High School Campus

Welcome to Sydney's STEM High School,

designed exclusively for year 11 & 12 students who are passionate about science and aspiring to become our future Scientists, Doctors, Inventors and Engineers.

The school, established in 2021, was born out of our ambition to create a place where high school science education can flourish. Here, students receive the stimulating challenges and individual mentorship they need to not only excel in the HSC, but just as importantly to develop the depth of thought, strong work ethic and lifelong learning skills that will see them thrive in their tertiary studies and future STEM careers.

Our path in education started in 2003, at the front gates of James Ruse on our final day of high school. We had the ambitious idea of running HSC head-start courses to pass on our hard-earned knowledge, exam skills and growing appreciation of science to the younger cohort. With the support of our then principal, we began tutoring in our old-school's classrooms during the holidays whilst studying advanced science at university. We also taught university-level physics & chemistry for the school's science department, training students for the Australian Science Olympiads.

We soon found that we had a real knack and enjoyment for teaching, and what started as a hobby during our university years grew into a full-time profession. In 2006 we founded our specialist science tutoring college which preceded the school, and it became the proving ground where we tested and refined the education programs now being taught by our teachers. Along the way, we've helped hundreds of students achieve at the highest level in the HSC, through a real understanding and enjoyment of science.

Sydney Science College brings together exceptional educators and curious, ambitious students in an environment that fosters investigation and creativity, to nourish and inspire the thinkers and inventors of tomorrow.

Joey Tsao & Shaun Balnave,
Co-Founders & Co-Principals


Congratulations Year 12 2023

We congratulate our Year 12 2023 students and the teachers and staff who worked so hard together to achieve outstanding success in the HSC. With 50% of our students' course entries achieving a Band 6, Sydney Science College would have ranked 8th* for "overall success rate" according to the Sydney Morning Herald league table, right in-between Sydney Grammar and Normanhurst Boys – equalling the success of our first Year 12 cohort in 2022. We had 20% of our students achieve an ATAR of 99 or more, 40% with an ATAR of 95 or more, and 100% with an ATAR of 88 or more.

* As a small school, we had less than the minimum 150 course entries required to be eligible to show up in the SMH's school league table.

Even more rewarding as educators is seeing every one of our students gain entry to their preferred degrees – Advanced Science, Aerospace Engineering, and Medicine to name a few – and knowing that they begin this new journey with the confidence, resilience and independent learning skills that will see them thrive. We are exceptionally proud of the students, and wish them every success for a bright and exciting future.


We empower ambitious students with a highly personalised, results-proven approach to achieve success both academically & personally.

At the heart of our approach are our classes of just 8 students, which makes for an exceptionally productive and engaging learning experience amongst like-minded peers. It also allows teachers to be more in tune with each student’s unique thought process and challenges, and provide personalised one-on-one guidance and support during class and in dedicated office hours after school. This ensures that every student receives the individual attention they need to deeply learn, continuously improve, and perform to their potential.

Studying under the mentorship of positive role models helps students not only academically, but also in building tenacity and character as they challenge and extend themselves, ultimately growing into confident, mature, and socially responsible young adults and future leaders who are equipped to thrive in the challenges of life.

Meet

Our Team

Joining us in shaping the next generation of scientific thinkers is an outstanding team of educators. These highly experienced teachers include former scientists, doctors, and tertiary educators who have followed their passion for teaching. They bring a wealth of knowledge, extensive classroom experience, and real-world expertise to inspire and guide our students.

Tiffany Huang - Assistant Principal & Chemistry Teacher

Tiffany Huang

Assistant Principal & Chemistry Teacher

Tiffany is the Assistant Principal, and one of our HSC Chemistry teachers. She builds on her teaching and leadership experience from her previous role as Chemistry Coordinator at North Sydney Boys, where she collaborated with teachers to implement more personalised learning strategies, and oversaw a significant increase in the number of students achieving in the top performance bands. As Head of Student Wellbeing, Tiffany is dedicated to cultivating a supportive environment that encourages a commitment to studies, emotional well-being, and personal growth. Alongside the other teachers, Tiffany mentors students to take ownership over their learning, guiding them to develop a strong work ethic, build organisational and study skills, and maintain a healthy study-life balance. This ensures they not only excel academically but also develop invaluable life skills that will shape their future success.

