A new year and a new start in Science for Dr Petty who has been teaching the Physics students in Y12 and Y13 and Mrs Francis who has been teaching the Y11 Physics!

Physics Trip

This week saw Y12 Physics students head over to Christchurch along with Mr Mulcahy and Trish Lockington (who kindly volunteered as a parent-help).

They went ice-skating to observe physics in a low friction environment and performed experiments on the ice with varying degrees of success. Another highlight was go-karting which relates to a later internal assessment based on the safety features on the track and karts. Mr Mulcahy won the go-karting as he was placed first in his group (of 10, and starting at the back) with the JPII boys, and Trish was placed 3rd in her group with nine WHS boys! Maia got the fastest lap time of 18 seconds. Caleb got lost twice and we had to go back and confirm he hadn't been kidnaped by the local crime syndicates. He also went more than 24 hours without Minecraft!!!

On Tuesday they went to the University of Canterbury to learn about Rutherford and his gold foil experiment, which involved learning about radiation, experimenting with radioactive materials and evaluating how effective carrot slices were at blocking beta and gamma radiation. They got to throw nuclear fuel rods around! They investigated the half-life of a radioactive copper nuclide using a Geiger counter. and experimented with electromagnetism, liquid nitrogen and many other physics concepts. 

Finally there was a demonstration using a Tesla coil and fuse that led to a satisfying explosion. Five dollar pizzas from Dominos were ordered for afternoon tea at the university and eaten before making the long drive back to the land of the West Coast.