The Year in Science

"Year 12 Chemistry was an exciting, enriching and fun experience. We conducted many practicals this year: making nylon, batteries and intensely energetic reactions that had a variety of real-life applications."

Wow, what a year. Bushfires, smoke, hail, COVID-19, remote learning and the constant feeling of not really knowing what was going to happen next, has made this a highly unusual year for everyone. It is definitely a year we would like to not repeat, but it has also shown how amazing and resilient the Merici community really is, including the Science Department.

Staffing wise in Science there have been a few familiar faces missing from the usual line up. Oliver Barlow and Fiona Buining both took Long Service Leave for 2020 and Natalie Archer took up a position at Girls Grammar. Peter Hanisch and Raewyn Tuffery filled the void and Lynette Heydenrych joined us to continue the good work in Sustainability. Along the way Fiona Buining decided that she would not be returning so she could pursue her own business interests. We would like to formally acknowledge all the work Fiona has done since 2012 to build the sustainability profile of Merici College and wish her all the very best with her next adventure. Fortunately for us Lynette Heydenrych liked us enough to stay permanently. Damian Woods also joined the Science team in Semester 2 to breathe new life into the Makerspace by starting the Makerspace Club.

Jo Aboud, Science Coordinator

ANU Pilot Outreach Activity

In September, nine students from Years 9-11 participated in a pilot outreach activity from the ANU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS).  Delivered virtually, but with the help of an on-site facilitator from the ANU, the students heard a keynote speech from Associate Professor Katia Bazaka and then took part in two hands-on workshops. The first workshop, delivered by Dr Josh Milthorpe, allowed the students to play with a computer model that simulated the development of an epidemic, and to investigate the factors that affect how bad the epidemic is.  The second was delivered by Associate Professor Catherine Ball, and introduced the students to the international Design A Drone competition. This competition is intended to raise awareness of the vast number of contexts, including scientific, agricultural, environmental and medical, in which drones are allowing us to achieve things that have never been possible before.

Dr Kathryn White, Science Teacher

Year 12 Chemistry

Year 12 Chemistry was an exciting, enriching and fun experience. We conducted many practicals this year: making nylon, batteries and intensely energetic reactions that had a variety of real-life applications; enriching our learning of scientific applications. Our independent investigations were a significant part of the year as we were allowed to research into any field of Chemistry of interest, but also experiencing the excitement and frustration of being an independent scientist for the first time. As a class, we developed a strong banter from learning new ideas but also from the occasional struggle to grasp certain concepts. I guess you can say that we had great chemistry together in Year 12 Chemistry. Areebah Murad

Year 12 Biology

Biology in 2020 has been a whirlwind of information; it has been eye opening and exciting to learn in depth about the process our bodies do every day, and the way that plants can function under certain circumstances. Recently we have done a prac in class about how different fruit enzymes affect how gelatin sets. Whilst this may seem like a mundane prac, it was educational to find that different enzymes affect our own bodies in different ways. We have enjoyed Biology even throughout COVID-19 as it allowed us to take knowledge from the classroom and use it in the outside world.  Maddison-Jane Darmody Neumann and Caitlynn Brown

Year 12 Human Biology

Human Biology is my favourite subject. I've learnt so much over the two years I've done it. You learn so much about the human body and how things work, a lot of it being things that can be useful for life (like learning about diseases and pregnancy). The course is good to prepare students who want to go into a career in health (like I am doing nursing next year), as a lot of the content can help prepare us for those careers. For example, for one assignment, we were given slides of diseased blood and had to diagnose which disease the blood had through looking at the blood cells. We've also learnt things such as the structure of cells and tissues, reproduction and the development of a baby, public health, medical imaging and diseases.   Kiera Stanford

Year 12 Earth and Environmental Science

Earth and Environmental Science was a new and improved course when we started in Year 11 (2019), and we are very lucky that Merici allowed us to take this class for the past two years. Mrs. Aboud has been the most amazing teacher and we are so grateful that she was willing to change her timetable and dedicate a lot of her time to teach. We enjoyed learning about all of the interesting topics such as Geology, the earth's structure, energy, plate tectonics, natural disasters and global warming. Especially with the events going on in our world at the moment, it is important that more students are able to have the opportunity to study the content that we did, so they know how to care for our earth and environment in the future. We hope to see the class continue in the future after we leave. It will always have a special place in our heart filled with lots of fun memories. Jemma Richardson, Kate Reedy and Rebecca Stevens

Year 12 Exercise Science

In Exercise Science we kicked off the year exploring all factors that affect performance, particularly ooking at sports psychology and anxiety and arousal. In Semester 2 we explored all things biomechanics. We investigated the biomechanics elements of a tennis serve and biomechanics technologies and their improvement to sports. Mr. Withers learnt the hard way when he told us to search up the ‘most common surgery’ as that's what he was having, and it came up as a C section. Alessia Zedde and Lindsay Davis

