Are you undecided about which high school you/your child should attend? Have a look at our 2018 magazine and see why Pinelands High School should be your first choice. The magazine gives one an excellent feel for the life of our school and covers academics, culture, leadership development, music, sport and more.
We have recently added some new plants to our Garden of Extinction. This Garden aims to display a selection of rare and threatened lowland fynbos plants which possibly once existed in the school's natural environment. The Garden of Extinction is part of the Biodiversity Garden outside the Life Science classrooms.
Many thanks to BotSoc volunteer Mr Rupert Koopman (an ecologist at CapeNature), who assisted Dr de Roo at the Kirstenbosch Plant Fair in helping to choose the additional plants for the garden.
Among the new plantings are:
Cliffortia ericifolia (Endangered) http://redlist.sanbi.org/species.php?species=3455-52
Lampranthus stenus (Endangered) http://redlist.sanbi.org/species.php?species=88-202
Leucadendron linifolium (Vulnerable) http://pza.sanbi.org/leucadendron-linifolium
Leucadendron levisanus (Critically Endangered) http://pza.sanbi.org/leucadendron-levisanus
Serruria aemula var. foeniculaceae (Critically Endangered) http://pza.sanbi.org/serruria-aemula
These new plants have also been logged as observations on the iNaturalist platform (as cultivated specimens) as a way to keep track of the biodiversity in our school grounds. We recently started an online project within iNaturalist “Biodiversity of Pinelands High School”. We already have 129 observations with 98 identified species in our grounds (some of which are wild). You can check out this project here: https://www.inaturalist.org/
We hope this project will be a launchpad for exploring biodiversity at the school campus, encouraging sustainable gardening and supporting educational programs.
From left to right: Mr Koopman and Dr de Roo at the Kirstenbosch Plant Fair
#biodiversity @inaturalist @BotSocSA @KirstenboschNBG @CapeNature1 #WesternCape #LifeScience #learning #GardenofExtinction #biodiversitygarden #fynbosfriday #citizenscience #fynbos #capetown #nature #endangered
Last week during Natural Sciences our Grade 8s were learning about elements and compounds and being introduced to chemical bonds and chemical reactions. We used simple electrolysis and heating to demonstrate some decomposition reactions like this one showing the thermal decomposition of potassium permanganate.
Using a bunsen burner to heat potassium permanganate (KMnO4) results in a chemical reaction that produces potassium hypomanganate, manganese(IV) oxide and oxygen gas. A test for oxygen gas is done using a glowing splint. The glowing splint ignites in the test tube in the presence of a high concentration of oxygen.
(video credit to Dr de Roo)
The Natural, Life and Physical Sciences subjects have strong practical contexts which we embrace and encourage at Pinelands High School. We have a dedicated lab technician who ensures that lab work enhances learning, is innovative, fun and done more and more regularly.
Grade 12 Physical Sciences students investigating the effect of concentration on reaction rate using the reaction between sodium thiosulphate and hydrochloric acid.
When hydrochloric acid is added to a clear solution of sodium thiosulphate, one of the products formed is yellow sulphur. Sulphur turns the clear solution cloudy. If a piece of paper with a cross marked on it is placed under the reaction flask, the time taken for the cross to disappear can be used to calculate the rate of the reaction. The experiment is repeated with different concentrations of sodium thiosulphate solution. This experiment complements theoretical teaching done in class and forms part of each student's school-based assessment mark.