During specialist science lessons at Somerville the students focus on developing five science capabilities that help them to think and work scientifically. They gather and interpret data, use evidence, critique evidence, interpret representations and engage with science in a creative, practical way.

Science A Programme

The focus in Science A is to explore the chemical and physical world through designing and conducting experiments, collecting and analysing data, making inferences, drawing conclusions and communicating results.

They learn what characteristics scientists have that make them successful and also that science knowledge changes over time.

Year 7

In Year 7, through experimental work, they focus on the fact that scientists classify chemicals into groups. They explore states of matter, acids and bases. They also learn about the differences between physical and chemical reactions and density. They then explore the issues of skin damage and skin cancer by experimenting with ultra violet radiation using UV beads and developing ideas about energy. They might also design argo floats and/or rice terraces using common household materials.

Year 8

In Year 8 they develop the concepts from Year 7 and explore energy in more detail by focusing on heat and temperature. They become "Chemistry Experts" and use their expertise to solve a crime in the forensic science unit. They do this by deciding which suspect is guilty by comparing and contrasting unknown chemicals with a database of known chemicals they have developed. They learn about speed and how to manipulate a physics formula using dominoes.

Science B Programme

The focus in Science B is to explore the living world and planet earth through investigations that focus on classifying, identifying and using or creating models that help students develop the science capabilities.

A variety of investigations are undertaken that involve students working collaboratively to develop explanations about the world they live in.

Year 7

In Year 7 the focus is on understanding earth's systems. Using models to explore questions such as, 'What is the earth like beneath our feet?' students gain an understanding of basic earth science concepts. They also investigate their local ecosystems.

Year 8

In Year 8 the students develop their understanding of how life processes are used to group all living things and investigate ways of classifying and identifying them. They also use models to help them understand food webs and think critically about the current issues around species loss and how human activity can impact on them.

 

Overall, in science we hope to see students develop the skills to become good self-managers, work well with others and develop a passion and an empathy for the world we live in; the environment, as well as the animals, plants and humans that inhabit it. 

 

For more information visit the Science Site.

 

Science Fair 2017

 

For many students, Science Fair provides a platform outside of the confines of the classroom to explore an area of interest. There is already a lot of interest in Science Fair, which will again be optional, except for Year 8 Channel 50 students, and will run as an enrichment and advancement programme. The students will have the opportunity to put their fair testing skills and the scientific method into practice in an authentic context. They may also opt to follow the engineering process and do an innovation/invention.

 

Mrs Duffield and Mrs Woolridge have been available at lunchtimes and some afternoons to conference with students, to monitor progress being made and to help them with any questions or problems they may have. 

 

All students will be taking home a letter the week commencing 20 March, that, if they are interested in undertaking a project, needs to be signed and returned to school before Thursday 13 April. There will also be an information evening for parents on Wednesday 10 May.

 

The students will receive a Science Fair Guideline booklet which will explain each step of the process and when that step should be completed by. The projects will be handed in and displayed in the school hall on Friday 28 July. Some projects will be selected to go through to the NIWA Manukau Region Science & Technology Fair in August.

 

Students have the option of doing either a scientific investigation  or an innovation/invention.

 

A Science @ Somerville Google site has been developed which has a Science Fair section. 

 

If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact Mrs Duffield This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Mrs Woolridge This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.