Paw Lweh Wah with her experiment mixing coloured oil and water. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

A bilingual science fair was held at Catherine McAuley College this week.

Nine students from the English Language Assistance Program gave science presentations in English and Karen.

ELAP teacher Rod Kerr said usually the students make oral presentations within the class.

“But it’s important that the students gain as much experience talking to a variety of audiences,” he said.

“Today the students were out of their comfort zone and they really responded to the challenge.”

Students started with presentations to friends, family and staff in the ELAP classroom.

Live demonstrations of the experiments were very popular. This was followed by in-depth talks, including the scientific method, in both English and Karen.

“The highlight of the day was the sheer excitement of the students and the support they gave each other,” Mr Kerr said.

“It was good to see their families take such an interest and generate so much science talk in Karen and English.”

The program supports students in need of assistance to improve their English language skills and enables them to successfully complete their secondary school studies.

While the focus of the program is language skills, these are developed through engagement in a variety of curriculum areas, such as science.