During Week 2 our Year 11 Chemistry students visited Billimari Olive processing plant and MSM Milling Canola oil processing plant at Manildra as part of their ChemisTREE depth study. The students compared the boutique La Barre olive oil processing plant with the large-scale canola oil and meal processing plant at MSM. Students were comparing the chemical and physical separation techniques, as well as the testing, monitoring and management of chemical processes, such as gas chromatography, titration and gravimetric analysis. They are using the excursion as a basis for a depth study, where they choose one aspect from the excursion and produce a learning product (for example, a report, movie or presentation) for assessment to show their understanding of Chemistry in an industrial context.
Additionally, our Year 11 Biology students visited the school’s new farm (Windermere) to conduct an ecological depth study. The students began the day with in-depth lectures from local soil scientist and KWS parent David McKenzie and a botany lecture from Landcare representative Sue Wakefield. Following this the students captured data on abiotic and biotic factors along 3 different 400m transects. The students tested water, collected rock samples, investigated the soil quality and measured the biodiversity using quadrats. The students will use this data to complete a depth study report for which they have 10 options focussed on ecology, geology, farm management and diversified options for the farm (viticulture, cherries and olives).