Monthly Archives: June 2017

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Lunch Bunch Term 2

This term, our small but enthusiastic group of Lunch Bunch students met weekly to read some interesting books. The first was Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr. This proved to be a big hit with the fans of Percy Jackson who love the combination of mythology and action. The boys explored the world of Viking mythology as well as some of the real places in the book such as Mt Rushmore. At the end of the discussion, boys made Viking swords and shields with the help of Library Tech Mr Hills.

Another book which proved a hit was The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the combination of pictures and drawings which told the story. A special Hugo Libguide page allowed the boys to explore Hugo’s world in more detail. They particularly enjoyed the silent movies. At the end of the term we screened the movie Hugo and many more boys joined in to watch. This was a fantastic opportunity to show the real world connections with the book. In particular boys were amazed to learn that a train did actually run through the walls and into the street of the Gare Montparnasse.

Participants in the Lunch Bunch core group were given the opportunity to construct their own automatons. This has been a fun activity with boys eager to complete their gentleman automaton before the holidays.


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Year 6 Squishy Circuits in the Centenary Library

This week the Centenary Library Staff – Ms Dani Smith Teacher Librarian, David Hills Library Technician and Mr Brendan Kelly – Digital Media Officer, provided a great STEAM experience for the year six students through an encounter with “Squishy circuits”. All year six classes were treated to this as part of their science program.

Squishy circuits are working electrical circuits assembled from coloured playdough, battery packs, light emitting diodes, insulating film, small direct current motors and switching elements. They can be put together in a million conceivable ways and with a little luck, lights can switch on and motors spin. The lessons began with Ms Smith taking boys through the concept of serial and parallel circuits, safety matters, the details of diodes and the way currents work in the type of conductors that were being used. The boys listened attentively and then began the process of creating a squishy circuit to their very own design.

It was amazing to see the creativity unleashed. In a very short time, boys had made a whole variety of animals, dinosaurs, curious creatures and much more, all with glowing eyes and spinning propellers. Some had the look of a strange biplane, while others were more like sea creatures from the depths. A feature of each class was how different the creations were between classes and between boys. No two were alike. One or two circuits posed problems, but boys persevered until they fixed those problems. The other striking feature of the Squishy Circuit classes was how busy and productive the boys were. Although every boy was working on his own creation, generally there was plenty of advice and help offered across each table. Boys worked cooperatively, even though it was an individual task.

For people who leave the “A” out of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) pedagogy movement, events such as the Signature Program should give them reason to reconsider their position. The “A” artistic aspect can be part of STEAM in a wholly natural and constructive manner. Boys move from the technical to the creative side of activities in a totally relaxed and natural manner. The tasks are both practical and artistic in an integrated environment.

The many boys who enjoyed their Squishy Circuit experience should think about joining Brendan Kelly’s Lunchbox Club. It happens every Thursday lunchtime in the Centenary Library. See the Grammar Library website for details.