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Science news

What is happening in Science?

Year 5 is so pleased to finally have lessons in a science lab! Their enthusiasm to explore the labs is a joy to witness. This week they explored floating tea bags and practiced safely conducting an experiment.

Year 7 have learnt how to safely operate a Bunsen burner and conduct experiments safely. This week they applied their knowledge of fair tests and conducted an investigation into which ball bounces the highest.

The Year 8 Forensic Science students have started their crime scene investigation and searched the simulated crime scene for evidence. Only time will tell if the students can crack the case.

Year 12 Chemistry students have been measuring energy changes in chemical reactions, while our Year 11s are looking at measuring the number of atoms present in a substance.

The Unit 3&4 Biology students have ‘transformed’ E.coli bacteria with a green fluorescent protein gene (GFP) from a species of jelly fish (Aequorea Victoria). Check out the resulting colonies in the photos.

STEM Clubs

We are launching STEM clubs for Junior, Middle and Senior students. Interested students should look out for the posters around the school or contact Mrs Leisha Skilton for more information.

Year 10s – check the myLearning announcement for details about participating in this year’s Brain Bee.

Leisha Skilton
Head of Science

Bacterial Transformation Practical

As part of the topic of DNA manipulation techniques and applications, the Unit 3&4 Biology students ‘transformed’ E.coli bacteria with a green fluorescent protein gene (GFP) from a species of jelly fish (Aequorea Victoria). Under appropriate conditions, a small circular section of DNA that contains the gene is taken up by the bacterial cells.

When grown on a specific sugar medium (arabinose), the bacteria will synthesis the green fluorescent protein. This allows them to ‘glow’ under a UV light.

The students were successful in their bacterial transformation, which resulted in a number of satellite colonies taking up the jellyfish gene. The practical investigation allowed the students to understand the process of bacterial transformation and its applications to research and medicine, such as the production of recombinant insulin (Humulin).

Amabel and Maya showing off their successfully transformed bacteria

Students will be assessed on the underlying theory associated with the practical in their upcoming SAC.

Linda Hartskeerl
VCE Biology teacher