Science Happenings

By Richard Pirie | Posted: Sunday July 2, 2017

Some of our senior students had a busy time at the end of Term 2.

Biology classes got involved in some hands on activities as a part of our Human Evolution studies. First it was modelling stone toolmaking techniques using a potato and a spoon. This produced some creditable copies of Acheulian hand-axes and gave insights into how these techniques may have been passed on as well as the style of individual craftspeople. We also looked at the individual nature of each rubbish pile (something which may be discovered by archaeologists).

Kia hika ahi is the Maori technique for making fire. Students tried this traditional technique using Kaikomako which we had finally obtained thanks to the Dunedin Botanic Garden. We did not have Mahoe as the other traditional material but did experiment with other woods. Quite a lot of smoke and charring was produced but sadly this year, no fire.

The Year 13 Biology students busy term continued with a trip to the University Biochemistry Department to do some practical work with DNA as a part of their Biotechnology study. The university lab environment (and attractive disposable lab coats) was an eye opener for some and the students all enjoyed the experience.

Most recently, our school team won the Otago Science Teachers’ Association senior Science quiz from 6 other teams from around the city. The quiz covered wide-ranging science knowledge and two practical skills tests. Our team of Ahi Kaitai-Mullane, Tarren Loughran, Alice McNoe and Louis Whitburn showed out in all areas, comfortably winning the trophy.

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