70 Mandurah Catholic College (MCC) students participated this year in The Big Science Competition, which challenges students from Years 7 to 10 and tracks their performance against State and national averages.
MCC students performed outstandingly in the competition, with four budding young scientists finishing with scores in the top 5%. Chloe Sowerbutts (Year 7), Kale Brandis (Year 8) and Year 10 students Beau Outridge and Exton Menzies receiving Certificates of High Distinction in recognition of their exemplary results.
Eleven students also achieved outstanding results to finish in the top 10 percent nationally and receive a Certificate of Distinction, and another 21 students received a Certificate of Credit for finishing in the top 25 percent.
Big Science entrants are tested on their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, not just factual recall. Questions are set in real-life, contemporary contexts to make them relatable and interesting. Science inquiry skills are tested, including identifying and formulating questions and hypotheses for testing, making predictions and collecting, analysing and evaluating data to draw valid conclusions.
Students are also tested on the development of science knowledge and processes across cultures and over time, its application in areas of human endeavour and its significance in informing personal and societal decisions and actions. Questions are also asked about the influence society has on science. Their understanding of core concepts relating to Biological, Chemical, Physical, and Earth and Space Sciences, is also put under the microscope.