questions in cosmology.

Optimisation with Dr Andrew Gill

Optimisation is the process of determining the best course of action while satisfying certain given constraints. Often, best relates to money where the objective is to maximise profits (or minimise costs), so business and industry have a vested interest in optimisation, where even a 1% improvement can translate into millions of dollars. Typical real-world optimisation problems involve hundreds, if not thousands, of variables and constraints, and the number of possible courses of action is exponentially large. However, mathematical methods have been developed to help step through this numbers maze to find the best solution. In the first workshop students will tackle the problem of maximising the area of different shapes with a fixed perimeter, while in the second workshop they will solve a production problem using little more than straight lines, and in the final workshop they will solve a transportation problem with something that resembles Sudoku!

MIDDLE SESSIONS, 1130-1300 (Pick one)

Physics, Chemistry and Science Communication with Nathan O’Brien

Potato Plastic: Saving the planet can be a big responsibility, but who says scientists can’t have some fun along the way? Join in on the fun by polymerising biodegradable plastic out of potato starch.

Science Communication: Science is constantly pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and capabilities, but is there a limit to how far we should push? You will discuss, investigate and evaluate an ethical situation from science.

Climate Science: Climate scientists apply their understanding of chemistry and physics to global models in order to understand and predict conditions around the world. Using modelling software you will explore the physical and chemical nature of our global climate. (Max 20)

Animals, Biotechnology and Marine Biology with Vanya Bosiocic

Animal Adaptations: Learn about the evolution and how natural selection resulted in adaptations that have allowed animals to exist in a range of environments. This workshop will include hands on activities where you will get to observe animals and analyse what adaptations allowed them to survive and be competitive.

Biotechnology: Investigate how biotechnologists use principles of biology and chemistry to help answer problems in our professional world. This workshop will look at using biotechnology in agricultural science to maximise output in the wine industry.

Marine Biology: Students will get the opportunity to identify and discover various invertebrates, and consider aspects such as how their body plan suits their function. (Max 22)

Creative Writing with Dr Andrew Miller

Human beings are storytellers. We tell stories to make sense of our lives and to have fun with our friends. We also tell stories to build personal identities and to foster relationships with others. Sometimes we make up stories to entertain or captivate. This workshop will explore techniques writers use to create evocative stories, including plot development, appealing to the senses, writing dialogue, and creating characters. Students will not only write short pieces but also share them with their peers. (maximum 24 places)

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, 1400-1600 (Pick one)

Robot Sumo! with Robogals

Build and program LEGO Mindstorm robots and battle it out: sumo style! You'll assemble your very own robot warrior from Lego and send it out into the challenge ring. A must-do for anyone curious about a career in computer science or engineering. Who will be the robot sumo champion? (max xx places)

Bacon Pi with Dr Michael Southcott

An open-ended journey of imagination into ancient history to discover the fascinating back-story behind Pi, followed by a journey through the ages to understand how scientific method evolved, and its power. Well suited to everyone, including those who don’t consider themselves lovers of maths and science. Yet.


THURSDAY AFTERNOON, 1400-1600 (Pick one)

Engineering a better human body with Assoc. Professor John Costi

Biomedical Engineering combines and merges science and engineering principles, technology and innovation with health sciences and medicine, to produce devices or outcomes that benefit people – us! This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the field of Biomedical Engineering and examples of typical devices and applications from Australia and around the world. A particular focus will be on biomechanics of natural and artificial human joints. You will have an opportunity to understand how our bones and tissues behave during loading, why they can fail and how artificial joint replacements (e.g. knee or hip joints) are developed. We will also look at how we test and replicate human movement with a novel one-of-a-kind robot, where we will consider how to design this testing system. Finally, you will have the opportunity to visit a

biomechanics research laboratory and see this incredible robot in action! (maximum 24 places)

Low-carbon mobility with Associate Professor Peter Pudney

Most transport is powered by fossil fuels. This is becoming increasingly unsustainable. Electric vehicles are a viable alternative, but will they reduce CO2 emissions if we continue to generate our electricity from fossil fuels? Can our electricity networks cope with electric vehicles?

The energy required to push a 1500 kg electric car along the road is the same as the energy required for a 1500 kg petrol car. Reducing the mass of vehicles is a good way to reduce the energy requirements for mobility. How light could a car be?

This workshop will demonstrate Trev, a two-seater electric vehicle that was driven 28000 km around the world using only $400 worth of electricity.

Saving the world and feeding the planet with Dr Tim March, Dr Caitlin Byrt, Dr Laura Davies and Dr Vinay Pagay

The world needs to dramatically increase food production for the future and you can help. We are figuring out how plants create and use energy in order to improve plant performance for agriculture. One challenge is to increase the salt and drought tolerance of crops such as wheat and barley. Much of our agricultural land is saline and water is limited which restricts grain yields. Our management of agricultural resources in the future will have a huge impact on food security and on our resilience to the impacts of climate change. Your brains are needed to help create solutions. Find out what is involved in developing better plant genetic resources for the future!


Plant-parasitic nematodes: Explore the hidden world of plant parasites and discover how nematodes that are invisible to the eye can flatten banana plantations and cause carrots to grow legs. We will investigate how molecular biology and genetic engineering can be used to create plants that control parasites in novel ways, such as plants producing proteins that stick to the nematode's brain, and help ensure we can feed the increasing global population.


Friday Afternoon 1430-1530

Plenary session: Gravity Speaks with Professor Peter Veitch

It’s likely the most important scientific advance of our lifetimes. The recent detection of gravitational waves, emanating from a cataclysmic collision of two black holes around 1.3 billion years ago, has rewritten our concept of the universe.

The discovery, made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)—an international collaboration involving 90 universities, within which the University of Adelaide plays a significant role—is a technological triumph; beyond what even Einstein, who first predicted the waves’ existence, imagined possible.

In this truly awe-inspiring presentation the University’s LIGO team leader will explain how gravitational waves will allow humanity to eavesdrop, for the first time, on the dark, violent side of the universe, and explore the secrets that might be revealed.

Professor Peter Veitch is Head of Physics at the University of Adelaide. He is a founding member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), a member of the LSC Council, a Councillor of the Australian Optical Society, and Fellow of the Optical Society of America.

Have questions about GTCASA Youth Workshop 2017? Contact Gifted and Talented Children's Association of South Australia

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When & Where

SILC Building, Flinders University
Flinders University, Building 52, Park 9
Physical Sciences Road
Bedford Park, SA 5042

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM - Friday, July 21, 2017 at 4:00 PM (ACST)

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Gifted and Talented Children's Association of South Australia

GTCASA is a not-fot-profit whose mission is to facilitate the intellectual, social and emotional development of the gifted children of South Australia. GTCASA organises educational events for children, and those who care for them.

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