Welcome to the St. Mary's H.S. Science Department Home Page
"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living." - Henri Poincaré.
Mrs Sandra McConnell (HoD)
Mr John McAuley
Miss Sinead Bellew
Miss Sharon Molloy
Miss Colleen Meaney (Technician)
Science covers 3 different subjects: Chemistry, Physics and Biology. It builds upon and has strong links with many other subjects including: Maths, ICT, English, Geography and Technology.
Why Study Science?
A basic understanding of physics will help you:
- Appreciate the lack of friction that allows you to zoom down a water slide
- Approximate the forward thrust and velocity necessary to hit your water-balloon target
- Ponder Newton's 1st Law of Motion (particularly the way it implies that a body at rest tends to stay at rest) as you lounge under a tree on a hot summer day
- Ride roller coasters with confidence, knowing that centrifugal force will keep you in your seat through those upside-down loops
- Use the principle that polar opposites attract while chasing after your latest crush
With a little bit of chemistry in your brain, you can:
- Rest assured that the gas in those neon signs are inert, and won't react with anything else
- Use your knowledge of solvents and solutions to make the perfect glass of homemade lemonade
- Describe your friends and your relationships with analogies based on the periodic table (Use these to get you started: "He's such a noble gas: He won't interact with anyone." "We are as compatible as hydrogen and oxygen: we fit together perfectly.")
- Appreciate the chemical reactions that take place when human relationships form.
A background in basic biology will allow you to:
- Classify and categorise any alien life form you meet
- Attempt to recreate Dr. Frankenstein's experiments in your basement
- Avoid poisonous plants and animals while searching for hidden treasure in the woods
- Speculate about the possible genetic makeup of the (hypothetical) offspring of your cocker spaniel and your friend's parakeet
Science can be fun—and entertaining! At the very least, science classes are a necessary part of the national curriculum—which is valuable by itself. But the true value of high school science courses lies in learning something about the world around you. You may not remember what transpiration means, the exact distance from the earth to the sun, or what makes a chemical bond the covalent kind, but you'll have spent some time thinking about the world around you and how it works. And some day, when your son asks why there's water on the outside of the glass holding a cold drink on a hot day, you'll know there's a reason for it—even if the word condensation escapes you.