Somerset Times

Sharing Science with Year 7’s. Did you know….?

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 8, Term Two, 2018

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Year 7 students were given the task to write a two-page scientific research fact sheet on their chosen invasive or endangered species and how science can solve the problem (Criterion D – “Reflecting on the impacts of Science”). Although it was a formative assessment piece, the Year 7 students did not take this task lightly.

Did you know that the largest Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) colony in the world nests on the Milman Island in Queensland. This turtles’ narrow pointed beak is a specialised feeding tool, much like that of a bird of prey. Its shape and length allows the turtle to reach into small cracks in the coral reef to extract sponges and other invertebrates.

These coral reef sponges are the Hawksbill primary source of food. For most marine animals, these sponges are toxic due to the spicules (glass-like spines) they contain, however, the Hawksbill turtle is immune to this making its competition very small.

From the two kilogram invasive European rabbit to the 70 kilogram endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle, there are hundreds of invasive and endangered species in Australia each causing their own chaos. Whether it be over populating and destructing or living life on the edge of extinction!

We were in the mist of our classification unit when we undertook this assessment piece and were ready to put all of our knowledge of the stages of classification, and so much more to the test. And boy did we! So much passion, enthusiasm and time was put in, and it paid off in the end with many incredible fact sheets.

We weren’t going to just hand them in and forget about them, why not show off our new knowledge and skills? So we headed to the opposite end of the college campus - the Pre-Prep and Year 1 classrooms. Yes, there is no way, no matter how good we were, that we could teach them what a marsupial is or what Echinodermata means in an hour, but with a fun interactive booklet, a garden and magnify glasses we were able to engage and teach them some simple ideas of not only our endangered and invasive species but living things in general. We even made some new friends.

This whole project was a learning experience for each and everyone of the Year 7s and hopefully the younger students as well!

Mrs Walker would like to thank the collaborative efforts of many people who made these sessions successful. Staff as well as the Year 7 Science students, Year 1 and Pre-Prep students who wholeheartedly engaged in the experience. It was wonderful to watch these two age groups engage with one another displaying empathy, being encouraging and supporting at all times as well as showing flexibility and a willingness to make necessary compromises.

Here's what the Pre-Preps had to say:

"I had a boy, he talked to me about Cassowaries, I did an activity, it was easy.” - Annie

I had fun with my Year 7 buddy, we didn’t find any bugs but everyone else did.” - Ava

I did activities and looked at a skeleton picture. I did some drawings and I learnt about kangaroos.” - Lachlan

We read books and collected a puzzle. We learnt about creatures that might die, it’s not a very good thing. Some creatures don’t have enough to eat." - Amara

You can check out our fact sheets using the links to the eBook. Thank you to Mrs McDonald for creating these eBooks. We hope that by sharing these with you we can raise awareness in our Somerset Community.

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Year 7.5

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