Head of Science
It’s not often one has the chance to be in the presence of someone who has pushed scientific understanding to a new level, so it was a real privilege for our senior Physics students to share an ‘Evening with Brian Greene’. He rose to fame by explaining properties of the Universe using String Theory and has, along with that other scientist named Brian (Cox), been responsible for making theoretical physics accessible to the general public and popularizing Science. Some of his thoughts on Science appear in this report.
The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers.
Experiential learning and connecting with the environment and scientific community is a valuable way of making Science relevant. Year 11 Biology and Senior Science students worked together to study a ‘Local Ecosystem’ at Bantry Bay and Year 8 studied the Long Reef Rock platform. In term 4, Year 9 students will have the chance to attend the Girls in Science Forum at UNSW which provides students with the opportunity to join a discussion with the L’Oréal for Women in Science Fellows. Places are limited, with the students to be chosen from the best responses to a simple competition. Details of how to apply will be released shortly.
As every parent knows, children begin life as uninhibited, unabashed explorers of the unknown. From the time we can walk and talk, we want to know what things are and how they work – we begin life as little scientists.
23 students have joined the Science Club run by Ms Sonia Solo, spending their Thursday afternoons experimenting and designing investigations that extend upon their class work. They did a fantastic job of designing, organising and presenting a Science Week Program of activities including cake stall, Robot race, quizzes, demonstration in the quad and the Year 8 Toy Fair showcasing the fantastic student work.
The ICAS Science Competition has been completed by 236 students including all Year 7. This tested scientific reasoning and problem solving at a challenging level and gives students in-depth feedback. Charlotte Duff-Clarke achieved a high distinction placing her in the top 1% of the state, a further 16 students achieved distinctions and 62 achieved credits.
When kids look up to great scientists the way they do to great musicians and actors, civilization will jump to the next level.
We have been excited by the announcement of new HSC syllabuses for Biology, Chemistry and Physics and two brand new courses. The biggest change is the inclusion of Depth Studies in all courses, which will enable students to investigate an area of interest over an extended period of time. Investigating Science is replacing Senior Science and will allow students to experience what scientists do rather than just learn about it. All Year 7 – 9 students should be considering this course which is designed to be studied at a range of levels and will be beneficial for students with ambitions as diverse as research scientist to journalist or primary school teacher that want a better understanding of Science to support their careers. An Extension Science Course for Year 12 has been announced to begin in 2018 and we eagerly anticipate more details due at the beginning of 2017.
Mr David Little
Head of Science