Science

Science Faculty
Scott Doehler
Oliver Amiel
Neil Bryant
Graeme Campbell
Sue Cheung
Fiona Dalrymple
Andrea Felix
David McCarthy
Ron Neufeld
Josie Olszewski
Rick Rodrigues
Debbie Sage
Ken Snow

In this increasingly technical and scientific world, a solid grounding in science is imperative. Every day, we confront new issues and must make important choices based on our understanding of scientific data. To understand these issues, it is essential that Brentwood students have a good grasp of the scientific method: observation, questioning, forming hypotheses, testing hypotheses by experimentation, and drawing conclusions based on empirical evidence, not speculation. In all courses, laboratory work is used to provide a practical means of demonstrating scientific principles.

The study of science is an integral part of the curriculum, with all students taking foundation courses in Science 9 and 10, a Science and Technology 9 elective, and at least one Science 11 elective. Many students gain Grade 11 credits in all three major sciences – physics, chemistry and biology – with a significant number studying two Science 12 courses.

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A laser demonstartion in science class
Testing a hover craftin creative science
Preparing to race model cars
Model CO2 Cars Racing

Scott Doehler

B.Sc. (Hons) and B.Ed. (Queen’s University) Head of Science, Privett Assistant Houseparent

Born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, the son of two teachers, Mr. Doehler has, along with many fellow Canadians, opposed Earth’s rotation and slowly drifted west. After backpacking around the world for a year following university, Mr. Doehler enjoyed ten great years teaching junior high school in Edmonton and Calgary before shifting to ‘Island time’ and joining the Brentwood faculty. He brings to Brentwood an absolute passion for the rocks, raw power, and beauty of our planet, and champions courses in Earth Science and Geology, as well as leading an annual trip for the entire Grade 10 class to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre. Outside of the wonderful whirlwind that is Brentwood, Mr. Doehler joins his wife Marianne – a fellow geologist - in passions for vocal music, snowboarding, and backcountry hiking. Summiting Kilimanjaro in Africa, and taking their 8-month-old son on his first month-long camping trip throughout Alaska and the Yukon exemplify the travel ‘bug’ that has so thoroughly bitten them both. Mr. and Mrs. Doehler have achieved parity in life living with three wonderful children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous adopted Privett children.

Oliver Amiel

B.Sc. (McGill) Whittall Assistant Houseparent, Chemistry, Rugby, Strength and Conditioning

"Where are you from?" is an interesting question for Mr. Amiel and not one easily answered. Born on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, his family moved to Vancouver, then to Calgary, New Zealand, and back to the Sunshine Coast, all in 13 years. With a healthy amount of time spent in England over that same time period, Mr. Amiel was accustomed to a nomadic lifestyle when he landed at Brentwood in grade 8. He developed a love of science during his 5 years at Brentwood and moved on to live in Montreal and attend McGill for six years, where he studied a wide range of sciences, but found his greatest passion to be Chemistry. He promptly left Canada after graduation, moving to South Korea, where he taught English for one year, and then moved to Melbourne, Australia. He acquired his Diploma of Education there and worked at three schools over seven years. During that time, Mr. Amiel fell in love with the Australian High Country and the pursuit of outdoor activities. He returned to Canada in early in 2011 and met the love of his life, Robyn, that spring, whom he married in the summer of 2013. They now both live and work at Brentwood... with their son Gavin and dog Mya.

Neil Bryant

B.Sc. (Victoria) Chemistry, Science, Debating, Law

While he is not keen to admit it, Neil is approaching the middle part of his career in teaching. All of it has been at one boarding school or another, and all of them are within 20 kilometres of Mill Bay. Consequently, he is very happy to now be part of the Brentwood faculty, as he has admired the school from outside the gates for years.  After graduating from UVIC with a Biochemistry degree and almost finishing his MA in Special Education from UBC, Neil decided that he would much rather teach chemistry and science rather than merely practice them. Thoroughly absorbed by feeding 2 persnickety cats and raising 2 amazing children, Neil also enjoys road bike racing, rowing and coaching debate all of which get the heart pumping and allow him to eat like a king without looking like a zeppelin. He also is a trial writer for the Science 10 curriculum and exam with the BC Ministry of Education, on the executive for the BC Speech and Debate Society, and sings in a cover band whenever he has a spare evening.

