Scientists are currently playing a leading role in the fight to return to ‘normality’. Vaccination development and infectious disease suppression are nightly news stories, with epidemiologists and virologists being asked to give their expert opinions and analysis of the weekly scientific discoveries. So, as we review the excitement of ‘Cedars Science Week 2020’ it must be acknowledged that such events are not only a great way to promote a passion for God’s natural world and how it works but a vital springboard to inspire our disease fighting scientists of tomorrow.
Head of Science, Mr Seymour was excited to report on the week that had been meticulously organised by our amazing Science Department. “The week began with our ever-energetic Physics Teacher Mr McCoy thrilling an eager group of Middle School students with Dry Ice Rockets. The anticipation built as the bottle rockets full of dry ice and water were loaded into the launcher. Then we waited……..and waited……… until the pressure from the sublimination process finally overcame the pressure valve with a WHOOSH ! Finally, a chorus of ‘oohs and aah’s were heard from the crowd as each rocket was launched high into the sky leaving only a satisfying trail of white powder behind. Budding aeronautical engineers take note, if you choose Physics for the HSC Mr McCoy cannot wait to perform similar experiments as a part of this course.”
“A Master Class with our resident anatomical expert Mr Walton was also an optional extra for eager students during Science Week. Our wonderful Principal was back in the demonstrator’s seat, taking some of our Middle School and Senior College students through the vessels and tissues of the heart. As confronting as this might have been for some at the start, Mr Walton skilfully dissected the muscular organ of a sheep, showing the amazing detail of the valves and ventricles, coronary arteries and veins. With the knowledge they had just gained, it was then the students’ turn. They used plastic knives and bright purple gloves to safely experience for themselves the intricate structures of one of the most important parts of their bodies. Some students even recognising how difficult it would be to perform bypass surgery or heart valve replacement on patients.
Cedars Science Week is never complete without the ceremony and challenge of the Science Fair. With the help and support of their Science Teachers, Year 8 students had spent many weeks developing hypotheses, modifying and testing procedures to perform valid experiments and finally analysing and presenting their results. The Cedars Leadership Centre was then transformed into a space full of plants growing, enzymes dissociating and plastics under tension. Congratulations to all our junior scientists for their enthusiasm and willingness to explore concepts that are at the edge of human discovery. Special mention goes to our winners from each class – Declan Evans and Fiona Seymour (First place); Charlotte Thompson and Neelav Chakraborty (Second place); Emilie Simmons and Laura Rimell (Third place); and our Highly Commended recipients Holly Hutchinson, Chante Boshoff, Isaac Churches and Abel Finny.
Our exploration of scientific ideas culminated in a very exciting and chilly presentation conducted by Mr Carden. The Liquid Nitrogen Show had it all – frothing and bubbling white containers that would have easily turned any Hollywood movie set instantly into a scientists lab, pure liquid oxygen that dripped from super cooled metal containers and even a permanently knotted balloon that Mr Carden not only blew up once but twice.