St Mary's College Ipswich has a robust science program, with curriculum offerings in physics, chemistry, biology and psychology. Science teachers at SMC are enthusiastic and supportive, helping all students to understand and enjoy their science lessons.
Behind the scenes, working to support the teaching team, is Laboratory Assistant Clint Wilson.
Primarily, Clint assists with the practical part of teaching science. “I prepare experiments, often do practise runs to make sure they will work in class, and try to ensure all goes smoothly during the lab classes."
Safety is another large part of Clint's job, ensuring the pracs teachers want to do are safe, and if they are not, finding more classroom friendly alternatives. “It is the nature of science that sometimes things don't go to plan no matter how much you prepare. That's one of the many reasons we always work safely so if things do go wrong, we're ready for any outcome. Happily, we've never had to use our eyewash stations, safety showers of fire extinguishers."
Joining the SMC science team in 2019, Clint's links to the SMC community are historic. “My mother was a Mary's girl, and my parents were married in St Mary's church so I had ties to SMC even before I was born."
Clint previously worked for Aurizon in the field of lubrication chemistry. Unsurprisingly, he studied science at university, with a major in chemistry, as well as some physics, maths and psychology.
For Clint the best thing about working with students is seeing the 'a-ha' moment when they are doing a prac. “You can tell when, by actually doing it themselves, they've grasped the idea or gotten the principle behind the theory they're learning."
Beyond their classroom subjects, SMC students are encouraged to expand their scientific knowledge. SMC is involved in the Wonder of Science program, with students collaborating with scientists from The University of Queensland to deepen their understanding of scientific concepts. SMC teams compete annually in the Wonder of Science competition, preparing a presentation for the Wonder of Science Ambassadors.
Extending the interests of keen scientists further, the SMC Science Club meets fortnightly to undertake experiments, learn about scientific principles and discuss the role science plays in creating a sustainable future.
Clint said science is an important study area for students because it is a part of every industry and has endless applications. “Science opens so many doors and worlds of opportunity. Even within our broad subjects of physics, chemistry, biology and psychology there are dozens and dozens of different fields and avenues of study. Studying science also develops important skills like problem solving, working methodically and using logic, that can be applied to all aspects of our life.
“Plus science is interesting, and it's fun!"
Clint is the College's most enthusiastic participant in our Fashion Friday staff dress up days. See below a gallery of his most memorable looks!