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If you were to peek into the Science Rooms at the moment it would at first appear to be chaotic. However, in this chaos, there is the beautiful hum of busy students expressing their learning through their own investigations.

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During Term 4 all of the MYP students have set about applying their skills and knowledge in undertaking their own investigations. These investigations require the students to first think of a Research Question in one of the areas of science; Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Environmental Science. Students then write their method, complete the experiment and collect data that is then discussed and the investigation evaluated.

For our students in Year 7 and 8, these investigations will culminate in an exhibition and celebration of their work in late November. For our Year 9 and 10 students, these investigations will culminate in a mini Internal Assessment, thereby readying them for writing Internal Assessment tasks for science when they complete their Diploma Program studies.

During Term 3, the MYP students completed their final lessons of the structured curriculum and skill acquisition ready for Term 4. Term three also brought about some excitement with a number of our students participating in the International Chemistry Quiz. Being an international quiz, it meant that our students were among many participants across the globe with certificates being issued to those students that achieved results above 70%. So, it was very exciting when the news reached our school that some of our students had been awarded certificates. Every student has achieved a Certificate of Participation, and we would like to congratulate and celebrate the following students:

  • Zac Beamsley (Year 8) – Certificate of High Distinction. (90% and above)
  • Manny (Year 10) – Certificate of Distinction. (80-90%)
  • Hamish Wass (Year 8) – Certificate of Credit. (70-80%)
  • Jacquest Hewitt (Year 10) – Certificate of Credit. (70-80%)

Our Diploma Program students have also been working really hard. The Year 12’s have now entered the exam period after a flurry of submissions for their Internal Assessments and they should all be congratulated for the hard work that went into these. 

At the conclusion of their exams, our Year 11 students will participate in the Group 4 project. This project entails the students working across the science disciplines to solve a problem through scientific method design. The theme this year, “Save the Teachers”.  The plot, the teachers are stuck on Mars, the rescue mission is delayed and they are running out of water, food and oxygen. Good luck, Year 11 students, make sure that you save those teachers, you will need them next year!

After concluding their Physics learning with final practical investigations, including the effect of double glazing on heat loss (Year 8), and Newton’s Second Law of Motion (Year 10), Years 8 and 10 students have been working on their Term 4 Science Project. Year 8 students visited Scienceworks to learn about science communication in preparation for their investigation presentation at the Years 7, 8 and 9 Science Expo (24 and 25 November).

Year 11 Chemistry students experienced an intense day of chemical analysis at VSSEC (Victorian Space Science Education Centre) using contemporary instruments. The context was a Mission to Mars and the health of the astronauts. An Atomic Absorption Spectrometer was used to anaylse water samples for dissolved calcium. The amount of caffeine in coffee samples was determined using HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography). UVS (UV-Visible Spectroscopy) provided an accurate determination of iron in multi-vitamin tablets.

Year 12 Chemistry students completed their final practical work requirement. Their research covered a wide range of topics, including chemical analysis – the amount of Vitamin C in yellow capsicum cooked at different temperatures, the amount of an anti-cancer chemical in broccoli parts (florets, stem and leaves), dissolved oxygen in Yarra River water samples and its relationship to the number of Platypus sightings, optimum conditions for electroplating, and water hardness at varying temperatures, and chemical synthesis – optimum reactants and conditions for making Oil of Wintergreen.

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