Science News

Students experience campus life

Science, university life and technology were the major themes as the Year 9 Academic Extension class recently visited Edith Cowan University for the annual LabRats day.

LabRats is held every year at the ECU Joondalup campus giving students the opportunity to experience campus life and complete several science activities in a real life Science laboratory situation. Students completed activities in cyber security, mass spectrometry and genetics across the day.  They experienced campus life by being released to find their food of choice at lunchtime.

Academic Extension teacher Mr Graham Johnson said, “This hands on experimentation in a Science laboratory is of real benefit to students, as they start to consider their future study and employment opportunities”.

LabRats is part of the Science Department’s enrichment program that exposes students to a wide range of activities and excursions, designed to inspire students into the different areas of Science.

Students get up close and personal at the Zoo

Snakes and bobtails aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but students had the chance to be up close and personal with these creatures recently. As part of the Science Department’s enrichment program over 100 Year 7 students visited the Perth Zoo to study the animals at the Zoo.

The “Magnificent Beasts and How to Classify Them” is a program offered by Perth Zoo to instruct and reinforce the content the Year 7 classes learnt on the different groups of animals. Students toured the Zoo classifying the animals in different groups and attended a workshop where students had the opportunity to touch a snake and bobtail. Not surprisingly some students elected to exit via the second door. Warwick Science teacher Miss Kiara McCauley, teacher of the Year 7 Academic Extension class commented, “The students were fascinated by the animals and couldn’t stop asking questions about them. They just wanted to find out more.”

Science outdoor classroom starting to take shape

It’s been hard and tiring work at times, but the new Science outdoor classroom is nearing completion and will be ready for the start of the 2021 school year. Paving has been laid, benches and stools have been constructed and the new aquaponics and hydroponics units have been set up. Much of the materials for this project have been donated to the school by our community or repurposed from what the school already owned.

Science HOLA Mr Graham Johnson, who has undertaken much of the work on the area, sees this new area “as one that will allow our programs in Science to become hands on, where students are doing rather than looking.”

The outdoor classroom will be used for the horticulture topics in Year 7 to 9, and aquaponics and hydroponics in the Year 10 and Year 11 Integrated Science courses.

Classes for 2021

A question this time of year I am always asked is “Will I be in the Academic Extension class next year?” This is a difficult question to answer. As we start our approach into the end of this year’s assessment period, parents and students are reminded that all places in our Academic Extension (AE) classes will be made available for 2021 based upon 2020 results.

All years (except Year 7) will see students ranked in order with the top 30 students being offered a place in the AE class. This generally means that places are offered to those who receive A and high B grades. This may mean that despite a child performing to a satisfactory level in the AE class, they may lose their position. This will be because other students have performed better. Places in our AE classes are based upon performance and students who perform at the required high standard are rewarded.

If you would like to know how your child is progressing, then please access the My Marksbook section for this class or alternatively please contact the class teacher.

Mr Graham Johnson
Head of Learning Area