Susanna Cheung Robinson

Susanna Cheung Robinson

B.Sc. (UBC), B.Ed. (Calgary), Houseparent MacKenzie House, Science

Susanna was born in Hong Kong but her family immigrated to Canada when she was 6 months old. She grew up in Calgary and was drawn to the West Coast and so attended UBC and completed a BSc majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in Psychology. After completing that degree she returned to Calgary and decided to go into the education field. Susanna completed the Education program at UofC and started working at a Charter school. She worked there from 2001 to 2011 with two breaks for maternity leaves (her two boys). Her love of the ocean and the outdoors has brought her and her family to the coast in 2011. She enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and SCUBA diving. Susanna could spend hours mucking about in the tide pools and the intertidal zone, or even just looking out her office window at the seals sunbathing on the docks.

Fiona Dalrymple

B.Sc.H. (Queen's), B.Ed (VIU) Math, Biology, Science, Field Hockey, Cross Training

Having a houseparent as a mother, Fiona Dalrymple grew up as a private school campus brat. Little did she know that sharing her mum with generations of teenage girls and wearing knee highs and kilts would be integrated so completely into her cellular makeup. After fleeing the West Coast in search of adventure (and to attend and play field hockey for Queen’s University), Ms. Dalrymple realized that her heart belonged in B.C. She met her husband at Shawnigan Lake School and has since worked at Glenlyon Norfolk School, Dwight International School, and Cowichan Secondary School. Ms. Dalrymple’s major passions in life are organic land care and the natural environment (and teaching math and science of course!). She is an outdoor enthusiast who helps organize the school ski trips, trains for triathlons, and mountaineers when she has a moment to spare.

David McCarthy

David McCarthy

M.A. (Cambridge University, U.K.) Director of Academics, Chemistry, Biology, Rugby

Raised in the industrial heartland of northwest England, David McCarthy took the road from Wigan Pier to Cambridge University where he studied biochemistry and applied biology. After teaching for seven years in his hometown, he and his Vancouver-born wife, Lisa, transplanted themselves to Brentwood in 1987. There, he coached rugby, taught biology and chemistry, and was a houseparent to the boys of Ellis House. A year's sabbatical in 2005 gave him strength for the position Director of Academic Studies a role which he held until 2015. He then moved into the newly created role of Director of Learning. In the meagerness of his spare time, Mr. McCarthy runs, bikes, and boats away from the campus; he is invariably drawn back by its peerless charm. Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy have two children and some grandchildren as well!

Ron Neufeld

B.Sc. (University of Victoria) Privett Houseparent, Science, Teacher Liaision – Technology

The eldest of four brothers, Ron Neufeld developed the current model for all learning paradigms: children will believe anything you tell them, and this can be amusing. Realizing that tall tales would fare much better with the authority of science, Mr. Neufeld studied biochemistry at the University of Victoria where he also completed his professional teaching year. He joined the Brentwood faculty in 1999 as a science teacher. Since 2003, Mr. Neufeld - also known as Starship Commander - has been the houseparent of Privett House. He is currently owned by two cats, 50 Privett boys, 80 science students, a SmartBoard, and two computers. He is happily married to Lisa, a computer specialist, with whom he has a daughter and a son.

