In Years 8 to 10, Science students are offered a variety of activities and competitions to allow students with an enthusiasm and talent for science to expand their knowledge and skills. Mr Martin Ramshaw and Mr Lex Smith run specialised extension programmes for girls in Years 8, 9 and 10.
Extension students participate in a variety of competitions throughout the year including the RACI Chemistry Quiz, the UNSW Science Competition, the Science IQ Quiz organised by the Science Teachers' Association of Western Australia (STAWA) and the big science competition run by Australia Science Innovations. We have been successful in these competitions and are proud of the girls' achievements. In particular, we have had several girls receive plaques in the RACI Chemistry Quiz for being the highest scoring students in their respective year groups in the state.
Science and Engineering Challenge
The Year 9 extension students spend class time looking at construction methods and then compete against other schools in the “Engineering Challenge” where they have to design and build a variety of machines and structures such as bridges, air powered cars, a hovercraft and high tech sustainable housing.
Year 10 Extension students take part in the Australian and New Zealand Brain Bee Competition every year. This is a competition where students are expected to study a unit of work on neuroscience with much of it being presented at first or second university level. The girls complete a multiple choice, on-line quiz and successful students reach the State Final at UWA. Each year we have about twenty girls successfully reach the final. These students have a day listening to guest speakers who were doing research in the areas of neuroscience. They are taken on a guided tour of the Neuroscience Department of UWA and then participate in the finals of the individual and team competition.
Extension students in Year 8 and 9 have also represented the school at the Science Investigation Awards (SIA) hosted by the Primary Industry Centre for Science Education (PICSE) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). The annual event gives students an opportunity to present their scientific investigations to researchers and leaders from the primary industries. In 2011 St Mary's students won the top prize in Year 8, for the most Innovative Agricultural Investigation, and also won the award for the best Science Investigation in Year 9.
Science Extension Camp
The Year 10 extension students have the opportunity to experience some of their road science experiments first hand whilst go-karting on the annual camp in November. They also visit the Gravity Discovery Centre with The Leaning Tower of Gingin, and have a sleepover at Scitech.
Year 11 students also take part in Science Café. The event gives students the opportunity to speak one-on-one with scientists to find out what inspired them to take up science and where their science careers have led them.