Lok, our maths teacher

Lok Yun Li

Mathematics Teacher

Lok is an experienced Mathematics educator, who has specialised in teaching HSC Maths (up to Extension 2). He prioritizes building fluency and mastery of the fundamentals, enjoys demystifying complex mathematical concepts, and emphasises real-world applications to foster engagement and understanding. Notable achievements include being a State Ranker in Mathematics Advanced, gaining extensive experience teaching Extension 1 and 2 Mathematics as teacher at Sydney Grammar School. Lok is also an active member of the Teacher Expert Network for the 2024 NSW Curriculum Reform. Lok is committed to developing independent learners and critical thinkers – through student-centred, problem-based learning – who are mathematically prepared to excel in their scientific and technical pursuits, and one day go on to make a positive impact on the world.

Yomna Rezk - Biology Teacher

Yomna Rezk

Biology Teacher

Yomna, a former dentist turned educator, is an experienced HSC Biology teacher with a special interest in genetics. She loves igniting students’ fascination with the complexity and beauty of living things. Yomna excels at engaging mathematically minded students who might initially see biology as a “softer” science, expanding their horizons for a stimulating and challenging career. She emphasizes that biology, while less math-intensive, is uniquely challenging because most biological systems defy mathematical explanation, having emergent properties like consciousness that are greater than the sum of their parts. Beyond the HSC level, Yomna has successfully prepared students for the Biology Olympiad at both the Australian and International levels.

Dr Gavin Marshall - Physics & Engineering Teacher

Dr Gavin Marshall

Physics & Engineering Teacher

After training and working as a chemical engineer – focusing in thermodynamics, design and LEAN methodologies – and achieving a B.Sc. (Chem), B.E. (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and Ph.D. (Pharmaceutical Thermodynamics) at The University of Sydney, Gavin turned his focus to teaching (his favourite aspect of his research career). This took him to the U.K. where he completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education through the Researchers in Schools program, teaching A-level Physics and running engineering outreach programs. Since returning to Australia, Gavin has specialised in teaching HSC physics, and now leads our co-curricular Engineering Design program. His teaching style emphasises hands-on learning, using practical experiences to build students' intuition and inspire them to engage with the theory. By incorporating project- and problem-based learning, he encourages students to delve deeper into the theory, and to think critically beyond the curriculum. Outside of the classroom, Gavin is an obsessive rock climber and qualified guide (with over 15 years experience around the world) and has developed the school's climbing program, focused on helping students to connect with the world outside, build tenacity, teamwork and risk assessment skills, and to sneak physics lessons into school sport.

Chris Chong - English Teacher

Chris Chong

English Teacher

Chris is a senior English teacher with over eighteen years experience teaching at the HSC level. He has taught all levels of Stage 6 English, and has been an HSC marker on several occasions for both HSC English Advanced and Extension 1. Chris has served as Head of English for the last 10 years, in which capacity has created innovative and engaging course plans and assessment tasks, mentored junior teachers, and driven high levels of student achievement and excellence across multiple schools. Chris believes that all students can improve their writing with reflection and practice, and can be inspired to a love of reading and literary analysis through his dynamic and engaging teaching style. A great fan of the literary canon, he specialises in Shakespeare, Faulkner and Salinger, and enjoys challenging students with intriguing classroom discussion and philosophical debate. His greatest joy is the moment of dawning understanding on his students' faces, and the thrill of their improvement and growth.