Josie Olszewski

B.Sc. (McGill), M.Sc. (SFU), Physics, Science, Outdoor Pursuits

Rick Rodrigues

Rick Rodrigues

B.Ed. (Manitoba) Director of University Counselling, Physics

Rick Rodrigues has been at Brentwood since 2002, another convert to West Coast living who arrived from Winnipeg where he had received his B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba. A man of many talents, Mr. Rodrigues can be found in the lab theatrically teaching the beauty of physics or in the University Counselling office passionately advising senior students in their post-secondary pursuits. Singer, actor, physicist, counselor: Mr. Rodrigues is a true Renaissance man about the campus. Mr. Rodrigues lives in Privett House as the '3rd Man' with his lovely wife Jennifer and son Edward.

Debbie Sage

B.A. (Trent) Head of Rowing, Science Lab Assistant, Administrative Assistant

Where else to develop a love of rowing but in St. Catharines, Ontario, where Debbie Sage spent her youth before moving to Trent University to continue rowing and earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and business. Joining the Brentwood rowing staff in 1997, Mrs. Sage also serves as the science lab technician, Head of Rowing, and Chair of the Brentwood Regatta. Considered one of the luckiest people on earth by her friends ("being paid to do something you love so much!"), Mrs. Sage spends her free time with her husband, Peter, and two children.

Katrina Tarrant

B.Sc. (WSU), RFA Allard House, Rowing 

Katrina Tarrant is originally from Creston, B.C., where in  high school she participated on various teams such as basketball, volleyball, and swimming, along with activities  like yearbook and students' council. During her Grade 10 year she was introduced to the sport of rowing, and by 2012 she was part of the gold medal crew at CanAmEx. Ms. Tarrant received a full rowing scholarship to Washington State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minoring in Sport Management with an emphasis in Kinesiology. In addition, she was on the PAC 12 First Academic team multiple years, and finished with a national ranking of 7th in 2015, and 11th in 2016. This is Ms. Tarrant’s first year at Brentwood where she will be working as  a coach with the Brentwood College Rowing team and as the new Residential Faculty Advisor of Allard House. On holidays she love’s spending time with her family: younger brother Peter, parents Sharen and Don, boyfriend Ryan, and dog Hudson. 

Jenna Warner

Jenna Warner

B.Sc., B.Ed. (University of Manitoba) Assistant Houseparent Alex House, Science, Field Hockey

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jenna Warner is a prairie girl at heart.  After earning her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba, she moved west to join the Brentwood community to teach science and biology and live on campus as a Resident Assistant. A sports fanatic from childhood, Ms. Warner plays basketball, badminton, soccer, but field hockey is her passion. She represented the University of Manitoba, and has played and coached field hockey at both the Western Canada Summer Games and Canada Summer Games. Ms. Warner is thrilled to be co-coaching Brentwood’s 1st XI field hockey team.

Creative Science and Engineering

Student work on a hover craft in creative sciemce

Offered as part of the Brentwood Arts progamme, this is a hands-on exploratory course in science and engineering. Students participate in a number of project-based activities such as designing and building bridges and earthquake-resistant skyscrapers, playing golf with trebuchets and catapults, launching water rockets, racing CO2-powered cars, building wind and wave power generation systems from scratch, working with VEX robotics, conducting entertaining chemistry experiments, participating in Brentwood's ocean environment monitoring program, and doing biological dissections. Students thinking about a career in science or engineering and who enjoy working in a team environment will enjoy this active class.

Science 9

This course consists of a number of disparate but complementary units. Biology introduces students to the central idea of DNA and its role in storing the genetic information that determines the activities of cells. The structure and function of cells and their organelles is examined and the role of the nucleus highlighted. The behaviour of chromosomes in cell division is linked to the cell cycle, mitosis and the causes of cancer. Asexual and sexual reproduction are compared and contrasted, together with the biotechnology and ethical issues behind therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Students are made aware of the various technologies such as in-vitro fertilization that are available to assist infertile couples.

Chemistry focuses on the structure of the atom and the development of the Bohr model and its application to the modern Periodic Table. Ionic and covalent bondings are studied as are the formulae of binary and polyatomic compounds.

