Science and Technology Department 2017
Back Row: Mr John Jablonskis, Mr Marcus Croft, Mr Peter O'Neill,
Ms Meagan Dunford, Mr Bradley Allen.

Front Row: Mrs Elizabeth Casey, Ms Megan Moppett, Mrs Casey Pearce,
Mrs Natalle Sutton.



Science at All Saints' College (Bathurst) is taught in four well-stocked laboratories that provide the opportunity for students to experience a multitude of hands-on practical experiences throughout their Science courses. We have an experienced staff of four full-time teachers who, in their own unique way, portray their passion for science and learning.

Our philosophy is that Science is a collective body of knowledge, principles, laws and theories and a set of processes that can be used to systematically acquire and refine information. Therefore, the teaching of Science at All Saints' College stresses a balance between content and the processes and practical skills involved in each topic. This approach has been highly successful with our students consistently gaining outstanding results in public examinations and competitions.

The Science Department at All Saints' College is proactive in its bid to provide opportunities for students to get a taste of ‘real' Science whilst making valuable contacts in the scientific world. These experiences often help students make significant decisions about senior secondary and tertiary studies. We are very proud of the fact that a significant number of our graduating students go onto fulfilling careers within the scientific domain.

All students in Years 7 to 10 will study Science. In Years 11 and 12, students can choose to study any combination of the 2 Unit Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, or (with sufficient demand), Earth and Environmental Science.



National Youth Science Forum

Last year we were delighted to hear that Matthew McCumstie and Nicholas Brouggy (Year 12) had been accepted into the 2017 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF).  They both attended Session A in Canberra (Australian National University) from January 2nd – January 14th.

The Forum is a series of prestigious annual science programmes for students entering Year 12 and who are wanting to pursue a career in Science.  The selection process is a rigorous one.  The students apply in Year 11, find a rotary club willing to support them and then attend a number of exhaustive interviews.  It is always satisfying for a school to have at least one student selected but to have two selected was outstanding!

Peter O’Neill (Head of Science)

The following is a report written by Matthew and Nicholas, describing their experiences during the Forum:

Reflecting on the overwhelming, life changing and intense experience that was the National Youth Science Forum 2017 seems impossible to do with something as simple as words. Looking back on those two weeks, the days spent with 196 like-minded students all combine into one, incredible blur. A sleep deprived whirlwind filled with lectures, lab visits, friendship, and personal growth.

Arriving on that first day was extremely daunting. We had no idea what was going to happen and how much it would affect us. We had no expectations or deep understanding of what the NYSF was going to entail.    

Arriving at the wonderful Burgmann College, the staff greeted us with enthusiasm and sheer joy, yet we responded with scepticism and judgement. Watching them skip around and chant for hours on end made me question if we had been dropped off at the right spot.

Little did we know that in a couple days, the two of us would be skipping and chanting along with them, sharing their enthusiasm. The unique passion was for Science ... for discovery, advancement, discussion and curiosity that will be the future of Australia. The diversity of backgrounds and upbringings blew us away. The ease at which everyone communicated, shared ideas, experiences and opinions is a testament to the youth of Australia.

The opening ceremony was our first example of what the forum would entail. It involved a lecture on neuroscience by one of the leading professors in the field. She expertly outlined the connections of the human brain, its complex architecture and what makes us, us.

We left inspired and wanting more. The other lectures definitely provided us with insight into other scientific fields that most of us had never considered. From Ceridwen Fraser and her career in biogeography, to Professor Richard Payne and his talk on microbiology, there was something for everyone.

Some of our personal highlights were the lecture by Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor at ANU and Nobel Prize winner for Astrophysics.

Meeting one of our personal heroes was a special moment, but hearing him discuss the expansion of the universe to us as colleagues, was something else. Besides discussing their scientific fields, each lecturer provided insight into their careers, past achievements and paths to success, which often involved some form of failure along the way.

That was one of the most important messages we took away with us, that a career in Science can be a difficult one but is always worth the effort. Failures are often more numerous than the highly sought after successes, and there will never be a time when one will not have to push past failures to succeed. But with determination and courage, one can overcome the barriers before them.

Besides lectures we also went on lab visits specific to our chosen area of Science, ours being Engineering and Earth and Environmental.

These tailored experiences showed us a deeper insight into our area, and the career options available. During our time in these groups we were lucky enough to experience many aspects of those fields. For Earth and Environmental it included fossil digging in Canowindra, where we learnt about many different types of fossils, but also how to extract them without damaging them.

Visiting the breathtaking Arboretum where we studied trees and used drones to calculate their heights.

Doing forensic work at the ANU labs and determining the sex of skulls and pelvises. Visiting farms where they’ve taken a new approach to farming with the use of trees and how they reduce the salinity in the soil, keeping the farm healthy for many generations to come. For engineering it ranged from building and programming small robots, to discussing the communications system that communicates with deep space satellites (at the Tidbidbilla NASA and CSIRO Deep Space Communications Centre).

Whilst we spent most of our time in these groups, it didn’t stop us from enjoying all the other fields that we were exposed to at NYSF.

What truly made the NYSF the greatest experience of our lives, however, was not the Science itself, it was the time spent with the other students. The combination of curiosity, like-mindedness and most importantly sleep-deprivation provided the perfect bonding experience.

The various social activities we also spent filling the day, whether it be sports and games on Burgy lawn, learning swing dance, or simply eating a meal with a new group of people, further provided life-defining memories which we will cherish for a long time. We didn’t know how many these 200 connections with students and staff had really impacted us until the last day.

The goodbyes were full of emotion and drawn out, as we were all unable to say farewell to friends who lived on the other side of the country. However as many of the staff said, you never truly leave the NYSF.

We are all now a part of a huge network of alumni, professors and industry leaders who will stay connected for the rest of our lives.

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