Andrew, one of our chemistry teachers, in the school laboratory

Dr Andrew Try

Chemistry Teacher

Andrew was awarded his BSc(Hons) and PhD (Organic Chemistry) from The University of Sydney, and held the position of Associate Professor at Macquarie University where he lectured and led a research group synthesizing and studying the properties of new molecules. The demanding yet rewarding experience of managing a small group of first year chemistry students during weekly laboratory sessions ignited Andrew's passion for teaching and marked the turning point of his career from research to education. Now an experienced HSC Chemistry teacher, Andrew considers the chemistry lab as essential to grasping and connecting key concepts. Seeing a deep-yellow precipitate form from two clear solutions has more meaning than learning lead(II) iodide is yellow; and the scent of pineapple or citrus following the small-scale synthesis of ethyl-propanoate or octyl-ethanoate is more memorable than just hearing “esters smell sweet”. These moments of hands-on discovery bring the curriculum to life in ways no textbook can, and are transformative for students’ understanding and appreciation of chemistry.

Our Team

On Campus

Light filled and airy, with exposed foundations of concrete, timber and steel, and vibrant with diverse plant-life, the school's interconnected learning spaces are a sanctuary that stimulates thought, enhances mood, and pique one's curiosity into the forms and functions that exist in nature.

There's a spirit of collegiality on campus, where our senior students are treated as young adults and their individuality and ideas are valued. We have no uniform – students come to school dressed well in their own style, as they will do later at university – and learning unfolds with students seated high at handmade blackwood workbenches at the same level as their teachers, whom they address by their first names. At lunch and tea breaks, the school servery becomes a social hub where students and staff alike gather to recharge with seasonal coffee & quality teas and prepare nourishing meals.

At the heart of the College are our university-standard teaching laboratories, and our industrial 3D printer and student workshop. Here, students immerse themselves in authentic scientific inquiry to grasp and connect concepts first-hand, and are empowered to transform their ideas into reality, sparking their passion for discovery and innovation.

Curriculum

Year 11 is dedicated to mastering the fundamentals of the natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology); becoming fluent in the language of science (Mathematics Advanced & Extension 1); learning to think computationally (Software Engineering); and honing the ability to communicate ideas effectively (English Advanced & optionally Extension 1).

Year 12 provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves in higher level mathematics (Extension 2), and to embark on a major scientific research project in their area of interest (Science Extension 1).

Students wishing to study additional subjects from the arts and humanities or a language can do so through external providers including the Sydney Distance Education High School and the NSW School of Languages, where online lessons and coursework are timetabled during the school day.

When considering our curriculum choices, it's important to dispel a common misconception about science, maths and engineering – that they're purely dry and logical pursuits. In truth, these fields offer rich opportunities for exploration and ingenuity. Science invites us to wonder at and discover the workings of the natural world, and at our school we use experiential, project-based learning to nurture students' curiosity and foster creative and innovative thinking. This approach also builds strong research, collaboration, and communication skills, shaping well-rounded individuals prepared for success across diverse career paths.

Co-curricular

Sport

With regular exercise being key to maintaining health and well-being, and able to boost memory and thinking skills, Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to sport and fitness. Our chosen and highly popular sport is climbing, both top roping and bouldering. Often described as a vertical puzzle, climbing is an ideal sport for students to challenge themselves individually whilst supporting one another. Beyond being an enjoyable way to build core-strength and fitness, climbing fosters resilience and strengthens the mind-body connection, boosting students' self-awareness and confidence.

Throughout the year, other sporting activities – such as tennis, squash and basketball – are made available according to student interests, and we encourage and support students participating in competitive sports outside of school. Our sports program is supplemented with more general physical activities such as gym, and tailored fitness programs run by a professional sports trainer, to help students make regular exercise an enjoyable and rewarding habit.

Engineering Design & Mechatronics

Students learn engineering design principles, create parts in CAD (computer-aided design) and prototype their designs on our industry-standard manufacturing technology. Students study simple machines, circuitry & motors, and learn control theory to ultimately build and program a complex machine or robot. In doing so, students discover first-hand how math, science and coding can come together to solve practical multidisciplinary challenges.