In physics, the main topic is electricity, both static and current. Circuits with parallel and series components are constructed and studied and the concepts of voltage, resistance and current are taught involving calculations from which students derive important principles such Ohm’s law. Electrical energy, power and efficiency are discussed with relation to the world’s energy needs.

In space science, students identify and describe a range of instruments that are used in astronomy (e.g. telescopes, spectroscopes, satellites, probes, robotic devices) and study examples of how astronomers use astronomical and space exploration technologies to advance understanding of the universe and solar system (e.g. using red shift to support the idea of an expanding universe, using parallax to measure distance).

Science 10

All Grade 10 students cover the biology and chemistry units in half the year with one specialist teacher and the physics and earth science topics in the remaining half of the year with another specialist teacher. Many of the topics are integrated through fieldwork studies at nearby locations such as the estuary, beach and Mill Stream salmon run. An inquiry based, problem solving approach is encouraged wherever possible and students are introduced to the empirical nature of science by collecting and analysing their own data. In conjunction with the mathematics department, specific IT objectives are reached by having students handle and present data they have obtained through observation and measurement.

The biology unit covers an introduction to ecosystems and the factors that determine the sustainability of natural environments. Topics such as food chains, pyramids of biomass, succession and keystone species are investigated with particular reference to the estuarine environment. Students visit the Bamfield Marine Research Station on the West coast of the island for a 3 day field trip which involves a variety of lab and beach activities designed to complement and enhance the curriculum.

In chemistry, different types of chemical reactions are examined and described in terms of word and symbol equations. Isotopes and their importance in dating materials is described. Radioactivity of various kinds is described and related to their common sources. Problems associated with radioactivity are discussed and linked to the development of atomic weapons, cancer and atomic power. Motion is a major topic in physics with both uniform motion and acceleration described in terms of Newton’s Laws and simple equations. The course concludes with a consideration of energy transfer in natural systems, particularly weather and the movements of wind and water on a global scale. Tectonic plate theory, volcanism and seismic forces are also studied in this earth and space science section.

Biology 11

A thorough understanding of biology provides students with a foundation for studies in ecology, the environment and medicine. To fully comprehend the science of biology, students must first familiarize themselves with classification systems and evolutionary theories. The origin of life according to the heterotroph hypothesis is followed by a study of the Monerans emphasizing bacteria. Protists, plants and animals are then studied in a sequence that depicts the evolutionary progression of life. The oceanfront campus provides a unique opportunity for students to examine a living marine environment.

AP Biology 11

This course represents the first year of the Advanced Placement Biology, a two-year course leading to the AP Biology exam, and that gives credit for both Biology 11 and Biology 12. A solid understanding of the additional material taught in this course may provide students with first-year biology credit in university. The first term focus is a study of biochemistry, cells and cellular processes. The animal kingdom and evolutionary themes are explored in the second term. The year concludes with a study of heredity including classical genetics, DNA, protein synthesis and the regulation of the genome. The students visit the University of Victoria to conduct several labs related to the study of biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Chemistry 11

Chemistry 11 is a survey course designed to provide a strong foundation for post-secondary science. The material covered in Grades 9 and 10 is thoroughly reviewed and followed by an intense study of stoichiometry. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced in preparation for further studies at the university level. A unit on solution chemistry provides the basis for topics covered in Chemistry 12. To succeed in this course, students must be comfortable with algebra and have a firm grasp of the chemistry concepts taught in previous grades.

AP Chemistry 11

The course material matches the prescribed learning outcomes for Chemistry 11 prepared by the provincial government and often expands into additional areas of interest including the behaviour of gases. Students may be required to participate in national chemistry competitions such as the Avogadro exam. A solid understanding of this course helps students who study biology, medicine, physics or engineering. The AP option moves at a faster pace to allow for extra units such as redox chemistry to be included in order to allow time for AP material in grade 12.

