Senior Science Excursion

Science Excursion (2)

Move over Einstein, Curie, Newton and Feynman, here come the Coonabarabran Science students. Students from Year 11 and 12 Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Environment, and Biology classes along with Mr Moffat’s Society and Culture students made the long journey to explore the Science and Culture of Sydney. (See slideshow below)

Wet and horrible weather didn’t stop the physics or the walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge! On Day one our students investigated the physics of Luna Park; they discovered potential and kinetic energy on the roller coaster, centrifugal forces on the rotor, free fall and induction braking on the Hair Raiser and Newton’s laws and electricity on the Dodgems (if anyone was asking), via a short visit to Wendy Whitely’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay.

A trip on Sydney trains took the students to the Museum of Natural History where they discovered the fascinating mysteries of tectonic plates, evolution, flora, fauna, bugs and bones that have helped shape the Australian biota.

The long day ended with a leisurely walk through Hyde Park back to The Rocks’ YHA and to the nearest bowling alley to find out who was king pin.

Day two was spent at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) on a fantastic guided tour of the nuclear research reactor and facilities, including a particle accelerator, and some really cool neutron analysis equipment (no recording equipment allowed so no photos here). This was not the case at ‘Skyzone’ however (see the many photos) where the students spent time jumping, synchronised somersaulting, and slam dunking their way through the afternoon before ending the night at Newtown for dinner and gelato.

Day three saw the group split; the chemistry students made their way to UNSW for a guided tour of the chemistry department, labs and facilities. Everyone else rode the bus to the SITA waste management and recycling centre at Eastern Creek for a fascinating session on waste.  Each reclaimed landfill generates power for ten thousand houses; all waste deposited is GPS tracked and this ability was recently used to provide evidence in a murder trial, but would not be used to help you find your missing lottery ticket; all mattresses cost $60 to leave at the centre. The rest of the day was spent wandering around Taronga Zoo, checking out all of the amazing creatures and as an added bonus Tabitha was chosen to help out in the Seal Show.  She was fantastic.

On day four (yes there’s more? How did we fit it all in, you ask), the students spent the day at UNSW in Kensington; the Physics students went on a guided tour of the Quantum Computation and Communication Technology building (huge name for designing really small computer chips). Olivia and Richard found out the dress code for working in their labs. The Physics students also shared an experience in the School of Physics’ portable planetarium (which looked like a blow up igloo). The rest of the students spent time at the Museum of Human Disease observing a variety of disease ridden organs and body parts, learning about some of the founders of modern biology and also had the opportunity to take a virtual ride with blood cells through a circulatory system.

After a surprise visit and tour of the UNSW grounds by ex Coona student David Tighe, the students were back on the bus bound for Coona.

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