ON THE day of the race that stops a nation, another group crossed the finish line today.
It was the final day of Higher School Certificate exams for the class of 2017, and the lucky last to sit were students in design and technology, retail services and drama.
These three were the last of 117 different exams sat by more than 77,000 students across the state this year.
At Carinya Christian School, about 10 design and technology students walked out of their last HSC exam at 11am.
Noah Robinson, 18, said the exam “wasn’t too bad”.
“There were some questions that stumped me a little bit, but I was pretty well-prepared so I think I did all right … Some of them were the legal and ethical implications of a design; there were a few on sustainability of design.”
Their teacher, Jim Lamrock, said design and technology was very different from how his generation would remember it.
“When I went to school, there were maybe 20 in the class and we’d all walk in and make the same project,” he said.
“These days the students might all have the same problem [to solve], but there are lots of different ways of working it out.
“My solution might be very different from yours.”
Mr Lamrock said a major focus of the subject area was “how technology affects our society and how designers are responsible for what they do”.
“Take computers: even though they might work well and do a great job, we’re now looking at the long-term effects.
“The use of plastic, for example, is a really big problem for everyone, because we’re dumping it and it doesn’t decompose …
“They never thought of the obesity epidemic that would infiltrate Australian society; because of that, there’s more sports in schools and, as parents, we have to be aware of restricting access to some things.”
Chloe Attard, 17, only needed two words to describe how it felt to have finished her exams: “So good.”
She said physics had been her most difficult exam, but design and technology had been much easier.
“I think I did OK, hopefully. I’m already into uni – I’m going to Bathurst to study engineering at Charles Sturt [University] next year.”
After this last exam, she planned to let her hair down – literally – with a trip to hairdressers.
Noah also said it had been among the easiest he’d sat, and it was strange to think it was his last.
It’s pretty weird; I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but it’s a good feeling.Noah Robinson
“It’s pretty weird; I don’t think it’s really hit me fully yet, but it’s a good feeling.”
Noah said his plan was to go to the races.
Mr Lamrock said the unit’s assessment had included a practical component: a major project with no set theme.
The Carinya students had produced works including quilting, a water feature and an app to help parents help their children.