News & Stories

Does the sun really shine more on Hobart's Eastern Shore?


The chance to carry out important research with an environmental impact has been an exciting opportunity for Year 11 student Imogen.

And testimony to the fact that Year 11 and 12 learning is not just about sitting in a classroom.

The research has also given Imogen the chance to answer the iconic Hobart question - is it actually sunnier on the Eastern Shore?

Imogen is researching the potential solar output of the eastern and western sides of Hobart’s Derwent River and the economic viability of solar power instalment in these regions. At its simplest, she is looking at which side of the river is sunniest and would produce the most solar energy.

The project is being carried out as part of the Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) Transdisciplinary Science Course offered at Taroona High School. Taroona High enjoys a unique partnership with the University of Tasmania  in its Years 11 and 12 offerings under the Taroona High @UTAS banner.

As part of her Transdisciplinary Science course Imogen studies on the University of Tasmania  campus and accesses University of Tasmania Engineering expertise, leveraging her Maths, Sociology and Physical Sciences learning to help answer her research questions.

The course has given Imogen the opportunity to both work towards her TCE and make a difference to the environment with timely research.

“Solar power is not being used to its full possible potential, within Australia or Tasmania despite its viability compared to wind or nuclear power options,” Imogen said.

“Investigating solar output potential on the east and west sides of Hobart will hopefully inform people’s decisions around renewable energy and expand the literature on this topic.

“It may also act as a model for future renewable energy research in other places.”

“For my Transdisciplinary Science study, I have been able to work with Evan Franklin, an engineer specialising in solar power,” she said.

“All our Physical Sciences practicals have been in the university chemistry or physics labs. Opportunities like this are difficult to get in many other places.”

Transdisciplinary Science is one of many Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) courses offered in Years 11 and 12 in Tasmania which provide the opportunity for important and relevant project- based learning, which has far-reaching benefits for students of all ages.

“Research shows rigorous project-based learning has strong, positive effects on science achievement and aspects of social and emotional development related to science learning among school students of all ages,” Taroona High School Principal Charles White said.

“The benefits of this occurs beyond the life of the project-based learning because students take the skills they learn and the confidence they build and apply it to their future studies.”

For more information on Transdisciplinary Science go to the Years 11 and 12 Course Guide.

Find out more about the Taroona High@UTAS on the Taroona High School website and course offerings across the Hartz Collective for 2023 at Hartz Collective schools.