Monthly Archives: November 2016

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Year 8 Poetry Slam

Tuesday lunchtime this week saw a flurry of activity and a buzz of anticipation in the Forum as Year 8 boys streamed in for our second annual Year 8 Poetry Slam. As part of their English classwork, each of the boys had to write a slam poem in class then, as a class, they voted on the best one to be performed at the year level competition.

To set the scene, the first poet off the rank was Keng, last year’s winner, who performed his winning poem for this year’s cohort. Nine of our Year 8s then performed in quick succession, with Mr Kobez, Keng and one of the Year 8 students acting as judges. The quality of the boys’ poems and presentations was outstanding, and set the bar high for next year’s competition! Taking out first place was Abineash, with Charlie placing second, and Dillon in third place.

A big thank you must go to all of our contestants for making this such an enjoyable event, as well as to the Year 8 English teachers for their excellent work in coaching the boys to write and perform at such a high standard.

poetry-slam


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Library Monitors Celebrate the End of the Year

A large group of dedicated students have been working in the Middle School Library all year to assist with the day-to-day activities of the Library. Boys in Years 5 and 6 sign up at the start of each term and receive one time slot a week which they eagerly attend. Jobs include loaning and returning books, shelving, stamping books and other book processing tasks. A favourite task is ringing the bell to mark the end of break times!

As a ‘thank you’ to the boys, Ms Palmer invited them to attend a special Library Monitor Party. Boys made short work of pizzas, chips, chocolates and other tasty delights. It was a great end to their year of hard work.





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Snitch and Broomstick Races in the Learning Commons

Last Friday three teams of teachers pitted their skill and speed against the boys in in our inaugural Snitch and Broomstick Races in the Learning Commons. Teams of two had to start at the Forum end and put on a gown, hat and tie, then ride a broomstick to the Library doors while carrying a golden snitch in a spoon. There, everything had to be swapped over to their partner who then ran back to the other end.

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Mr Irvine and Mr Hows from the PE Dept, Ms Bruerton and Mr Jones from the Science Dept and Mr Celm and Dr Barrie form the Economics/History Dept were all great sports and competed valiantly, but no-one could match the speed and technique of our winning team, Year 12 students Davis and Mitchell.

 

 


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A World without Antibiotics – Is this our Future?

Superbugs at the Olympics
Did you know:

  • that scientists have not discovered any new antibiotics for the past 30 years?
  • that multidrug-resistant bacteria (superbugs) kill more than 9,000 Australians each year?
  • that by 2030, more than 16,000 people will die each year — that’s more than 300 each week!!
http://superbugs.imb.uq.edu.au/

Bringing this frightening future much closer to home, superbug-infested waters were an issue that surrounded the Olympic Games in Rio this year. What did this mean for our Australian athletes?

If you are interested and would like to find out more, this free event is one you should not miss!

At this event, you will hear personal stories of athletes and the challenges doctors faced when treating the athletes who entered the superbug-infested waters in Rio.

Register now for this free community event and hear from:

This exciting expert panel will also include UQ researchers, who will discuss measures taken to prevent superbugs from taking a stronghold at the Olympic Games.

Where:  UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience Auditorium

When:   5.30-7.30pm Thursday night 17 November

This event has been organised by Mathilde Desselle, from the UQ Community of Open Access Drug Discovery (CO-ADD). In August this year she gave a presentation at our TEDxYouth@BGS event, focusing on the race to find new antibiotics. The premise of her talk was that “the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to rise, but the number of new treatments available has flatlined, and this has placed us dangerously close to a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death.” (http://www.co-add.org)  However, the CO-ADD mission is to help researchers worldwide to find new, diverse compounds to combat drug-resistant infections by testing, free of charge, thousands of chemical compounds which might otherwise be thrown in the bin.

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Para-cord Craft and Compass Creation

As a steam activity with a survival theme I decided to run several Friday afternoon sessions teaching students some basic survival hacks.  The sessions gave students the opportunity to experiment with both a para-cord craft and compass making.   Para-cord (short for parachute cord) is a light, durable and incredibly strong rope which is very useful for any number of things in a survival situation.  The students learnt how to weave a simple para-cord wrist band that is light, comfortable and convenient to wear during a camping trip or while bush walking.  This wristband would provide up to 2 metres of rope, which can be further broken down to harvest internal fibers providing extra length, and smaller threads for an even wider variety of tasks.  The students who participated in this activity over the weeks it ran, enjoyed the artistic side of para-cord crafting, often asking to create new wristbands in different colours and inquiring about other, more complicated designs.

After a couple of weeks concentrating on para-cord, we moved on to constructing a working compass out of a few simple items.   We used needles, pieces of cork, magnets and a bowl of water.  As the boys worked it was explained to them that the materials they used could be replaced by a number of different things.  Paper clips, or other wire, fishing hooks and safety pins which could be adjusted using pliers or simply bending repeatedly until they snapped.  The cork could be replaced with a leaf, or a piece of plastic.  The needle can be magnetized using a battery, or by rubbing it repeatedly on silk, or more likely wool.   The response from the boys was enthusiastic, especially for the para-cord craft, with many boys asking to have a go long after my materials had been depleted.  A few students even decided to purchase para-cord themselves and continue crafting as a hobby.


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’10 Minute Raves’ #2 with legendary teacher Mr Ian Howlett

Surprised, amused and delighted were the group of boys who attended our second in the series of “Raves” from a legendary teacher. Ian began a rapid fire set of recommendations for good books to to read. He began with the “beach reads” style of authors who entertain with their works. From Grisham, Dan Brown and Matthew Reilly he moved on to a range of his favourite historical novelists such as Ellis Peters, Lindsay Davis, Patrick O’Brian, Liam Hearn and Laura Joh Rowland.

But as Grammar tradition demands, he kept the best till last. Launching into a history of his readings of Jane Austen, Mr Howlett challenged his audience to put off reading his favourite novel “Pride and Prejudice” until the time is right – perhaps during University, perhaps not – or possibly well after. His explanation for doing so was very well reasoned, but it probably has had the opposite effect. I’m sure everyone attending the talk could not wait to get their hands on a copy.