Hunter students a mix of “excitement, nerves and gratitude” before new Science Extension HSC course

Fun: Clockwise: Tahlie Park (middle) is also studying Maths Extension 2, Daniel Studte, Angus McFayden, Bridgette May, Natasha Moore, who said many subjects had new syllabuses and Tully Vorobioff. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
Fun: Clockwise: Tahlie Park (middle) is also studying Maths Extension 2, Daniel Studte, Angus McFayden, Bridgette May, Natasha Moore, who said many subjects had new syllabuses and Tully Vorobioff. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

HUNTER students are feeling a mix of “excitement, nerves and gratitude” about starting the new Higher School Certificate Science Extension course next term, saying it will provide valuable insight into pursuing careers in the field.

Hunter School of the Performing Arts (HSPA) and Newcastle Grammar School are both preparing to offer the one unit course, which requires year 12 students to propose and develop a research question, formulate a hypothesis and develop evidence-based responses to create a scientific research report and portfolio.

Students will also work with a mentor with experience in their chosen interest area.

HSPA science teacher Roshni Singh said 12 students had enrolled in the subject, which she described as an “authentic application of scientific skills”.

“This subject is about challenging them and helping them step outside their comfort zone,” Ms Singh said.

“It’s going to be a very intense, student-directed course and take up a lot of time and effort, but they’re all highly organised and have good time management skills.

“It was needed to bridge the gap between high school and tertiary education and will be a great way to prepare them for what to expect at university. 

“Their interest in this subject is really going to help them succeed.”

Bridgette May, 17, hopes to pursue dentistry after school and said it was crucial that women who were interested and capable of studying science at a high level knew it was accessible.

“Women make up 50 per cent of the world’s population but we aren’t going into science in those numbers,” she said.

“We’re losing so much potential brain power and knowledge.

“I’m feeling very grateful that I have the chance to do something students haven’t had the chance to do before.

“We’ll get to see what science is like in university and meet mentors and make connections before we definitely decide on it for a career.”

Angus McFayden, 16, will also be studying chemistry, biology and physics and said he hoped the subject would strengthen his critical thinking across the board.

He hopes to pursue medicine, biomedical science or biochemistry.

“I’m a bit stressed, but looking forward to working at a more mature level. I want to grow my understanding of the world around me – that’s a privilege not everyone gets.”

Tully Vorobioff said the cohort had been the trial year for many initiatives, including project based learning.

“It can be difficult at times, but it does give us the ability to adapt to new situations,” he said.

“It’s a little daunting being the first with a new subject, but very exciting and I have high expectations. 

“We have an opportunity to extend ourselves.

“It’s important we do well and set the standard and a good example.”