The Science Department in 2012 has been busy and full
of opportunities for students to engage in the wonder,
stimulation and enjoyment of Science. This has been
achieved by providing a range of activities and learning
opportunities which challenge students to question their
understanding of the world in which they live.
Practical work is the focus of the Science classroom,
developing inquiry-based learning skills and supporting
class activities and discussion by inspiring and engaging
students. Practical activities are supported by a range
of learning activities which cater for the wide range of
interests and abilities of Ruyton students and the way
each and every student best learns. Recognition of a
solid knowledge base in the various areas of science is
important, however emphasis is also placed on process
and understanding. Different forms of assessment,
including debates, posters, PowerPoint and moviemaker
presentations and the production of three-dimensional
models support topic tests and provide a range of both
formative and summative assessment methods for
evaluating student understanding.
Technology is widely used in Science classes as a tool
in collecting and analysing data, in the delivery of topic
content and also for student presentation of work.
In 2012, Ruyton students participated in the following
Science enrichment programmes and competitions:
the Big Science Competition (Years 7-12 students), the
International Competitions and Assessments for Schools
Science Competition (Year 7 and 8 students), the National
Chemistry Quiz (Year 10 and 11 students), the Brain Bee
Competition (Year 9 and 10 Psychology students), the
National Youth Science Forum (Year 11 students), the Science
Talent Search (Year 9 students) and the Biology, Chemistry
and Physics Olympiads (Year 11 and 12 students). Ruyton
students achieved very commendable results in each of
these competitions.
In August, National ScienceWeek was celebrated with daily
Science quizzes, a model boat design competition and a
visit by the Future Sparks Bike Trailer. As a School we were
fortunate to have Professor Adrienne Clarke (AO), speak at
our ScienceWeek Assembly about the experiences which
shaped her exciting career in Science.
Science excursions in 2012 have again included trips to La
Trobe University for Year 12 Chemistry students, Luna Park,
the Sound House and the Synchrotron for Year 12 Physics
students and the University of Melbourne Gene Technology
Access Centre for Year 12 Biology students. Year 11 Biology
students attendedWerribee Zoo and Year 10 Science
students had a trip to view the biodiversity of the fruit bat
habitat at the Yarra River in Kew and to test the health of
the river, using chemical tests and theory discussed in class.
Other excursions included a visit to the Melbourne Brain
Centre at the University of Melbourne and to the L’Oreal
Women in Science Awards Ceremony at theWalter and
Eliza Hall Institute. Additional excursions and activities
throughout the year were advertised to students through
and by their Science teachers and
were organised according to student interest.
The Year 7 Family Night was again well attended in 2012
and Year 7 students were able to demonstrate to their
parents their understanding of aspects of Science studied
in class. Activities included a competition to construct the
tallest and strongest tower of straws, chromatography
experiments and teaching and testing their parents the
correct procedure in using a Bunsen burner.
The Year 7 and 8 Gifted and Talented programme in Science
required students to complete an extended experimental
investigation involving the determination of a hypothesis,
identification of variables and testing of a theory. This
provided students with hands-on experience of the
scientific method.
Year 8 students, attending their camp in Queenscliff
were able to put theory into practice, with many of the
practical activities run by the Marine Science Laboratories
supporting concepts studied in class. The camp had a
strong emphasis on environmental issues and students
were able to see the effects of global warming and littering
on the ecosystem of Port Phillip Bay.
Thank-you to the Science teachers and our two laboratory
technicians for their continued support and concern for the
students in their classes and also for their commitment to
the implementation of the Australian Curriculum.
Mrs Merryn Dawborn-Gundlach,
Dean of Science
Annual Report 2012