Physics 11

The study of Physics 11 provides students with the foundations for post-secondary physical sciences, astronomy and engineering. Topics from both classical and modern physics are covered in this survey course. These topics include motion, energy, waves, optics and special relativity. Additional topics such as quantum mechanics and nuclear physics may also be examined. The diversity of this material helps students to further their understanding of the technical world in which they live and prepares them for the rigorous Physics 12 course. This course best suits students with a firm understanding of mathematics.

AP Physics 1 Honours 11

AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits. The course is based on six Big Ideas, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the physical world. The following are Big Ideas:

  • Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge. Systems may have internal structure.
  • Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.
  • The interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces.
  • Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.
  • Changes that occur as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.
  • Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomena.

In addition to covering all of the material taught in Physics 11, this course expands on some topics to the Grade 12 level. Successful completion of the additional material taught in this course may provide students with first-year physics credit in university. Only serious science and mathematics students with strong academic credentials should consider the AP option. 

Robotics

A robot

Offered as part of the Brentwood Arts progamme, Robotics will provide students with an introduction to the world of robotics using VEX Robotics technology. This is very much a ‘hands-on’ course, where they will learn most concepts through investigative activities.  Students are exposed to the engineering process as they design, build, and program robots to solve a variety of problems.  Good problem solving skills are essential, as is the ability to work effectively on a team.  As a member of a 3-person ‘engineering firm’, students will develop skills in problem solving, communication, presentation, organization, time management, research, self-assessment, and leadership.

This course will also expose students to some of the contemporary happenings in robotics, including current robot lab research and applications.

Biology 12

A thorough understanding of biology provides students with a foundation for studies in ecology, the environment and medicine. Biology 12 is an in-depth coverage of human biology. Topics include biochemistry, cell structure and function, and circulatory, digestive, excretory, nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems in the human body. The curriculum may include discussion of many medical issues and emerging biotechnology.

AP Biology 12

Advanced Placement Biology is a two-year course that gives credit for both Biology 11 and Biology 12. A solid understanding of the additional, in-depth material taught in this course may provide students with first-year biology credit in university. Successful completion of the Biology 11AP program is a prerequisite for this course. Only serious science students with strong academic credentials should consider the AP option.

In the second year of the course (12AP) students travel to the Bamfield Marine Research Station on the West coast of the island to study ecology through a variety of field and laboratory projects.

The remainder of the first term is a study of human body systems before moving on in the second term to look at biology of plants and their evolution. Other advanced topics such as population genetics and the immune system are explored before a comprehensive review is conducted prior to the Advanced Placement exam in May.

Chemistry 12

This course is designed for students who intend to pursue physical science or engineering in university. Chemistry 12 is a physical chemistry course concentrating on quantitative and qualitative analysis of chemical equilibria. Reaction mechanisms, solubility products, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction reactions, and electrochemistry are all addressed in this curriculum. Although different in content, this material builds on the concepts covered in Chemistry 11. In addition, a thorough understanding of algebra will be required in this course because of its significant mathematical component.

AP Chemistry 12

AP Chemistry 12 covers all of the learning outcomes for both the provincial Chemistry 12 syllabus and the additional topics required for the AP syllabus. The latter includes some of the material and background developed in Chemistry 11 but also topics such as thermodynamics, entropy and enthalpy, free energy and the relationship of changes in these quantities to chemical reactions. Reaction kinetics is treated at a higher level and linked mathematically and empirically to reaction mechanisms. Acid–base chemistry and redox chemistry also receive more in depth treatment as do the concepts bonding and equilibrium.

Physics 12

This course is designed for students who intend to pursue physical sciences, astronomy or engineering in university. Physics 12 covers a broad range of classical physics material including kinematics and dynamics in multiple dimensions, circular motion and dynamics, gravity, statics and electromagnetism. Additional material such as quantum mechanics may be covered if time permits.

This integrated course requires a thorough understanding of Physics 11 and an aptitude for mathematics. Due to the emphasis on problem solving – both on theoretical problems and in the laboratory – the course is challenging to some students.

AP Physics 2 Honours 12

AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.

