the ruyton reporter
Our Science is right out there!
Science at Ruyton has always been based on
experimentation, observation and discovery. Students
are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the
enthusiasm, passion and knowledge that Science staff
have for their subject, but, as well, the importance of
providing the opportunity to explore Science beyond
the school environment has been an integral part of
the Science curriculum.There are many ‘real world’
experiences that the girls have participated in outside
the classroom. Such experiences have enhanced their
understanding of concepts covered at School and given
them an appreciation of the many and varied ways in
which Science plays such a vital role in our society.
Physics students arguably have the most fun on their
excursion to explore the physics of amusement park
rides, such as roller coasters and dodgem cars at Luna
Park, supporting their studies of Motion in Unit 3. Physics
students also visit LaTrobe University to study Photonics,
as well as the Australian Synchrotron as part of their
studies on the interactions between light and matter.
Year 11 Physics students attended the Australian Grand
Prix to learn about STEM technologies in the design
of Formula One cars and race track design, as well as
to watch the cars and drivers going through their paces
on practice day.
Biology students travel to Queenscliff to explore the
ecology of the region, applying methods of sampling
in the field. Unit 3/4 Biology students visit the Gene
Technology Access Centre (GTAC) to put into practice
the various methods of manipulating, altering and
separating DNA. Students have also heard from guest
speakers outlining the most recent developments in
stem cell technology. Ruyton has been part of the
Scientists in Schools programme and we have been
fortunate to have had the expertise of Dr Ellen
Menkhorst, working with our students on reproduction
in the tubeworm Galeolaria, in the past.We look forward
to our association with a new scientist who has an
interest in optometry and genetics, a great addition to
both our Year 9 Light unit and the Year 10 Genetics unit.
Chemistry students are required to study numerous
analytical instruments as part of the Unit 3 course.
A visit to LaTrobe University allows the students to utilise
instruments such as the UV Visible Spectrometer, the
Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, the Mass Spectrometer,
as well as various chromatographic instruments. At the
Melbourne AquariumYear 11 chemists study the practical
importance of controlling the pH of water, enhancing
their work done on Acids and Bases.
A team of four Year 10 Psychology students have
qualified for Round 2 of the Australian Brain Bee
Challenge. In addition to the competition they are taken
on a tour of the Anatomy Museum and to one of the
neuroscience laboratories to talk to a researcher about
their research. Psychology students also visit the
Melbourne Museum to explore exhibitions on the mind
and social attitudes.
Opportunities are provided for students to explore
options for careers in Science, with girls attending
seminars run by young female scientists discussing
pathways into their careers and the type of work that
they do at the Melbourne Museum and the Australian
Synchrotron. Betty Xiong (Year 12) was selected to
attend the National Youth Science Forumwhile
Tessa Faulks and JessicaWat (also Year 12) attended
the annual Graeme Clark Oration, with guest speaker
Mr Geoffrey Lamb from the Gates Foundation.
Science staff are active within the professional
community, presenting at subject conferences
throughout the year, sharing their skills with other
teachers.They continually strive to improve their
professional knowledge and pedagogy by involvement
in a large range of professional learning opportunities.
The integration of technology in the classroom has
been a particular focus of the Department this year.
Ms Nicole Volkmann has been exploring the
effectiveness of ‘flipped’learning for improving student
learning as part of the Ruyton Award for Educational
Research.We look forward to hearing the findings of her
research in due course. Go to
au/multimedia-gallery to see a video made by Year 9
student, Annie Gleisner, on this topic.
The passion the staff have for Science is infectious, and
Ruyton students are embracing the myriad of
opportunities offered, ensuring that Science at Ruyton
will always be
right out there’.
Mrs Susan Fryer,
Acting Dean of Science (2013)
In July nine intrepid Year 10 students ventured into
the Australian Synchrotron at Monash University.
We were guided through the spiralling corridors by
Charlotte, a research scientist. She explained how
electrons are accelerated so that they reach over
per cent the speed of light.We examined various
beam lines and we learnt that a ray of 50cm in
diameter can burn a hole through you! We viewed
a self-portrait of Arthur Streeton that, but for the
electron beam at the Synchrotron, would not have
been able to be viewed, as it had been painted over.
Many other uses of the Synchrotron were shown
to us, such as the structure of biomolecules, cell
structure, and the composition and structure of
industrial and biological materials.
We were also fortunate to experience a ‘Careers in
Chemistry’seminar.Women working in different
branches of Chemistry explained the large variety of
careers available to the Chemistry graduate, including
Patent Attorneys, Industrial Chemists, Nanotechnologists
and Education officers for the CSIRO.They also explained
what subjects they had done at school and university,
as well as all the different opportunities they have had
in their line of work.The seminar was very informative
and has heightened our interest in Chemistry, giving
us a clear idea of pathways in this line of work.
Written by Year 10 students who attended the seminar
Investigating Galeolaria at the Marine Discovery Centre
Students taking
for population
biology queenscliff 2013
year 12 physics excursion to luna park
Studying the physics of the merry-go-round
Careers in Chemistry
Real World Science