Our Year 12 HSC Modern History, Physics and Chemistry students recently took part in a three-day excursion to Sydney. While the Science students visited the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation at Lucas Heights (ANSTO), home to Australia’s only research reactor and one of the country’s premier research institutions, the History class attended the annual HSC History study days, held by the History Teachers’ Association of NSW at the University of Sydney.
HSC Physics and Chemistry Teacher Gerard Braithwaite said the visit to ANSTO was a wonderful opportunity to bring to life the more theoretical aspects of the HSC Science course, on nuclear science. "The tour enabled the students to more deeply understand the role that ANSTO plays in the production of nuclear medicines for the Asia/Pacific region, irradiated silicon for the electronics industry, and a host of projects, from all areas of scientific research, involving neutron scattering and particle acceleration."
According to Year 12 Physics student Scott Lerch, the visit was not only a great learning experience but also a lot of fun. "You can study and research a lot about ANSTO online but it doesn’t compare to going and visiting the facility and having a guide that works there telling you everything they know about the science and engineering behind the fission reactor and particle accelerator,” said Scott.
Ravi Newman-Pache, also from the Year 12 Physics class, agreed. “The ANSTO excursion was a great experience," said Ravi. "It was inspiring, educational and eye-opening. Getting to see, in person, what we’ve been learning about helped with our understanding. But it was also really cool to see all the machinery and high tech equipment.”
The Modern History students who attended two of the university study days, also described their experience as useful, educational and fun.
"It was such an insightful and inspiring experience to go from our little Shearwater to the big city, and be able to gain a sneak peak into life as a university student," said Tiane Alexander. "We attended lectures on the Rise of Nazism, study tips for the exam and the Nuclear Age, among other things. It was amazing to be in a place filled with people as invested in, and inspired by, the subject as you are. I also felt especially honoured to have the chance to be lectured by the professors who write the very text books we learn from! It really gave me a motivating push to get through the rest of the year."
Emile Scheffers agreed. "The lectures brought a sense of simplicity, clarity and understanding to complex course concepts, the exam, and the overall HSC Modern History course," he said.
"The whole trip was an exceptional experience: walking through the unfamiliar city, and the Chinese and botanic gardens; admiring the curious ingenuity of Vivid festival and the subtle vastness of the State Library and experiencing the emotional stories of the Holocaust museum."
A final note from Gerard: "It was such a pleasure to be able to spend this time with some of our graduating class, and we thank the School administration for making such a trip possible."