Cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs…..

Image Source

Learning Intention: Students will understand that any complex, multicellular organism requires a number of systems that work together. They will also understand that the excretory system consists of the kidneys, ureters and urethra that function to remove liquid wastes from the body.

Success Criteria: Students will label a diagram of the excretory system and complete a table with a brief description of each of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory and excretory systems.

So far we have studied the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems. Each of these systems is made of cells, which together make up tissues, tissues make up organs and the organs make up systems. These systems work together to ensure that the human body can move, grow, repair and maintain itself and eventually reproduce.

BBC Bitesize – from cells to systems – We will go through this review of cells and the interactive activity in class. You might like to have a go at the test for revision at home.

The Excretory System – How does the body remove ‘poisons’?

YouTube – The Excretory System by Hank – including excretion in other animals.(12 minutes)

YouTube – The Excretory System

BBC Science – The Interactive Body


Conservation Careers at the Zoo

Kat Fox, Education officer at Melbourne Zoo, speaking to our students at “Conservation Careers”.

On Friday, twelve students from Year 9 and 10 had the opportunity to attend a special program in Melbourne, “Conservation Careers at the Zoo”. It was an early start, with a 5.30am train departure from Warrnambool, arriving at Southern Cross just after 9.00am. We arrived at the Zoo to hear from Kat Fox, an education officer, who explained her previous experiences to eventually get her present job, which included work at the Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary.

We also heard from Rachel Lowry, who has “the best job in the world’ as the Director of Wildlife and Conservation Science at Zoos Victoria. She is responsible for the different conservation programs, such as “Wipe for Wildlife” and “Don’t Palm us Off”. One of the challenges of her job is prioritizing funding for threatened species.  One of the most interesting speakers was Dr. Marissa Parrot, a reproductive biologist, who spoke about her role with managing the breeding programs, including the genetics of captive bred animals (did you know that domestic animals have a much smaller brain size than wild animals?). Other speakers included zookeeper Adrian Howard (Carnivore and Ungulate Precinct Manager), Fiona Ryan (Veterinary Nurse) and Andrew Eadon (Education Officer).

A common theme amongst all the guest speakers was the competitive nature of the field and the requirement to be passionate, flexible, persistent and willing to volunteer for various positions to demonstrate your commitment. A high VCE score to enable you to access your chosen course and excellent university marks are also valuable on a curriculum vitae. If you would like to do work experience at the Zoo in Year 11, you will need to apply this year. Forms are available for download from the Zoos Victoria website.

Caring for Catchments

Last week, on World Environment Day, Hannah Cook from the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority visited our school with the Catchment Model Trailer. This is a 1.5 x 3.0m scale model of a catchment, showing the various environments that water passes through from the upper catchment to the oceans, including storm water drains, wetlands, agricultural and industrial areas. This opportunity allowed discussion about turbidity, erosion, effects of salinity, wildlife corridors and vegetation to provide habitat and protect stock from wind and weather.

This visit was a great way to kick start our “Caring for Catchments” projects in Years 7 and 8. Ten finalists will be chosen to present their projects (slideshows, models, videos, posters etc) that describe a strategy to protect and enhance our local environment. Some of the ideas that other participants have come up with include:

Photography contest (winning photos used in a calendar)
High School Solar Panels
Installation of new taps at the school
Green space development
Education and Awareness activities
Youth Nature Club
The Ripple Effect (A water conference for HS students)
Solar powered watering troughs for stock to keep animals away from river banks
Fencing off old remnant paddock trees
Garden to showcase native plants
River bank stabilisation project
Catchment model project
Ban the bottle Campaign (free bottles for students to reuse instead of buying bottled water)
Eco-friendly carwash soap (phosphate-free)
Children’s Activity book
Bat boxes and Bird Houses
‘The mystery of missing water’ (educational book series for grades 2-4)
Peace Garden
Caring for our Watershed kit and presentation
Recycling bins for school campus
Fishing line recycling containers @ stream edges
Proper disposal of mercury lamps
Biodiesel for the school bus
Riparian repair (revegetation works)
Rooftop gardens

What do you think are the most pressing problems we have in this district? What ideas have you got to improve our local environment?

Y7 Skills for Living

Today is International Peace day, so I would like you to write a post-it note on the Linoit board created by a teacher in Moscow, Tatyana. What does Peace mean to you? How do you think it feels to be threatened by violence in your home country? How can communities work towards more peaceful understandings?

You now have one of the following options:

  1. Write a blog post as if you were a refugee from war. Think back to “Boy Overboard” or “Girl Underground” if you have read those books. Put yourself in the shoes of a child who has lost their parents, relatives and friends due to violence.
  2. Create a “Tagxedo” or “Wordle” with 50 words around the theme of “peace” and post it on your blog. You may like to go to Google Translate and find out the word for Peace in other languages. Post the link to your blog post on the Linoit site above.
  3. Download the Student Toolkit for Peace Day 2012 and describe the three things that all Global Truce events have in common in a blog post. What event could you organize in the spirit of a Global Truce?
  4. Sign up to the “100 word challenge“. Use this week’s prompt .”…looking behind me, I saw……” to write one hundred more words on your blog. Link your blog post to the “100 word challenge” site.

Year 7 and Year 8 Skills for Living

Last Thursday Year 7 to 10 students had an opportunity to see “Escape from Worryville”, a theatrical performance about anxiety, depression and ultimately, empowerment. Your task today is to write a blog post about this performance. You can choose from one of the following ways to write and then leave a comment below with a link to your blog post.

(1) Pretend you are one of the characters in the play and write a diary entry from their perspective. Include descriptions of that characters thoughts and feelings.

(2) Find a creative commons image of a personal object that may have belonged to one of the characters. Describe what that object means to the character as if they were doing a “show and tell”. For example:
Thomas – lighter, glasses, favourite book
Hahona – baseball cap, health professional card, music, sporting paraphernalia. Thomas’ dad – gift from his wife, something from his childhood, something Thomas gave him
Hahona’s dad – cultural family heritage object, Rugby magazine,
Mr Wells – diary, small trinket object, teaching article.

(3) Write a letter from one character to another.

(4) Write a review of the performance as if you were writing for a newspaper. What was the story about? We’re the performances believable? What made the acting interesting? Would you recommend the performance to other teenagers? Why or why not?

(5) If none of these options appeal to you, or you were absent from the performance, you should sign up to the “100 word challenge“. Use this week’s prompt .”…looking behind me, I saw……” to write one hundred more words on your blog. Link your blog post to the “100 word challenge” site and leave a comment below with your blog post address.

Year 7 and 9: Light and Sound

Learning Intention: Students will understand that light and sound are forms of energy that can be transmitted through air, water and some solids. They will know that light and sound move as waves. They will distinguish between conduction, convection, absorption, reflection, transmission and radiation.

Success Criteria: Students will be able to describe how different types of energy (mechanical, chemical and electrical) can be transformed into light and sound, and describe the movement of light and sound as waves. They will complete various practical experiments and produce written or verbal reports describing their results.

What does luminous, incandescent and flourescent mean?
How do bio-luminescent organisms (glow-worms, some deep sea fish and phosphorescent algae) produce light?
What makes a rainbow?
What are polarised sunglasses?
Why can’t you see through tinted windows?
How do some animals see in the dark?
Why can’t anyone hear you scream in space?
What is a wave?
Why can’t humans hear sounds that some animals can? (a dog whistle for example)
Which travels faster – light or sound?

“How Stuff Works” is a great site for finding out more about light and sound.