Investigating Science

Year 11 Investigating Science students visited Taronga Zoo Institute to complete a Depth Study on observing animal behaviour as part of their coursework.

Students had the amazing opportunity to meet Dr Ben Pitcher a Behavioural Biologist who explained the importance of his work at Taronga Zoo in the observation of animals. Interestingly he cited how observing animal behaviour in captivity helped them save animals in the wild. He gave the example of penguins where scientists attach an accelerator to animals in captivity to determine their eating habits. They learnt that when penguins feed, they move faster. So, then scientists attached accelerators to some penguins in the wild to learn about their feeding habits and areas they feed, noting their work at the zoo. The data allowed scientists to name some areas as marine conservation parks to save the animals in the wild, -as this is where they feed.

Students also went to a special marine workshop with zookeeper/trainers demonstrating how seals are observed and managed in saving species for the wild. Students also met other students from across the state undertaking Investigating Science.

The excursion relates to Module 1: “Cause and Effect: Observing” and Module 2: “Cause and Effect: “Inferences and Generalisations”. Looking at the use of quantitative and qualitative observations and how scientists use those to advance scientific understanding.

When asked what was the highlight of the day? Mr Peter Wilson, SGCS Science Teacher declared the never-ending fascination students have for animals, the wonder and uniqueness of each animal, including its behaviours pointing to the amazement and glory of our Creator God.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Romans 1:20

Report: Mr Peter Wilson, SGCS Science Teacher