Only serious science and mathematics students with strong academic credentials should consider the AP option. In order to cover all of the material for this broadly based course, students must be prepared to learn concepts at an accelerated rate.

Geology 12

In Geology 12 students learn about the physical environment of the Earth through a variety of means including the examination of rocks and natural features, both in the classroom and in the field. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are explained and compared in terms of their formation and composition. The Earth’s resources are considered in terms of mineral deposits, coal, petroleum and natural gas and their economic significance in our changing world. The development of the Geological Time Scale is explained and discussed with reference to relative and absolute age dating techniques and the fossil record. Plate tectonics and a study of the Earth’s internal processes is a key part of the course in explaining ancient and modern phenomena such as continental drift, mountain building, earthquakes and volcanic activity. The surface processes and the hydrosphere are also considered together with the features and processes associated with weathering, different types of erosion and glaciations. The course has strong links to both the Geography 12 curriculum and Environmental Science AP.

AP Environmental Science 12

A broad understanding of the basic principles of ecology and the physical and chemical systems of our planet underpins this course which then goes on to explore contemporary issues within this context. Students are encouraged to research and debate the latest data on climate change, desertification, habitat loss and species extinction. Projects focus on solutions to minimize the negative impacts of poor environmental practices on ecosystems. Students are also encouraged to take an active role in the school’s Environment Club and to participate in field trips.

Competitive Robotics

Offered as part of the Brentwood Arts progamme, this course will consider the design, construction and programming of both actively controlled mobile robots, as well as autonomous machines incorporating sensor feedback systems, employing the VEX Robotics and Cortex microcontroller platform and RobotC programming software.

Students will work primarily in small design teams, with the ultimate goal of challenging each other, as well as teams from other schools and jurisdictions in recognized robotics competitions.

While no previous experience with VEX and RobotC is required, students that have taken Robotics at Brentwood will be given preference, and will find this course a great opportunity to use their prior experience with VEX and unleash their creativity in problem-solving for this year’s robotics competition challenge. Self-motivation and interest in robotic systems as well as basic programming skills are recommended.

Design & Engineering

Offered as part of the Brentwood Arts progamme, this hands-on, project-based exploratory course will appeal to students thinking about a career in science or engineering, and who enjoy working in a team environment. Successful participants will have the opportunity to work on a wide-range of projects of personal interest to them. The emphasis will be on larger-scale projects undertaken by design teams, preferably as solutions to real-world problems. Opportunities may exist to work with local experts such as tradespeople, industry, and engineers.

Many aspects of design will be considered, including a core of mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering. Examples of past projects have ranged from mechanical devices, such as personal hovercraft, catapults, potato canons, and wind and wave power generation systems, to structural projects such as bridge and tower construction, to electric/electronic projects such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi controlled systems. Students interested in focusing on Robotics should consider the Competitive Robotics course which specifically uses the VEX system.

Natural Philosophy and Ethics 11

This course is a broad-ranging discussion and research based study of issues that arise from the development of technologies. Students adopt an ethical perspective. They are encouraged to challenge and debate accepted positions in areas such as biomedical and computer technology. The nature of ethics and value systems are analyzed as well as the premises behind scientific thought.

Pseudoscience, logical fallacies and the relationship between science and the media are also discussed and illustrated through a variety of case studies. The course covers all of the prescribed learning outcomes for Science and Technology 11 and students receive this credit at the end of the course thereby fulfilling their graduation requirement for a Science 11.

AP Psychology 12

Psychologists are interested in every aspect of human thought and behaviour. This explains why there are more than a dozen sub-fields of contemporary psychology. Psychology AP introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of core concepts and theories concerning such mental processes as consciousness, learning, development, personality, testing, and intelligence. As students investigate normal and abnormal perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and actions, they will learn and employ the methods used by psychologists. This study should enable students to recognize psychological principles encountered in everyday situations, and to apply the concepts to explore their own lives.

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