In Science this term, Year 7s are working on classifications. Students are looking at organisms from each of the five kingdoms including a collection of live microscopic organisms which will arrive early this week. This gives students the chance to master their microscope techniques. The highlight of the term is the visit from Zoo to You, which allows students to really get close to native fauna from a number of classes – birds, reptiles and of course, marsupials.

At this point in the Year 8 Science program students would usually be heading off to visit the Organ Pipes National Park, a basalt rock formation just up the Calder Highway. The decision to not go this year, was about prioritising the health of our students, but it has given us a great opportunity to find creative ways to assess their learning about the rock cycle. Students are using video, video editing and digital publishing to tell news and magazine stories about rock formations and their place in indigenous history and culture. Being able to look beyond the local formation, means students are looking at sedimentary and igneous rock formations across all states from the volcanic plugs called the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland to the Bungle Bungles in Western Australia.

Year 9s have been working at the space between chemistry and physics looking at energy changes. We are so pleased to have them busy with hands-on investigations in the laboratory this year. Year 10s unit on Newtonian motion set them up for a different student designed investigation this year – looking into the forces that occur in collisions and how cars are designed to reduce forces on passengers.

The Year 10 program is a step up in challenge and it gives students good feedback about their strengths looking ahead to subject selection next term. Each year many students apply to accelerate in a science and although there can be reasons to accelerate we also know that subjects are designed to be four-unit studies taken in Year 11 and 12. We warmly encourage all students to get good advice from a variety of sources including their science teachers, especially when it comes to decisions about courses and accelerating. The minimum requirements for acceleration are published in the course guides.

Dr. Susan Long
Science Learning Leader