“No, I didn’t play cricket!”

It’s not often that you can combine cricket, science and one of Australia’s iconic films but HOLA Graham Johnson had the chance to do so recently when he attended an astronomy professional learning course at the Australian Radio Telescope Facility in Parkes NSW, or what’s better known as “The Dish”.

The course was conducted by the CSIRO and designed to show teachers how and where astronomy can be included in the curriculum, to trigger student interest in this area. Teachers engaged in workshops and lectures presented by a number of scientists, toured inside and on top of the dish, engaged in a stargazing evening and viewed cutting edge virtual reality activities.

Mr Johnson said, “the highlight was definitely the hayride (riding the dish from the ground up) and we definitely weren’t allowed to play cricket, but the information gathered will help improve our students’ interest and outcomes in astronomy at Warwick”.

Mr Johnson visiting the ‘The Dish’ at Parkes in Canberra.

Students experience campus life

Science, university life and technology were the major themes of the recent Year 10 Academic Extension class visit to Edith Cowan University, for the annual LabRats day.

LabRats is held every year at the ECU Joondalup campus and gives students the opportunity to experience university life. They also complete a number of Science activities in a real life Science laboratory situation. Students completed activities in robotics, chromatography and genetics throughout the day. Academic Extension teacher Mr Stirbinskis said, “this hands on experimentation in a science laboratory is of real benefit to students, as they enter into their Year 11 ATAR and certificate courses at the school next year.”

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

Recognising the first scientists

Chief Scientist of WA, Professor Peter Klinken, opens all his speeches in the Noongar language in recognition of Aboriginals being the first scientists.

Recently the Year 8 students recreated petroglyphs in class, which are rock carvings that are found throughout Western Australia especially in the iron rich rocks of the Pilbara. Petroglyphs help tell stories that are culturally significant. Students created their rock from Plaster of Paris and then carved a symbol or animal that was significant to them into their rocks.

HOLA Graham Johnson said “these activities are designed for all our students to gain an understanding of the science that Aboriginal people used thousands of years ago. It also helps them to understand that science is not always performed in a laboratory”.

Student class movement – Semester 2

As we get closer to end of the Semester 1, parents and students are reminded that all places in our Academic Extension (AE) classes will be reviewed, and we will reorganise these classes for Semester 2. All students in Year 7 to 10 will be ranked, with the top 30 students in each year being offered a place in the AE class. This generally means that places are offered to those who receive A and high B grades.

Yours in Science

Graham Johnson
HOLA | Science