Newcastle High School

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Faculty Focus: Science

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Science News

In the Science faculty we have welcomed back Ms Herron, who has returned part time from maternity leave. Mrs Phillips, our science assistant has officially retired, and we wish her all the best. Mr Joy has acted as her replacement and doing an outstanding job.

Students in Science are using their BYOD laptops and are encouraged to always charge and bring their devices. All classes use Canvas as a source of work, revision exercises and all of our upcoming Half Yearly assessment tasks are accessed through Canvas. Senior classes have access to Edrolo, which is an online textbook with video lessons, notes and exercises. Students also access computer simulations though our Gizmos subscription and many 7-10 classes make notes using Google sites.

Year 10 Win Science and Engineering Challenge  

Congratulations to the Y10 students who won Day 3 of the Science and Engineering Challenge, hosted by University of Newcastle. Eight teams competed in a variety of innovative science-based problems: testing their ingenuity, collaboration and persistence. Our students worked together to win six team events throughout the day and scored the highest points of all competing schools in the Newcastle Region. This monumental achievement has catapulted Newcastle High students into the State Finals in August to compete with other champion schools across NSW. We are very proud of their achievements!! Thank you to Ms Lidden for coordinating this event.

Half Yearly Examinations

All 7-10 classes in Science will be undertaking their Half Yearly examinations in class in weeks 3 and 4. The test consists of multiple parts, with canvas quizzes, extension quizzes, tabulation, graphical analysis and written responses. Classes are preparing and revising, using class time, Canvas resources and students are encouraged to prepare and study for the task. Student achievement in this task, along with having a positive learning approach, has a strong bearing on class placements for Semester 2.

Build Me a Future Day

Year 8 Students from Mr Perry’s class are participating in a Science and Engineering style challenge at the University of Newcastle in week 4, Wednesday 22 May this term and we wish them all the best. Teams of students will compete in solving science-based problems.

Cows Create Careers

The cows arrived in week 2 and will be primarily cared for by Mr Backers Year 8 science classes. The cows are fed, weighed, measured, and cared for over a 2 to 3 week period. Students are rostered onto morning or afternoon duties and get insight into careers in the agricultural industry.

Hunterwise Outreach Program

Newcastle High School has applied and won the opportunity to participate in HunterWiSE Outreach for Year 8 girls from our top Science classes.

HunterWiSE is a partnership initiative, established by seven academic women from the University of Newcastle. With support from University and industry partners, HunterWiSE provides opportunities for women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to connect, collaborate, and share experiences. At Newcastle High, will be involved in this exciting and innovative program.

In 2024, HunterWiSE Outreach will comprise of four parts:

1.     A single, 1 - 2 hour orientation session with students and teachers in Term 2.

2.     Weekly classroom sessions of (minimum) 1 hour throughout Term 3.

3.     A single, full day excursion to an industry site in Term 3.

4.     A presentation ceremony in Term 4.

 There is no cost to the students to participate in HunterWiSE Outreach.


Senior Physics and Chemistry students will attend the University of Newcastle to perform a series of experiments the pertain to their HSC courses. Students also experience to first year teaching laboratories from the university and get an opportunity to speak with scientists and students from the university. This event will occur in week 9 in Term 2.

Museum of Human Disease

In Term 3, Year 12 Biology and keen Year 10 students will travel to the University of NSW to participate in an investigation relating to human disease. The Museum of Human Disease contains nearly 1,500 diseased human tissue specimens. Its comprehensive collection demonstrates hundreds of diseases and their complications including HIV/AIDs, cancer, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, genetic diseases and the effects of drugs.


Year 10 iSTEM have been working on a unit called Design for Space. They learned about the theory and design of rockets, then built their own model rockets. Rocket testing will occur later in the term as dry and stable winter weather arrives.

They have then been using a robotics setup that incorporates AR, allowing them to simulate programming mission objectives remotely, imaging they are running a colony on Mars.

Our most recent toy is a new 3D printer. Year 10 are commencing a CAD unit and will design, then 3D print parts for carrying out specific task as part of a machine.

Year 9 iSTEM have been learning the engineering design process and have applied it to the construction of spaghetti bridges. The one pictured held 140 times it’s own weight - an impressive structure.

Soon Year 9 will commence learning to manually fly drones to fly specific patterns, culminating in an obstacle course competition, before also learning to program them with coded flight.

Mr Bromfield - Head Teacher Science