Year 12 Physics

2020 - Year 12 Physics was a very exciting and enjoyable experience despite the Pandemic. Our class experienced many challenges (as others did), which had brought us all together. We developed a strong bond as a class through our inside jokes and awkward Teams' classes. Throughout our practicals and investigations, we worked through Electric Fields, Magnetic Fields, Quantum Theory, Special Relativity and the Standard Model which allowed us to enrich our learning of many different scientific applications and experiencing the frustration of S7nTAx ErR0r (syntax error). Mr. Thompson, thanks to all the jokes and laughter you brought to class. Pahul Randhawa

IB Biology

IB Biology this year has been incredibly informative, and it will help me in any pathway I choose in the future. Our work on ecology, environmental science, and human biology is relevant in everyday life and is useful to fully understand the real world and what your body is doing. I'm particularly grateful that I chose IB biology because of the challenge it gives me, and the overall use of the content. Gabby Reynolds

Year 9/10 Engineering

Engineering has helped us explore new and unfamiliar topics, allowing us to grow and enhance our knowledge. We designed and built online bridges using Bridge Designer and learnt about how different forces affect the strength of the structure and how the materials and sizes impact the functionality. We have also endeavoured to explore different electrical circuits and built various different ones to help understand how each one works. Building our own project which produces energy has enabled us to apply our prior learnt knowledge in a fun and interesting structure for instance a solar oven. Engineering in Year 9 and 10 is an interesting, explorative and fun elective that not only enhances your knowledge but provides students with the opportunity us to put our knowledge in a real world context.  Chloe Rushton, Adele Choy and Lexie White

Year 9/10 Sustainability

Sustainability is such an enjoyable subject at Merici College! You get to learn about the environment and what you can do to help protect it. You get to work in the garden and learn all about soil, how to plant, harvesting and you get to care for chickens. It's a really laid-back environment with fun assessments and really fun excursions. Lucy Hall

Year 9/10 Information Technology

In IT this year, our class has worked through many interesting programming courses such as Python, Pygame, Roblox, and Thunkable. We have learned how to create turtle racing games, Translators, Obby courses, etc. Our class are full of funny moments, but the most memorable moment was when a student ran into class late and apologized to our teacher. But instead of addressing him as Mr. Thomson, she accidentally called him "Mr. Giles"! The whole class erupted in laughter and I'm sure that everyone will look back on this moment as a funny one. ​Remy Yan

Year 10 Science

I have thoroughly enjoyed Science this year; it is one of my favourite subjects. The Year 10 course is super interesting, covering off a variety of different topics, giving you a taster of all things Science. I loved having the independence to undertake experiments, analyse results and come to scientific conclusions based on my own findings. It made the class very engaging and one I always looked forward to. My favourite topic was Chemistry. The practical experiments were a great learning opportunity, and lots of fun! A funny memory I won’t forget is when I didn’t believe my teacher that sodium hydrogen-carbonate and hydrochloric acid would be too reactive for my assignment, so I decided to test it out for myself. I soon learnt he was right … the solution spilled over the edges of the beaker in a matter of seconds and made a big mess! Chloe Petropoulos

Year 9 Science

In Science this year I enjoyed learning about our heat unit, which looked at convection conduction and radiation. I liked being able to develop my research and writing skills through our self-guided practical report. We chose an experiment to conduct and wrote a report on it. This was a fun assignment where I was able to research about heat in space and how it affects astronauts' spacesuits. Overall Year 9 science was fun and I am excited to learn more! Amelia Ryan

Year 8 Science

In Year 8 Science, we do a lot of hands on fun science. A few of our favourite topics that we have learnt this year include human biology where we got to dissect a lamb’s heart, we investigated the different effects of corrosion, completed a plant investigation and lastly we learnt about energy transformation where we did many energy activities one of which we screamed as loud as we could into a sound meter to measure the sound. Year 8 Science opens up a lot of different concepts which we enjoyed learning about. Lucy Neely, Dani Martens and Jessica Hayes 

Year 7 Integrated Maths and Science

In IMS this year, we focused on a variety of things throughout the whole year. It got difficult going into remote learning, but it was extremely helpful having both teachers and students cooperating. This year we have had multiple tests as well as a range of assignments that helped us further understand things done in class and will also assist us out of school. Year 7 worked their way up to be able to use the Bunsen burners, beakers, and other scientific equipment. Tiarna Ruberto, Georgia Ween and Lucy Jerga

Year 7 Digital Technology

In Digital Tech this year, we had 2 major things that we worked on. Grok learning, which is coding, had many steps that advanced as you went on. A few people went far enough to make their own code and built playgrounds on the website as their own code. The last thing that we worked on was our assignment. In this assignment we were to draw up our dream bedroom on paper and then make the bedroom on SketchUp using the drawing as our guide. Once this was done, we made our own website using Wix to publish our drawings, photos of our inspiration, photos of our dream bedroom and an explanation on why we chose the colours and design of the room.        Tiarna Ruberto, Georgia Ween and Lucy Jerga



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