Creative Workshops

Hands-on creative workshops will be on offer to students throughout the year – Japanese ceramics and a barista coffee course to name a couple, taught by acclaimed Sydney artisans.

Coding

Students study the popular Harvard CS50 online courses, learning how to code in Python (the scientific programming language of choice) and how to think computationally - breaking complex problems down into processes that can be executed by a computer - in order to analyse data and find numerical solutions to some of the interesting problems encountered in science that cannot be solved analytically. The ability to write algorithms and use AI is quickly becoming an essential prerequisite to a successful career in science.

Outdoor Learning

Science is an investigation of the natural world, and we love getting students out and exploring the great outdoors through field trips for biology and bi-annual hikes, outdoor climbs and educational camps. Students learn bushcraft, orienteering and teamwork skills, and discover new climbing challenges in the picturesque Blue Mountains. These experiences provide students with rich opportunities to grow in tenacity, responsibility and character, and foster an appreciation and respect for nature and the need to protect it through environmental stewardship and conservation.

International Olympiads

For the most ambitious of students who want to be challenged well beyond the NSW curriculum, the school runs training programs for the Australian Science Olympiads. These programs take students to university-level studies, with the opportunity to compete for selection to represent Australia in international competition.

Chess Club

The school chess club is a student run club for learning, playing and discussing all things chess, and is open to students and staff at every level, from beginner to ranked. Experienced players regularly share tips and ideas in post-game analysis, and are happy to answer questions and give recommendations on how to improve your game.


Year 11 Early Entry,
for Advanced Year 9 Students

We offer a special 3-year senior program for ambitious and forward-thinking students in year 9, who excel in maths and are eager to focus on the subjects that align with their interests and future university aspirations. Students start year 11 a year early, sit their core HSC subjects in year 12, and then use the year 10 year they banked away to begin a year 13 devoted to the more challenging HSC extension units, and a bespoke project-based science program designed to enrich and extend them well beyond the standard curriculum.

An additional year dedicated to senior studies allows students to spread their HSC workload over 2 years, significantly reducing the HSC stress. It also allows for a deeper focus on each subject – especially the harder extension units that scale better towards the ATAR – providing students with a unique opportunity to attain a greater insight, confidence and mastery that will elevate their HSC performance, and give them the best possible head start for their university studies.


Admissions

Our students are naturally motivated to learn and achieve academically, and are looking for enriching academic and co-curricular experiences that take them well beyond the curriculum. They already see STEM as the direction of their future university studies & careers and are excited to share this experience with like-minded peers.

Entry Requirements

Entrance to Sydney Science College is selective, and places are limited, early expressions of interest are highly recommended. Students in Years 9 & 10 are eligible to apply for 2025. After attending an open day, candidates will book in to sit an entrance test, and those who perform well will be invited to an interview with the Co-Principals. Offers to join the College in the following year will be sent to successful candidates after the interview.

Fees

Fees for Academic Year 2025 are $34,550 per annum, payable in monthly instalments, and discounts are available for annual fees paid in advance. Fees are subject to change for 2026 and onwards. An Entrance Fee of $2400 is payable upon acceptance of an offer of enrolment.

The annual fee covers all school related expenses: tuition, educational resources, software and textbooks, excursions, co-curricular & sporting activities, and individual computing devices (either an Apple Macbook & iPad, or a Microsoft Surface Pro), which are gifted to students upon graduation.

Open Days

Join us for an Open Day, of which there are several throughout the year, where you can:

  • Come on a tour of the school campus.
  • Meet and chat with our teachers, and find out what to look forward to in their classes and co-curricular activities.
  • Hear firsthand from some of our current students about what it's like to learn at Sydney Science College.

To discuss applying for 2025, to attend an Open Day, or to register your interest for a future year, please fill out the form below or call us on (02) 9868 1095.