Monday, 3 July 2017

Blood, maths and physics

Josie Nunn, a PhD candidate in Forensic and Analytical Science, spoke to the physics students about her research into bruises. She described how the age of a bruise can be determined by shining a light onto it.
Josie then discussed how physics can be used to help decipher a crime scene, in particular blood splatters. Fluid dynamics and impact angles are just two of the ways blood splatters are investigated.
Blood splatters are also studied using maths, in particular trigonometry, as a way to build up a picture of what happened in a crime scene.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Scanning Electron Microscope and Atomic Force Microscope

Dr Jason Gascooke and Chris Gibson (Senior Research Fellow) from the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences showed the physics students both the scanning electron and atomic force microscopes today.

Students were shown in how both microscopes work and what each is used for, and they saw images of carbon nanotubes and very very small hairs on the leg and body of an insect.  They also learned how the x-ray signature from the SEM can be used to find the elemental composition of a sample.
Chris Gibson

Jason Gascooke

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

John Edwards speaks to Chemistry Students

John Edwards, a professionally registered toxicologist, presented an extremely interesting talk about illegal drug laboratories and the risks for the public from the chemicals and methods use to produce them. He also discussed what was involved in community risk assessment of clandestine laboratories (in collaboration with Housing SA and the SA Police) and the assessment and remediation of properties contaminated with chemicals. Of particular interest was the impact these illegal laboratories can have on the health on people living in the house, as well as that of their neighbours, or accidentally come into contact where an illegal drug laboratory had been set up in public or private property. This is of particular relevance and concern for police and Emergency Services personnel.
Kate, John and Chad

Professor John Beynon speaks to Physics students

John Beynon is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and he gave a fascinating talk about research at the interface of materials and mechanical engineering, and its application to real world problems.

He  showed how research into metals at a sub-atomic level can help predict how they will behave in real world situations. He discussed how metals are made up of crystals and that these are very complex structures, full of defects. And it is these defects that dominates how the metal behaves.
He also talked about how scientists and engineers can see problems from different angles, and knowing what types of questions to ask, and which areas to focus on when running experiments is an important skill to have in research.  

Donna and John

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Joe Shapter speaks to the Chemistry students

Joe Shapter is the Head of Faculty in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, and he presented a special workshop to the SMAF Chemistry students this week. 

Joe has a passion for teaching and this was evident when he gave a very informative and highly engaging presentation about environmental chemistry.

He initially asked the students to list the top ten problems facing the world and then showed how these were inter-related. Joe discussed some of his research into solar cell development and carbon nanotubes and how these could be used as part of the solution to some of the major issues facing the world today. The students asked lots of very thoughtful and sophisticated questions.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Year 10 Taster Day

This day is designed to give Year 10 students a taste of a range of science, engineering and mathematics workshops.

The students were lucky enough to hear presentations from ProfessorJohn Beynon (Executive Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering), Professor Martin Westwell (Strategic Professor, Flinders Centre for Sc Edu in the 21st Century) and Doctor Sherry Randhawa (Director of Study (Course Coordinator) School of Computer Sc, Engineering & Mathematics).

John and Martin


Students also attended a range of workshops, including:
Zombie Maths
How long would you survive in a zombie apocalypse? Give your legs a work out with our game of zombie tag, then exercise your brain as we derive mathematical formulas to fit our data and make predictions about the speed of the world’s demise.

Cooling Gases
Chemistry and Physics combine in a fascinating show about states of matter.  Students are shown some of the more exciting aspects of this using liquid nitrogen.

Analytical Chemistry
Explore ideas on polarity (we all know oil and water don’t mix, but why?), then apply this knowledge to separating the components from two different mixtures. Separate the components in Kool-Aid and the insides of a glow stick to discover what they are made up of!

Animal Adaptations

Learn about evolution and how natural selection resulted in adaptations that have allowed animals to exist in a range of environments. Students will get to observe animals and analyse what adaptations allowed them to survive and be competitive.

Palaeontology - Looking at how skulls and bones can help explain features of animals.  h


Cluster Map