Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Design Investigation

In Physics today students were required to design an investigation that would determine the relationship between the strength of the magnetic field around a current carrying solenoid and the distance from the solenoid.

Students were given the following materials to design their investigation.
  •         Retort stand with bosshead and clam
  •         Mulitmeter
  •         Ammeter
  •         Voltmeter
  •         Compass to detect magnetic field and magnetic field strength detectors
  •         Bar magnets x2
  •         Solenoids approximately 10cm
  •         Power supply
  •         Electronic balance
  •     wires and alligator clips
  •         Ruler
  •         Computer

Thursday, 22 September 2011


In Chemistry today the students learnt about cleaning agents and investigated saponification.
Mr Akele Academy Chemistry Teacher

Weigh out 5g of sodium hydroxide.

The sodium hydroxide was dissolved in 30mL of water
and 5mL of castor oil was added.
Castor Oil

Boil the mixture gently for minutes, with constant stirring.

Cool the solution, 10g of sodium chloride and heat the mixture for a further 2 minutes.
Decant liquid from the mixture and rinse with distilled water.
Filter the soap using a Buchner funnel and flask.

Mr Grace Academy Chemistry Teacher

Cold Fusion

This week in physics the class learnt about Nuclear Fission and PET scanning.  
Associate Professor Jamie Quinton discusses his research on nuclear fusion.

We also had a very engaging guest scientist, Associate Professor Jamie Quinton from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Flinders University. He shared his research on nuclear fusion and plasma. Jamie explained nuclear stability and the differences between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. 

He inspired the class to think about our future energy sources; the advantages and disadvantages of using nuclear fusion. Jamie discussed his research and how we need plasma confinement to make fusion happen.

Jamie has a great sense of humour which really inspired you to want to learn more about nuclear fusion and plasma.

The students were given homework to watch the "Back to the Future Triology" taking special note of 'Mr. Fusion'.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Analytical and Forensic Scientist

In chemistry today students learnt about materials chemistry and had a guest speaker.
Associate Professor Stewart Walker is a Forensic, Environmental and Analytical Chemist from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Flinders University. He is also Director of Centre of Expertise in Energetic Material.
He discussed many of the analytical techniques and chemistry used to solve many problems in forensic science. The students and teachers found his talk very engaging. 

Assoc. Prof. Walker discussed the identification of the ingredients of chocolate from this spectra.
The spectra is colour coded by what chemicals are present, what functional groups are present,
for example blue sections are sugars, red sections are additives and the green section is the fatty material.

Assoc. Prof. Walker is growing his hair for research. Your hair can be used to find where you have travelled or lived most recently because your hair keeps a record of the water and food you have drunk. We can see that Assoc. Prof. Walker has travelled to many countries in the last year.  This research has many applications, such as, helping to identify people and determine the migration paths of people.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Alpha Beta Gamma

In physics today, Ms. Riordan explained alpha, beta and gamma radiation emissions and their properties. She also explained half-life and activity, and how radiation affects living things. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Academy teacher Colin Grace demonstrated Le Chatelier's Principle

Students observed the colour changes as nitrogen dioxide (brown gas) changed into dinitrogen tetroxide (colourless gas) and vice versa, depending on the change in temperature and pressure.

                                                                  2NO2(g)  <-> N2O4(g)   
                                                                             nitrogen dioxide            dinitrogen tetroxide

Students had to think, what would happen to the Kc value; would the equilibrium position move to the right or the left?

Nitrogen dioxide (brown gas)

Cooling the gas in ice, the equilibrium position moves to the right
and the colourless  dinitrogen tetroxide gas is formed.

Pressure affects the position of the equilibrium.
Increase pressure moves the equilibrium position to the right hand side. The colourless gas forms.
Adjusting the pressure.


Cluster Map