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Virtual Kickstart Science and Mathematics

Online workshops for HSC science and mathematics students
Virtual Kickstart online, interactive workshops give HSC students a chance to learn key ideas, see demonstrations and perform their own analysis in the syllabus that can be attended from home or at school.

Workshop Details

Designed to meet the demand expressed by science teachers in response to changes to the NSW HSC Science syllabus and new schooling conditions during COVID-19, these workshops cover key ideas and demonstrations that students can attend and interact with virtually from their homes or schools.

The workshops are hosted by our senior science communicators and demonstrators, and have hands-on components designed to educate and engage students.

Disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
Duration: 90-minutes, or 2x 45-minute sessions on request. Physics also has a 1x 45-minute workshop option.
Times: 10am or 1pm, weekdays
Online Platform: Zoom
Classes: 45 students maximum per session.
$220 (inc GST) per class per 90-minute session
$240 (inc GST) per class for 2x 45-minute sessions
$135 (inc GST) per class for 1x 45-minute session (Physics)

All resources for teachers and students, including pre- and post-work, are included and will be provided prior to the workshop.

Teachers must be present to supervise their students throughout the duration of the workshop and to ensure students abide by our online etiquette and guidelines (provided upon registration).

On request, workshops can be accommodated to slightly shifted start/end times to suite your classroom schedules. Classes with small numbers of students can contact us directly for workshop options.

Virtual Kickstart Biology

Module 5

90-minute session or 2x 45-minute sessions online

Students will take on the role of a geneticist in this case study of sickle cell anaemia to determine whether a child has inherited the disease. Aligning with Module 5 and inquiry-based learning, students will investigate the genetic cause of sickle cell disease – a single nucleotide polymorphism.

The virtual workshop will incorporate demonstrations, hands-on activities, digital modelling and interactive questioning. The workshop addresses syllabus points for

  • DNA and polypeptide synthesis
  • Genetic variation
  • Inheritance patterns in a population

Students can perform their own experiments such as DNA extraction, model the polymerase chain reaction, discover how restriction enzymes digest DNA and learn about the use of gel electrophoresis as an analytical tool.

Register for Virtual Biology 2021

Module 6

90-minute session or 2x 45-minute sessions online.

Students will learn about the importance of biotechnology in several aspects of our society including medicine and agriculture.

They will be given a scenario where their task is to increase the production of a useful protein using bacteria and plasmids.

Students will design their own plasmid to contain essential genes to make useful proteins at a useful time, and help the bacteria survive.

They will investigate the use of inducers to optimise protein expression, and we will run through the process of protein purification of a fluorescent protein from genetically modified Escherichia coli (E. coli), and how specialised equipment is used to confirm the quality of the protein.

The virtual workshop incorporates hands-on digital modelling activities, video demonstrations of techniques and equipment used in biotechnology and interactive questioning.

The workshop addresses the HSC Biology syllabus:

  • Module 6: Genetic Change, Biotechnology and Genetic Technologies
  • Module 8: Non-infectious Disease and Disorders, and Prevention

With assumed knowledge of Module 5: Heredity

The workshop also aligns to Biology IB SL:

  • 2.4 Proteins
  • 2.6 DNA and RNA
  • 2.7 DNA Replication, Transcription and Translation
  • 3.5 Genetic Modification and Biotechnology

Virtual Kickstart Chemistry

Spectroscopy and Analysis Skills
90-minute session or 2x 45-minute sessions online

This workshop will demonstrate the use of NMR, IR, UV-Vis and Mass Spectroscopy, provide an overview of how the techniques are used by chemists for qualitative and quantitative analysis, and work through examples of spectra and how to analyse them.

Through a combination of inquiry-based learning and live and pre-recorded demonstrations, students will:

Conduct qualitative investigations to test for the presence in organic molecules of the following functional groups:

  • carbon–carbon double bonds
  • hydroxyl groups
  • carboxylic acids (ACSCH130)

Investigate the processes used to analyse the structure of simple organic compounds addressed in the course, including but not limited to:

  • proton and carbon-13 NMR
  • mass spectroscopy (ACSCH19)
  • infrared spectroscopy (ACSCH130)

Register for Virtual Chemistry 2021

Mathematics Virtual Kickstart (NEW!)

Modelling the spread of disease
90-minute session or 2x 45-minute sessions online

How are we able to make predictions about the course of a pandemic, and how do we decide what we can do to slow it down? Students will be able to develop and explore different mathematical models for the spread of disease, and to learn how to analyse them directly and with the aid of technology.

Through a combination of live and pre-recorded demonstrations, inquiry-based learning, and guided exploration using freely available mathematical software, students will explore the syllabus topics of:

  •  exponential functions (MA-E1, ACMMM066, ACMMM158)
  • graphing techniques (MA-F2)
  • differential equations (ME-C3.2, ACMSM130, ACMSM132)

They will also learn how real-world phenomena can be modelled mathematically, and how this can help inform policy makers in making decisions.

Register for Virtual Mathematics 2021

Physics Virtual Kickstart

Combination of Modules 5-8
90-minute session, 2x 45-minute sessions online
Shorter 1x 45-minute session available

Students will cover some of the greatest hits experiments from across the syllabus.

We will follow the scientific process of Predict, Observe, Explain through experimentation, data analysis and simulations. The virtual workshop will incorporate demonstrations, hands-on activities, experiments you can do in your class or at home, digital modelling and interactive questioning.

Experiments will include:

  • Projectile motion (ASCPH101)
  • Electric fields (ACSPH080)
  • Wave and quantum nature of light (ACSPH119) (ACSPH140)
  • Charge of an electron (ACSPH026)
  • Radioactive half-life (ACSPH029)

Your physics students will be given access to resources to do some pre-work, the workshop itself and post work in order to help cement any concepts and assist with assessment.

Register for Virtual Physics 2021