Let the Sun Shine!

Thanks to the beautiful sunny weather today, the OC were finally able to compete in their solar cart race challenge. A big thank you to Dr Graeme Puxty, our Scientists in Schools partner, who helped students construct their carts at the end of last term and joined us today for our official midday race. Students also had a great time customising their vehicles in the lead up to the race, using lots of striking designs and a fair bit of glitter! Well done to Max, Adrian, Oliver and Zane who had the fastest cart during today’s race. Thanks again to Dr Graeme for providing some terrific prizes – CSIRO Rubik’s cubes! We look forward to our next class visit in Term 4.

Solar Powered Science!

Today we had a visit from our Scientist in Schools partner, Dr Graeme Puxty, who helped us make some awesome solar powered carts. Students enjoyed the challenge of working in teams to construct their carts and also began creatively ‘customising’ their vehicles with some unique designs and a variety of materials. A big thank you to Graeme for sharing his time and expertise with our class today. We look forward to seeing him first day back next term for a sunny midday race!

CSIRO Excursion

Today the OC attended an excursion to the CSIRO Energy Centre at Mayfield to visit our class scientist Dr Graeme Puxty and his colleagues Dr Jenny and Dr Kendrick.

The day began with excitement when students got to enter the building through a revolving door and then made their way to the auditorium for a presentation. Dr Graeme explained all about the CSIRO and the role they play in science research and greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect. I was very impressed with our students and the terrific questions they had for the experts as well as how they answered some very challenging scientific questions.

We met Dr Jenny who explained all about the cost of technology and electricity demand. Several students were invited to experiment with Electricity Generation By Technology scenarios using the eFuture website.

Dr Kendrick then told us about next generation photovoltaics and students got to handle some precious metals including a piece of gold worth over $17,000.

We were then invited on a tour through the CSIRO where we got to visit some different labs and watch some science experiments. We also met some engineers, Alex and Will, who took us to visit the solar field of mirrors.

As you can see in the photos below, our students had a fantastic day and I would like to thank Dr Graeme and all his colleagues for their time and inspiration in allowing our students this great opportunity. We look forward to continuing our SiS partnership with Dr Graeme in 2014!

Super Science!

Today we received a visit from our class scientist Dr Graeme Puxty. It was a terrific session where students got to participate in two exciting science experiments. The first, called Dehydrating Sugar, involved mixing sugar with sulphuric acid. This process caused the oxygen and hydrogen to be sucked out leaving only carbon behind. We ended up with a huge lump of black coal! The second experiment, Coke Can Crush, involved heating an empty coke can with a teaspoon of water in it on a hotplate. When heated the steam pushed the air out of the can. Dr Graeme then turned the can upside down and put it into a tray of water. The steam condensed creating a vacuum, resulting in the can being crushed. Awesome! A big thanks to Dr Graeme for his time and sharing his expertise with our class.

MsArmstrong's dr graeme t2 album on Photobucket

Meet Dr Graeme

Today we had our first visit from our class scientist Dr Graeme Puxty as part of the Scientists in Schools program. Dr Graeme, who works at the CSIRO at Mayfield, talked with students all about the important research and work he does in his position. We learned all about the greenhouse effect and some of the ideas and projects scientists are working on to achieve sustainability. Dr Graeme also showed us a prototype of a very small transparent solar panel that they are developing at the CSIRO. Very cool!

Ethan, Eva, Mitch and Peyton with Dr Graeme Puxty