Modern life is increasingly supported by a range of highly complex systems that often we are barely aware of as they operate in the background of our lives. We ride in planes taking for granted the monitoring and control systems that allow navigation and avoid collisions, technology allows us to withdraw our money from machines around the world and our phones predict what we are going to type next. Students working in the Order from Chaos Central Study have chosen a complex system to investigate from a multi-disciplinary perspective, needing to examine how the system affects and interacts with humanity, how it can be represented mathematically and graphically and what elements of scientific research are related to the system. The work will culminate in a multi-faceted report due on Monday 18 June.
Central Studies at the ASMS are designed to have both overt and subtle links and many students have drawn inspiration for their investigation from ideas explored in developing their product ideas in 3Ds or from their camp experiences in Biodiversity. Being part of the Naracoorte camp a few weeks ago will be one of the highlights of my year. We were able to expose students to a multi-disciplined exploration of both the present ecosystems and those from the past evidenced in the fossil record. The park ranger, resource management personnel, palaeontologists and a representative from the Indigenous community provided students with rich insights into an area that has global significance both in terms of the mega fauna fossil remains accessible via the cave systems and as a staging area for many endangered migratory bird species that travel thousands of kilometers to feed and breed in the remaining wetlands. Truly a highly complex system with a myriad of stakeholders.