Science in Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8) provides an introduction to general scientific concepts programmed around the areas of Earth and Space, and the Physical, Chemical and Biological Worlds as per the new Australian Curriculum. Students are given access to ideas, taught new skills, and encouraged to explore their world through the eyes of a scientist in the hope they will broaden their understanding and develop the critical thinking skills needed in the higher years.
Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) builds upon the concepts introduced in Stage 4, refines skills, and delves more deeply into the nuances of Science – looking at the larger ideas, the topical and occasionally controversial issues that impact the scientific community, whilst gaining a greater understanding of the interconnectedness and intricacies of higher level concepts in preparation for senior high school.
At San Clemente, we continually aim to provide the students with rich and diverse experiences. The students may avail themselves of opportunities to compete in several competitions, some of which include the University of Newcastle’s Science and Engineering Challenge, the Aurecon sponsored Bridge Building National Competition, The ICAS Science Competition and the International Robocup where students program robots to complete a range of challenges. There are opportunities for a five day Forensics Camp, Science Poetry Prize and much more.
Stage 5 Electives
Marine and Aquaculture Technology
Marine and Aquaculture Technology is a project-based, practical course relating to coastal and water environments. Future custodians are provided with the opportunity to cultivate appreciation, developing the knowledge and skills to maintain and protect the unique biodiverse marine ecosystems. Students will complete the mandatory practical requirements and investigate the biology of a variety of fish and crustacean species through research, dissection and marine aquarium care. The complex interrelationships of marine ecosystems will be investigated through an analysis of management strategies considering sustainability and incorporating provision for responsible human use. Assessment is based on a 40% practical component and 60% theoretical component, consisting of a variety of individual and group project based assessment types including written reports, presentations and website creation. Students have many varied opportunities for out of school experiences, investigating marine environments and exploring future career paths including local pool sessions, visits to local venues, the Sydney Aquarium and other relevant experiences.
iSTEM was first offered in NSW as an approved Board of Studies elective in 2013. San Clemente was one of the initial seven schools who were keen to take it up. The reason the course was developed was to address the shortfall in students from Australia following career pathways in the STEM fields. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and is the fastest growing area of employment across the world attracting some of the most handsome salaries.
iSTEM aims to develop students problem solving skills and introduce them to real world applications of Science and Technology. They do this through many projects, working in teams to produce solutions. Projects include building bridges out of newspaper only, or out of Manila folders to hold several kilograms. They will also be developing electric vehicles, wind tunnels and robotically controlled automated systems. The students will have a chance to visit industry to see examples of how engineers solve context based problems. At the end of Year 10, students are expected to produce their own engineered project.
Science Leader of Learning