What have the Scientists been up to in the last month?

By Ms Adele Quinn | Posted: Wednesday March 21, 2018

Year 7

We have moved on and are learning about bunsen burners and students are working toward gaining their bunsen burner licences. They have been making observations like a scientist and getting to use equipment and work collaboratively and safely in a lab. They have had some Year 10's in helping them too! Thank you 10K!

Year 8

We have had a focus on birds and their beaks! We are looking at adaptations and understanding that not all birds have the same beaks and why. We have found out that the adaptations organisms have are important for the environment they live in. We have had 2 classes and 2 teachers working collaboratively in our new labs. Next week is exciting with us heading off on a field trip to Peel Forest with Homeroom and Science working collaboratively looking at past communities (early settlers) and the forest community.

Year 9

Continuing on from our “Trees in Bags” experiments we have looked at how water moves up through celery using water with food colouring - transpiration. This was a nice link to our “Trees in Bags” findings. We have also practiced graphing skills. We have just started learning new practical skills around microscopes so we can have a close look at the structures that allow water to “leave the leaves”! Next on the adventure is finding out how those structures also help with photosynthesis. One of the other Year 9 classes have managed to separate a gunky mixture into its’ parts, and are now looking at physical and chemical changes, and then onto basic atomic structure.

Year 10

Students have moved a long way this term - from making observations about metals but not knowing why what we were seeing was happening, to understanding the metals reactivity series and being able to predict what we would see with metals in new solutions. Others have learnt about Genetics - how we pass on genetic information through mitosis and meiosis right through to genetic engineering.

Level 1 Science

These students have been working hard in preparation for their first Science internal assessment. This is on microbes and their interactions with humans. We have covered disease (athlete’s foot was one example!), food production and food spoilage. The assessment is on food production BUT what foods will it be?

Level 2 Biologists

The biologists are completing an Ecology unit at the moment where we are trying to make things more relevant and real by combining stream study with sustainability. Microscope skills are being learnt in order to look at the invertebrates from the water and this skill will come in useful later in the year for another internal assessment they cover. Waterwatch (an outside agency) is being used to help complete an in-depth study of the Opuha water way which will include chemical testing of these streams.

Level 3 Biologists

This team would have just finished their first internal assessment on homeostasis by the time you read this. They now have a good understanding about how their amazing bodies manage to keep their glucose levels and temperature constant. This has raised a new appreciation for our bodies and how we need to look after them. Next stop is animals and plants - understanding their responses to the external environment.

Level 2 Chemistry

The Chemists are currently investigating identification of ions and looking at why certain chemicals precipitate. This internal is tying together practical chemistry with theory where students are gaining more of an understanding of why they are observing colour and solid precipitates.

Level 3 Chemistry

The Chemists have started investigating redox reactions. This type of chemistry is what drives combustion, batteries, fermentation of food and electroplating. Students will be comparing spontaneous and non-spontaneous reactions, where they can compare non-rechargeable and rechargeable batteries.

Level 1 Agriculture

The Level one students have been preparing for their first achievement standard that looks at the factors that affect the geographic distribution of a primary product in New Zealand. Within this, students have to choose a horticultural and an agricultural product and look at how climatic, physical and market factors influence where they are produced.

Level 2 Agriculture

During this term the students have been preparing to plan an extended practical investigation. They have been practicing planning experiments and identifying key variables, dealing with data and making valid conclusions. Just this week they have started their planning of the investigations for the internal assessment and ultimately, they will then collect and use data to make conclusions, discuss any theory behind their data and evaluate how reliable their data was and how valid the conclusions are they have made.