Jacinta Devlin  -  Learning Leader: Science

Why is the sky blue? Why do diamonds sparkle? Why do you burp? Do fish sleep?

Young children spend so much time asking why. Through their years at Kilbreda, I hope our students keep asking…and asking...and asking! The quest to find out how things around us work, what makes up the universe and better understanding the natural world lies at the heart of what it is to be human.

In Science at Kilbreda, we aim to foster curiousity and nurture a love of learning. Concepts are taught in relation to real world contexts and girls are repeatedly given opportunities to hypothesise, to plan investigations, gather data and draw relevant conclusions. Students are encouraged to critically assess claims made in the media concerning contemporary issues such as the use of plastics, genetic engineering and global warming, to become independent thinkers who will have a voice in society beyond their school years.

In Year 7 to Year 10 Science classes, students are exposed to a range of topic areas from the biological, chemical, physical, earth and space science fields as prescribed by the Victorian Curriculum. Almost all science classes are conducted in a dedicated laboratory to allow a practical approach to learning. Additional interest based electives of Forensics Science, Environmental Science and Sustainability and Medical Science and Psychology are offered to students in Years 9 and 10. These electives enhance the core science taught in class and opened up new learning contexts and possible new career pathways. VCE Sciences consist of Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Psychology. Each study is embraced by students and there is scope to complete an accelerated study of VCE Biology or Psychology for suitable candidates. VCE Biology students have explored marine ecosystems through an overnight camp at Queenscliff. Many Chemistry students take on the challenge of the annual Titration Stakes competition to test their accuracy of chemical techniques. The VCE Physics class tour the Australian Synchrotron, a world-class particle accelerator located in Monash, Clayton; and use lasers and gas discharge tubes to recreate pivotal experiments. VCE Psychology students visit ArtVo in Docklands to enhance their study of how the brain perceives images. These experiences help to bring studies to life. VCE Science subjects lay key foundations for a multitude of different pathways beyond Kilbreda, and hopefully will form a basis for formal and informal lifelong learning.

As a female who studied Physics and Mathematics at university, I am a firm believer that all students can follow their passions, which may lie in STEM fields. Kilbreda students are challenged to take up enhancement opportunities such as the Big Science Competition, University Engineering immersions, the Brain Bee and Titration Stakes and are invited to participate in breakfasts with female scientists and STEM lunchtime activities. For interested students, there is the exciting opportunity of attending CASE Space School International Study Program based in Houston, Texas, visiting NASA and engaging in incredible opportunities in STEM. A number of dedicated students and staff meet regularly as a Sustainability team and have driven discussion and action in the areas of environmental responsibility and education including the participation in a beach clean-up day, a Kilbreda Waste Audit and a bottle cap drive.

In a world facing complex problems, graduates with skills in communication who can critically analyse the world around them and work collaboratively with flexibility to shape change are vital. Studying science at Kilbreda will open many doors for career pathways for our students, and opens doors for personal discovery about the world and our place in it.

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