The Level 3 Geography boys head down to Tunnel Beach and Sandfly Bay in search of sand, sea and sedimentary rock formations!
Level 3 Geography focuses its Physical Geography content on Coastal Processes and compares two very different beaches in the Dunedin area. The basic premiss of the study is that either the beaches are different because they experience different processes or experience the same processes in different ways.
The 'Beach' trip is always a full on day with students trying to complete as many experiments and observations as they can within the brief time they have at each beach.
The Level 3 boys spend the early part of term one learning the science behind Coastal Processes, looking at Hydrology (waves) Geology (rocks) Pedology (sand/soil) and Climate. These interacting processes create our beach environments. Once they have learned their science they have to choose a research aim and hypothesis and come up with ideas of testing out what they think is happening.
Time on the beaches is then spent collecting data and other observations in order to either prove or disprove their hypothesis.
This year boys spent their time taking sand samples across both beaches. Sand is surprisingly different from one beach to another and even from different locations on the same beach, the level 3 boys can even tell you why. Other cutting edge experimentation included banging vasaline covered stakes into the ground and throwing oranges into the surf, all done in the name of science....
Once back at school the boys spend three weeks interpreting the mass of photographs, videos and data they have collected and write up their reports explaining their findings through their understadning of Coastal Science.
The 'Beach' trip is always a good day out and nothing furthers learning more than seeing science in action outside of the classroom. Success is measured against their completed assignments at the end of the term and whether they can beat Mr Campbell back to the vans up the steep slopes of both beaches.
The Level 3 boys next head away to Queenstown in term three to study the affects of Tourism in a Human Geography study, watch this space for skiing, bungy jumping and wine tasting as we try to understand how and why Queenstown has changed and what that means for her future.