Science Week 2018
Game changers and change makers – an exciting theme for Science Week 2018! This was an inspiring time for SVACS with many dynamic activities on the go. Some of these included various world renowned speakers addressing our students; themed practical lessons and numerous other events, such as a Space Themed Dress up day.
Professor David Blair was the first Science Week speaker. Professor Blair was integral in the now world famous discovery of gravity waves. This was an endeavour 40 years in the making. In speaking to the secondary students, Professor Blair conveyed his enthusiasm and passion for Science, and gave a very clear practical demonstration as to the nature of gravity and the space-time fabric.
Professor Lyn Beazley was Chief Scientist of WA for five years. She has been instrumental in many of the scientific decisions affecting our State. Professor Beazley spoke on various issues but most significantly conveyed to the students that Science offers exciting and important career choices. She also took the time to speak to individual students and assist them with potential career paths.
Mr Craig Bosch
Head of Science
Some of the themes practical lessons included:
Year 7 Telescope Building
The Year 7s investigated the biggest game changer in astronomy, the telescope. The students followed in the footsteps of Newton and Galileo by creating their own telescope. During the course of construction their STEM skills were put to the test through a number of different tasks including utilising formulas, incorporating measurements and creating an engineer drawing. The students’ projects were out of this world!
Mr Jake Rowlands
Year 8 Soil Analysis
Many interesting things can be discovered through the analysis of soil, sand and mud samples. For the Year 8 Science Week Activity, students spent two lessons sieving and sorting soil and sand samples from three different locations, with the aim to determine the differences between the Swan River (Guildford), Ocean Reef Beach and Palm Beach in Rockingham. After sieving the samples for different sized grains, they were placed in a dehydration oven to dry. The next day students looked at the samples under the microscope to examine the differences between each location, comparing the size of grains, type of pigments, minerals and differences in any microorganisms. The Swan River sample was distinctly different in colour and the types of sediments and minerals in the soil, however, although the two beach samples were similar macroscopically, students were able to identify differences between the locations microscopically.
Miss Sarah Lacey
Year 9 Hovercraft Race
The Year 9s were tasked with constructing hovercrafts using simple materials as part of the Science Week theme Game Changers and Change Makers. Students were required to collaborate in groups and apply simple physics to design a car that would hover and race down a track. The activity was innovative and stimulating, and students enjoyed the challenge of designing cars that would be light enough to hover, balanced enough to drive straight, and have sufficient forward thrust to push them to the finish the quickest. Winners from each class enjoyed a well-earned prize.
Mr Ed Lin
Year 10 Dioramas
The Year 10 topic for Science Week was Human Impact on Coral Reefs. The students were shown videos and given the opportunity to discuss what negative impacts humans are having on our greatest asset, the Great Barrier Reef. The dangers of plastics, oil spills, chemical waste, coral bleaching and the recreational use of the reefs were discussed.
In groups, the students undertook their own research to find what plants and animals inhabit our reefs and chose a particular hazard posed by humans. They then assimilated what they had learnt in a 3 dimensional form by making a diorama. Although they were provided with a wide range of materials they also chose to bring in items of their own and even sought materials from the school grounds.
Their creativity and imagination were impressive producing both a wide range of different styles of diorama but also covering multiple human impacts. Models included the danger of plastic to turtles to disposal of chemical waste.
Once the models were complete, each group was given the opportunity to present their diorama to the class explaining both their human impact and their choice for use of materials. Competition was fierce and prizes were awarded, this being a very difficult task for the teachers as the standards were high!
Year 10 students should be congratulated on being engaged in the topic and it is hoped that this activity has heightened their awareness of the need to act now to preserve our reefs.
Mrs Hayley Whitelock