18 August, 2023


House Debating

This week the annual House Debating competition was decided with a closely fought final in assembly between Fox House and Briggs House on the topic, “That Science is Sexy” in a nod to National Science Week. For the negative were Fox debaters, Jasmine Irani, Stephanie Dunphy, Kulani Somarathna and advisor, Hamish Fyffe. For the affirmative were Briggs debaters, Amelie Hughes, Chelsea Byerley and Stephanie Wilks, who were victorious on the day. Preliminary rounds of the House debating were run during pastoral time on Friday 4 August and saw over forty students, from Years 6 to 12, debating a range of topics. Adjudicators for this week’s final, Helen Dosser, Carrie Dunham and me enjoyed the presentation of all six speakers.  Thanks go to Year 12 student Chloe Davis for chairing the debate and Amelia Corrigan (Year 11) for timekeeping.

Sharon Beattie
Person-in-Charge of Debating

Science Week

The Science Department at Scotch Oakburn College do not need an excuse to celebrate Science- our passion for Science and innovation is embedded in everything we do. However, the annual National Science Week allows us to take advantage of extra opportunities to acknowledge Science and to engage with the wider community as we do so.

30 Senior School students, from Years 9 through to 12, attended a pre-Science Week presentation from Science communication guru, Dr Karl. Dr Karl spoke about future possibilities, including the use of transparent wood in windows and the ability to 3D print a COVID vaccine that is customised to your DNA; he conveyed the serious nature of some of the environmental problems facing us, including climate change and plastics in the food chain; and he inspired the audience with the message that these problems could in fact be fixed, with political and social will.

During the week, all Penquite students were treated to a debate which argued “That Science is Sexy”. The affirmative team assured us that Science was alluring while the negative team emphasised its crucial role in solving the world’s greatest problems. Although Briggs House came away with the House Debating Shield, Science’s reputation was the real winner of the debate.

Throughout this week, the National Science Week theme of Innovation has underpinned Year 10 Steam Week, while Year 6 Croft-Elliott finished the week by sharing in Science activities with their buddy class, EL Rockcliffe. Students from the TCE Environmental Science class headed to Trowunna Wildlife Park and 41 Degrees South Salmon Farm to see how they are using innovation to address ecological problems on a more local scale.

Seven teachers took their dedication outside school hours, uniting to compete in Science Week Trivia, sponsored by QVMAG and hosted at Du Cane Brewing. With collaboration and a healthy dose of competition, The Bunsen Burners left the evening victorious.

As another National Science Week draws to a close, we look forward to what the next one brings, knowing that every week the celebration of Science and its innovations underpin who we are and what we do.

Kate Gard
Head of Science