What is the future like for our Earth? Does our Earth have a future? What can we do to ensure a sustainable Earth for all generations and populations? The Science Week theme for 2017 looks at the big questions about the way we live and use the Earth’s resources. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have been engaged in a range of activities to stimulate their thinking about this issue.
The Year 7 students listened to a presentation about sustainable housing and applied some of the ideas to design their own sustainable house. Students in Year 8 are involved in a Rube Goldberg design competition, in which they have to design and build a machine made from recyclable materials that performs as many energy transformations as possible through a chain reaction effect.
Researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics generously donated their time to present to our Year 9 students about the work that they do as scientists. During their visit they demonstrated some of the properties of light and explained how they use these properties to learn more about things at the nanoscale level, including some fascinating applications in medical imaging.
Head of Science
On Tuesday 15 August, approximately 150 middle years students from six schools, including over 60 from Concordia, participated in the 2017 SA Gifted and Talented Conference with UK academic, Julie Arliss. A talented presenter associated with Oxford University, Julie used a variety of approaches to lead students on a thought provoking philosophical journey.
Concepts explored on the day included:
- the wonders of the Fibonacci sequence throughout the universe and its relationship to the question of consciousness
- ethical questions of self-sacrifice and sacrificing others, and whether sacrifice is ever 'reasonable'
- the revelations, possibilities and risks of nanotechnology
- the ultimate question of whether science has or conceivably could replace God.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to interact with peers from other schools in the Community of Inquiry and quickly established rapport. Participating with confidence and in many cases courage, many also tested their intellectual mettle with a microphone and an audience of discerning peers to state and defend their views. The day ended on an interesting note with students learning more about the rules of logic and argumentation. The debate motion that science has replaced God was defeated by the students' vote.
As part of their Year 10 Geography studies, students were asked to examine how Geography can be applied to everyday contexts and to present their findings in a medium other than PowerPoint. George 10JGE and Jacob 10JGE embraced this challenge and created an engaging and unique response:
“Whilst looking at potential presentation options for our Geography assignment, Jacob and I found a program and decided to make a robot which could answer questions directly that students asked. We decided to do this as an alternative to other options such as Prezi or an animation. We used Pullstring, a free bot-maker that allows people to create their own bots using simple, pre-supplied templates. Through our diligent and quick learning over two days, we were able to make an interesting Geography bot called ‘Erato’, named after the first person to use the word ‘Geography’. We are exceptionally proud of our work!” – George 10JGE
Another exceptional example of the innovation displayed from our Humanities students! To check out the boys' work, please see the link below:
Middle School Teacher
This semester our Year 8 Humanities classes are focusing on Geography and this term we have a particular focus on the topic of landforms and World Heritage sites.
Our Statement of Inquiry, which we will be exploring through this unit of study is:
“In order for sustainability of places around the world to occur, there is a need to be aware of consequences and responsibility.”
During our first lesson, students were introduced to the key concepts and global context of the topic and then generated some factual, conceptual and debatable questions relating to the Statement of Inquiry, paying particular attention to the impact of looking after unique landforms. It was an engaging and interactive lesson, with students developing a wide range of ideas and questions which were written on sticky notes that were displayed in the classroom and are now on display in Murtoa. We aim to refer back to them as we go through the unit to help students extend their knowledge and understanding of the topic.
Middle School Teacher
Year 8 Immunisations
A reminder that Year 8 students will have their third HPV vaccination on Tuesday 19 September.