Monday 13th March 2023

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' Isaac Asimov

Well we’re well into the term now and once again the Burns Block is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of science. Much to the delight of not only the boys, but also the maths department, senior management and the ladies in the office.

The overarching philosophy of the JMC science department is “The Development of Wisdom through Knowledge and Understanding”. At each year level boys are learning science through real world contexts that enhance their understanding of the world they live in and on. Obviously amongst this are the obligatory explosions, strange odours and the occasional body part!

Another focus of the department is media fluency. In a media saturated world it is vitally important that our students are equipped with the skill set needed to analyse, critique and evaluate what they are exposed to through television, print, social media and the internet. I think we can all agree that we have all seen the impact of social media over the last few years here in NZ and overseas. There is a famous science quote that reads, “everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own facts!”

Consequently the language of media fluency is embedded in our teaching programmes:

· Analyse

· Justify

· Compare and contrast

· Evaluate

· Critique

Hopefully 2023 won’t see the disruptions of the previous 3 years and our usual raft of field trips will proceed without any hitches. We have already had the year 13 bio boys out in the harbour snorkelling and the modified year 9 peninsula trips will be occurring in week 8. This year we are incorporating the Royal Albatross Colony and it is hoped the boys will be able to get involved in some community action.

I hope all the boys enjoy a stimulating and inspiring year in their respective science classes and would encourage them all to consider where a passion for the sciences could take them in the future!

“We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That's just not true. You just have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live up, or down, to expectations.”

Mae Jemison: Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

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