Science Action in the Middle School Lab

This term, students from Bellarine Middle School Science classes have already been very active. Students in Year 5 journeyed through the Solar System in the Planetarium, which visited our Auditorium. I was thrilled with the level of interest and engagement of the students, who asked lots of relevant questions. Space is still a very popular topic. Year 5 will continue studying planets next term. Recently, Year 5 have certainly been building on their learning about 'Living Things' from Year 4, as they explored food webs in different ecosystems.

Year 7 students have been learning how to separate different types of mixtures, including mud pies and billy tea. As each student became an expert in their separation technique, they demonstrated and taught their peers. This week they have all investigated different mixtures and worked independently on separating them, using some Maths time to calculate the percentages of choc chips in cookies, for example. The students have enjoyed thinking about their individual challenges and solving the problem set for them.

Year 8 students really warmed to the 'Heat' topic these past few chilly weeks. They could now tell you the similarities and differences between Conduction, Convection and Radiation of heat. By designing and doing experiments every lesson, they also have been very engaged with their learning. Yesterday, the 'Chemistry' topic kicked off, not with a bang, but with some cooking. Evidence of chemical change was highly apparent during the cooking of toffee. Most groups had a sugary treat for dessert after their lunch. Students could easily describe the evidence as: colour changes, production of a solid, temperature change, production of a gas and a beautiful smell.

The Year 9 students have been delving into the workings of an atom. Even though this is quite an abstract concept, they are enjoying the 'light bulb' moments when they correctly calculate protons, neutrons and electrons in the atoms of different elements. Grace in 9D has particularly latched onto the electron configurations, and has taught many of her peers the tricks of how to draw an electron shell diagram of atoms of different elements. Her latest effort is pictured below!

Deb Singleton
Science Coordinator


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