Stuartholme Science Week Snippets

What a fabulous week of activities! It kicked off with a Science Week pre-event with a small group of Year 7/8 girls attending the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM official attempt for the largest practical science lesson on 12 August at the Brisbane Convention Centre. The attempt was a great success with students travelling from all over Queensland to achieve a new record of 2900 students participating in a practical science lesson (the old record holders were South Africa, with 2104 Durban school children holding the largest science practical lesson on 5 February, 2016).

On Monday 15 August we started the week with remote control cars taking centre stage. The Year 11 girls actively engaged in trying to beat Tessa Cook’s best obstacle race time during the course of a lunchtime. Tuesday lunch involved work on building robots from kits. It was wonderful to see this engagement with technology and I encourage girls to head to the library at lunchtime if they would like to complete the robot kits. A keen group of Year 8 students are continuing to work on their robot of a frilled-neck lizard this week. I will share some photos of the finished product when the girls are done. Thursday involved some filming of Mr Carrol (our resident pet snake) with some junior girls at lunch and we finished on Friday with a viewing of the movie “Wall-E”. We only viewed the first twenty minutes but I know that some boarder girls will be borrowing this DVD from the library!

Dr Denton would also like to share an exciting update on Year 12 Biology.

Last Friday the Year 12 Biology students had the pleasure of experiencing a guest lecturer, Gurion Ang (PhD candidate from the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences). It was a fabulous end to our Stuartholme Science Week celebrations. Throughout the Term, the Year 12 Biology students learnt about Genetics and Inheritance. Gurion’s presentation was as engaging and entertaining as it was informative. The girls were enlightened on topics such as: the biological control of common agricultural pest species; applications of genetic engineering in agriculture (such as BT cotton) and the wonders of inheritance as seen through the diverse results of Gurion’s champion goldfish breeding program! The girls gained an insight into the vital role of science in securing food production for an ever increasing population, the challenges faced by agriculture to reduce the dependence on toxic pesticides and the role that genetic modification can play in meeting these challenges. Discussions with Isabelle (UQ Student Advisor) also afforded students an opportunity to enquire about options for tertiary study in the diverse disciplines of science offered at UQ in 2017. (Dr Denton)

Year 11 Biology students and Year 8 Science students have also been busy scientists this week, carrying out experimental work as part of their assessment. Year 11s have been working with enzymes and manipulating their working conditions and the Year 8s have been focused on comparing the insulating properties of different materials. My Year 10 Science class  also collected 2.5L of concentrated natural fertiliser (worm wee to be made into at least 20L of fertiliser) from our worm farm to be used on our gardens here at school. It is great to see students learning to be sustainable global citizens. Please enjoy some photos taken from across the week.

Wendy Macdonald, Leader of Learning – Science.

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