Thursday, 30 June 2011

Exams and the Heat is on!

In both Physics and Chemistry today students sat their midyear exams.
SMAF Lab 230
Chemistry students produced some heat after their exam by investigating the enthalpy of neutralisation between a strong acid and a strong base.
Enthalpy of Neutralisation

The standard enthalpy of neutralisation is the enthalpy change when solutions of an acid and an alkali react together under standard conditions to produce 1 mole of water.
Enthalpy of Combustion of Alcohols
Exothermic Reaction: Heat is produced in the reaction. 

Students recorded their results collectively in the table on the spreadsheet provided.

Recording the temperature change.

Setting up apparatus to determine the enthalpy of combustion.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Chemistry is Hot and Cold

Today in chemistry students sat for their organic chemistry test.
This was followed by Colin Grace performing some demos with students on exothermic and endothermic reactions.

For the demonstrations Colin used a PASCO temperature probe to data log the change in temperature for the chemical reactions.

The data collected from the temperature probe was transformed into graphs simultaneously on the computer using PASCO software and were projected onto the screen for all the class to see.

Today was the last day of SMAF for German exchange student Sebastian Winter.

Physics LADS

This week physics covered EM Waves and the LADS system. 

Laser Airborne Depth Sounder
A South Australian company, Vision Systems, created a system to assist and speed up the process of depth sounding, using laser pulses to chart the depth of a body of water.
See link for more information:

Students solving physics problems together in class.

Arwen, visiting Science Communicator from Canberra observing SMAF physics.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Esters that smell NICE!

Today the students completed their ester investigation in the undergraduate chemistry labs.
After drying their ester last week, many of the students were ready to analyse their ester.

Students observing the temperature of the thermometer. They had to collect the ester at a boiling point of 126.2 oC
Distillation of ester
Students observed the clarity of the ester they had produced

Smell bananas?
Students smelling the resultant ester (butyl ethanoate) using the appropriate method

As this was a summative investigation students were assessed on their safety and manipulative skills.

Mr. Armstrong Academy Chemistry teacher who really knows his chemistry.

STAGE 2 PHYSICS Summative Assessment: Issues Investigation

Today the students completed their summative Issues Investigation in the university CML computer labs.

The purpose of the issues investigation
of this assessment provides the students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to:
·      identify and formulate questions, select, analyse and evaluate the evidence of physics from a range of sources
·      present informed conclusions on contemporary physics applications
·      communicate knowledge of concepts and information of physics
·      demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of physics to an application.

Part A: Formulate a Guiding Question from a randomly allocated topic.
The guiding question was to be submitted in writing prior to Part B.

Part B: Information Search, Analysis and Evaluation (500 words)
1.      Locate relevant Information
Document at least three different sources related to the topic
2.      Analyse and Evaluate the Sources  
Assess the source for its relevance, bias, and credibility,

Part C: Written summary (1000 words)
Write a report on the information obtained to answer the guiding question. Reference work correctly

Part D: ICT Presentation to be done in students own time.
Create an information and communication technologies (ICT) presentation on your physics issue or phenomenon which lasts approximately seven minutes.

Students busy completing their task in the CML computer lab in physical sciences at Flinders University.

Mr. Haggett and Mr. South physics teachers supervising the timed summative assessment.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Students prepared Esters in chemistry today.
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting a carboxylic acid with an alcohol under reflux. Esters are ubiquitous. Many naturally occurring esters are fats and oils. Esters are the flavourings and smells found in essential oils and pheromones. There are also synthetic esters used in clothing such as polyesters.
Preparation of the Ester
First students assembled reflux glassware

Students refluxed 1-butanol and ethanoic acid for 30 minutes to produce their ester. They also added about 1mL of conc. sulphuric acid and It was important for them to use anti bump granules while refluxing. 

Collecting chemicals from the fume cupboard
As the students were using the first year undergraduate chemistry labs they got to use heating mantles rather than bunsen burners like in high schools. This allowed the students to have better control over the heating process and produce good results.
Students then allowed the ester to cool before using a separating funnel.

Students then added sodium carbonate solution to the separating funnel until no more effervescence occurred. The students then then collected the organic layer and washed it with about 20 mL of distilled water.

The final step for todays lesson was to dry the organic layer with fused calcium chloride.

Boiling Point ( oC)
ethanoic acid
prepared ester
sulfuric acid

            Today in Chemistry 
Mr. Chad Gramola, chemistry tutor from 
Mt. Compass High School supported the class.

Exchange student from Italy - Fabio Melis enjoying chemistry in SMAF in Adelaide Australia

Physics FLO

Physics : Finished the topic Electricity and Magnetism.
Physics teachers showing students where to find resources for physics test on the FLO
Chemistry : Finished the organic chemistry topic.

SMAF Academy chemistry teacher Mr. Akele teaching students about the preparation of amides.


Cluster Map