Tuesday 26 August 2014

Selby Foundation Grant

The Senior Science Faculties of the Ridgeway and Plenty campuses have recently received a grant of $5000 from the Selby Scientific Foundation. The Grant has been provided in support of our project that specifically aims to expand analytical capabilities in the area of Environmental Chemistry.

It is critically important that students are able to engage in the Science related to our environment and climate. The equipment purchased through this grant has a wide variety of applications across both the chemical and biological sciences where the impact of human activity on our environment is a key focus. VCE Chemistry Unit 2 focusses on Environmental Chemistry and the impact of human activity on our atmosphere and water systems. The new equipment will give students the ability to design and conduct experiments to see first hand the impact of rising carbon dioxide on temperature, nitrates in animal products, or water analysis by specific pollutants in our local environment. Year 11 and 12 IB and VCE Biology students investigate photosynthesis as well as cell respiration and population dynamics and biodiversity.

The portability of the PASCO hardware purchased with this grant will enable field work and long-term data collection. The various sensors that were purchased will allow students to design extended experimental investigations into water quality and the impact of different chemicals on aquatic environments. Research projects are currently being planned to look into various aspects of water quality in local creeks and waterways, the impact of land use in the surrounding environment and communicating with local environment management and interest groups. Students might detect organic materials, or phosphates from fertilisers, or the presence of metal contaminants in different environments.

In Year 12 IB and VCE Chemistry students have an in depth look at analytical techniques throughout many aspects of the chemical sciences including forensic analysis, development of new medicines, environmental testing and industrial processes. The new spectrophotometer allows our students to conduct these experiments in-house, where previously excursions were needed. We are thrilled that by using all of this analytical equipment, our students are able to develop experimental skills that are up-to-date and relevant and the associated techniques are applicable in a number of university courses.

On behalf of the Science Teams at both the Ridgeway and the Plenty Campus, Ivanhoe Grammar School would like to express our gratitude to Mr Graeme Selby, Professor John McKenzie and the Trustees of the Selby Scientific Foundation.