Science Science

Science – it’s like a mystery inviting anyone who is interested to become a detective and join in the fun.

Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives.

At St Rita's, Science is taught across Years 5 - 10 and is an elective in the Senior years. In the Primary years, Science lessons expand curiosity and willingness to explore. Fun experiments and lots of interactive stepping stones that prompt questions and inquisitiveness on the changing world in which we live.

From Years 7 to 10, there will be units of Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space. In Year 10 a choice is offered between Science and General Science. In the Senior Years, Science subject options include Biology, Chemistry and Physics.



St Rita’s recognises that our rapidly evolving knowledge-based economy requires employees and employers who are scientifically and technologically literate people. Over 10 percent of the Australian workforce are directly employed in STEM-related occupations and 75% of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills and knowledge.

STEM at St Rita’s is embraced from Year 7. Following the Australian Curriculum in the learning areas of Mathematics, Science and Technologies, lessons and projects have their basis in authentic ‘real world’ concepts and promote collaboration among our students to bring a project to fruition.

Our teaching staff encourage students to explore concepts, form their own opinions and construct their own hypothesis about the concept of science disciplines. Student creativity in our Science classrooms is essential. The girls are given opportunities that allow them so discover Science as an exciting and creative pursuit and explore the unknown.

From our Primary Years to Senior, hands on research and experimentation, collaborative projects and robust discussion are all seen daily in the St Rita’s College science laboratories. Across the Year levels there is a consistency of collaborative work, the learning of laboratory techniques and the important use of digital technologies in exploring, understanding and applying the many methods that make up the scientific world.


On the day: Experience collisions, static electricity and electrical circuits where you can put your reflexes and stability skills to the test. Learn all about motion using 3D catapults, or even construct your own mousetrap car!

Try this at home: you can walk on eggs!

Eggs are amazingly strong, despite their reputation for being so fragile. But, are they strong enough to support the weight of your body? 

Click here to try the experiment, then read below to see how it works!

Plain and simple, the shape of the egg is the secret! The egg’s unique shape gives it tremendous strength, despite its seeming fragility. Eggs are similar in shape to a three-dimensional arch, one of the strongest architectural forms. The egg is the strongest at the top and the bottom (or at the highest point of the arch). That’s why the egg doesn’t break when you apply pressure evenly to both ends. The curved form of the shell helps to distribute pressure evenly all over the shell rather than concentrating it at any one point. However, eggs do not stand up well to uneven forces, which is why they crack easily on the side of a bowl. This also explains how a hen can sit on an egg and not break it, but a tiny little chick can break through the eggshell. The weight of the hen is evenly distributed over the egg, while the pecking of the chick is an uneven force directed at just one spot on the egg.

If you guessed that the egg carton probably played a role in keeping the eggs from breaking, you’re right. Joseph Coyle is credited as the inventor of the first container made specifically to keep eggs from breaking as they were transported from the local farm to the store. As the story goes, Coyle invented the egg carton in 1911 as a way to solve a dispute between a farmer and a hotel operator who blamed the farmer for delivering broken eggs. Coyle designed a container made out of thick paper with individual divots that supported each egg from the bottom while keeping the eggs separated from one another. As legend has it, the fully loaded egg carton can even be dropped, and if it lands just right, the eggs will survive the fall.


Chemistry is literally everywhere. Humans are made of chemicals, and so are our pets. The Sun is made of chemicals, as is the Moon. Cooking food and the changing colour of leaves on a tree is all to do with Chemistry!

Allowing us to have greater control over the many ways we interact with the range of environments that are around us daily, this amazing science is the Central Science. It creeps into every other science and then into our daily lives.

On the day: learn how to use reactions to make your own slime, giant bubbles and gases, all showing the colours of the rainbow.

Make your own Crystal Snowflake!

1. Make or buy a paper snowflake.

2. Add 2-3 teaspoons of salt to a cup and add just enough hot water to dissolve all the salt. Stir. This is the part where you can talk about “solutions” and “supersaturation” and all that fantastic science stuff! 

3. Put your snowflake onto a shallow plate and pour salt water on top. Make sure all the snowflake is covered. Set aside for a few days until the water has evaporated and the salt has crystallised. You’ll hopefully notice that the salt crystals have formed into perfect little cubes! And that the crystals have formed only on the one (top) side of the paper! 

Fun Facts

  • In nature, all snowflakes are six-sided (or have six points) because of the way they are formed. The molecules in ice crystals join to one another in a hexagonal structure, an arrangement which allows water molecules – each with one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms – to form together in the most efficient way.
  • Salt (sodium chloride) dissolves in water, because of the polarity of the water. Positive sodium ions bond with the negative part of the water molecule, and negative chloride ions bond with the positive part of the water molecule.
  • Salt crystals are cubic. You can see this with the naked eye, but it’s also fun to study under a microscope or magnifying glass if you have one too.


The truly fascinating and mind-bending science of biology is the study of living things and their vital processes. It is the Sir David Attenborough of the sciences, the science of life guiding us through a discovery of every living creature.

On the day: Experience Biology first-hand and marvel at both living and non-living material right up close under a microscope! View plants transpiring or extract DNA.

Fun Facts

  • 75% of the world’s food stocks are made from 12 plants and five animal species (… and we all have trouble deciding what to order!)
  • Grasshoppers have ears on their stomachs. 
  • Humans are the only animals with chins. 
  • Lake Superior in North America has an island, which has a lake, which has an island which has a pond which has a boulder. When the pond floods it becomes the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake in the world! 
  • Ants have THREE joints in each leg!
  • Our blood is produced in our body’s bones!
  • Amphibians generally live on land, but start life in the water.
  • Snakes never close their eyes, even while sleeping. They don’t have eyelids, just eye scales and they shed their eye scales when they shed their skin. 
  • If you smoothed out all of the wrinkles in your brain, it would lay flat the size of a pillowcase.