Science Pathway

Mordialloc College Senior School offers a range of programs and VCE subjects to cater to a diverse range of student interests and to provide clear pathways for students from school to further study or employment. All subjects offer a challenge. All units are assessed by either a mixture of examinations and school assessments, or outcomes completed under teacher supervision. The subjects are designed to cater for a broad range of abilities. Success depends on an understanding of learning and good organisational skills and personal commitment.

Biology explores the diversity of life as it has evolved and changed over time, and considers how living organisms function and interact. Students also study contemporary research, models and theories to understand how knowledge in biology has developed and how this knowledge continues to change in response to new evidence and discoveries.

Involves investigating and analysing the composition and behaviour of matter, and the chemical processes involved in producing useful materials for society in ways that minimise adverse effects on human health and the environment. Chemistry underpins the generation of energy for use in homes and industry, the maintenance of clean air and water, the production of food, medicines and new materials, and the treatment of wastes.

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary science that explores the interactions and interconnectedness between humans and their environments and analyses the functions of both living and nonliving elements that sustain Earth systems. In this subject students investigate the nature of our environment and the extent to which humans modify their environments and the consequences of these changes in local and global contexts with a focus on pollution, biodiversity, energy use and climate change.

Students develop their conceptual understanding of topics including light, atomic physics, radiation, thermodynamics, electricity, fields, motion, and the nature of energy and matter. Students develop key science skills to interrogate the links between theory, knowledge and practice

Psychology is the study of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. As a science, psychology aims to describe, explain and predict behaviour. It relies on empirical procedures such as experiments and observations to do this. Using different research methods allows students to develop valuable skills in analytical and
critical thinking. VCE Psychology is a challenging and highly engaging introduction to the science of psychology, packed with fun class activities and experiments, intriguing discussions, fascinating documentaries and meaningful excursions. Students will increase their knowledge of human behaviour, including an understanding of themselves and their relationships with others and their society.

Students acquire and apply knowledge and skills to use digital systems efficiently, effectively and innovatively when creating digital solutions. They learn approaches to developing data and software solutions for specific needs using digital technologies, and managing threats to data and software security. As an applied study, the emphasis is on learning by doing.

Students will develop their computational thinking to collect, represent and interpret data in order to design innovative digital solutions. They test solutions and evaluate them to make improvements so that they are not only creative and innovative, but also highly effective. Students will also learn a general purpose programming language to develop animations, games, apps and computer programs.

They explore the interaction between digital technologies and individuals, societies, economies and environments. This ensures that students are aware of both the benefits and potential risks of digital systems and how they can best be used in society in a safe and appropriate way

Projects are based around students working as young designers to create products that meet a specific design brief. They work with various materials including wood, metal and plastic and study electronics. Students also revisit technical drawing and develop their skills in a number of different ways.

students work safely and hygienically with a range of equipment that enhances their cooking skills. They will produce a variety of products that utilises many ingredients and consider the environmental impacts of using these ingredients.

Our STEM Leaders are keen on empowering our community with STEM knowledge and skills. They are working hard on their own projects, learning more about 3D printing, soldering, laser cutting and engineering principles. They are also designing exciting workshops to facilitate at our local primary schools in the future. Our teachers are also busy planning exciting activities for Science Week 2022: “Glass: More than Meets the Eye” in Term 3. We look forward to expanding science literacy, STEM knowledge and skills so all students have the opportunity to contribute to a positive future.

STEM

What are STEM skills and why do students need STEM skills?

STEM education develops capabilities such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration, problem-solving and ethical decision making. Other skills such as digital literacy, innovation, design thinking and inquiry-based processes are being added to the list of essential skills for the future. Despite the efforts of governments and other key stakeholders, Australia is seeing falling rates of participation in key areas of advanced mathematics, physics and chemistry. As a result, Australian international assessment performance in these areas is also declining. Australian employers note increasing difficulty in recruiting employees with appropriate levels of knowledge, skills and experience in STEM-fields, posing a risk to Australia’s economy.

All students have the opportunity to be exposed to and develop STEM knowledge and skills from Years 7-10 in an increasing range of STEM pathways, careers exposure, excursions and competitions. Our success during Open Night showcased a taste of what we have on offer. In other news, Year 7 SEAL students have recently participated in Bebras, a computational thinking competition and achieved certificates of distinction. Year 9 STEM students entered the Make:able Challenge to design a 3D-printable assistive technology. All students are invited to enter the GROK National Computer Science Competition and Web Comp- we run a Coding Club on Friday lunchtimes. Our eLearning and ICT Manager, Simon Belluzzo will be mentoring in CyberTaipan, a cyber defence competition on Saturday, August 20. We expect more opportunities to come this year.

The College offers an extensive range of VCE Science and Mathematics pathways as well as a dedicated STEM elective in Year 9 and 10. The STEM elective has had students build hydraulic arms, assemble mini ROV submarines, design laser-cut solar vehicles, prototype circuits using Arduino microcontrollers and program LEGO EV3 robots. All STEM projects are viewed through the lens of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and I would also like to note that the complementary study of Arts and Humanities subjects is recommended for developing the contextual knowledge, empathy and understanding of the problems of the 21st Century.

I have always worked in partnership with students to teach them the knowledge and skills to work on their own projects and develop the interpersonal and leadership skills needed for success in STEM careers. In Term One, students were invited to submit an expression of interest to apply to be a STEM leader and twelve students were selected to meet on Tuesday lunchtimes in G7. We then planned our exhibits for Open Night and showcased a range of projects and interactive displays. Students are encouraged to apply for a second round of STEM Leader recruitment in Semester Two.

 

Maths

There is no question that completing Mathematics at VCE opens up many future options for students, ranging from some pre-apprenticeship TAFE courses through to all Primary Teaching qualifications. Specific courses do have prerequisite Mathematics subjects and students should ensure that they inform themselves of what will be required for their intended future courses through the relevant literature.

Designed to provide access to worthwhile and challenging mathematical learning in a way that accounts for the needs and aspirations of a wide range of students. It is also designed to promote students’ awareness of the importance of mathematical techniques and processes, and their purpose in everyday life in
a technological society.

Units 1 and 2 provide an introductory study of functions, algebra, calculus, probability, and statistics and their applications in a variety of practical and theoretical contexts. This is designed as preparation for Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 and contains assumed knowledge and skills for these units.

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