Year 12 Science and Maths Academy at Flinders (SMAF) is a project that aims to provide an exciting, collaborative venture which will enhance and support the teaching of Stage 2 Physics, Chemistry and Specialist Mathematics closely aligned with pathways to University.
SMAF commenced in February 2011 and has been developed in collaboration with southern high schools, the Southern Knowledge Transfer Partnership Office and Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century.
For more information on Year 12 Science and Maths Academy at Flinders
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.
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.
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.