Monthly Archives: June 2020

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Squishy Scientists

Last week, during their visits to the Centenary Library, the year 6 students’ scientific minds were challenged into making Squishy Circuits.

Our budding scientists used power packs, play dough, laminating strips, fans, buzzers and LED lights to create not only working circuits, but also some wonderfully artistic creations. Students learned the difference between a series and a parallel circuit and how to include a working switch, all while making smiling, light-up food items, police cars and popular fictional characters.

In their second session they were given a set of challenges to create specific circuits, which they approached with very inquiring minds. This was both a fun experience and a really great way of using hands-on learning to explore electricity and circuit creation.

 


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Senior Bookclub

Talking about books and eating snacks – is there a better way to spend a Friday afternoon? Our Senior Bookclub doesn’t think so!

During our last meeting we discussed how an extensive range of YA books has been written about catastrophic events, including virus pandemics, as well as teenagers surviving in a post-apocalyptic world.

In a strange similarity to 2020 events, Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel, The Eyes of Darkness, mentions a deadly biological weapon ‘Wuhan-400’, developed at the RDNA lab outside Wuhan.  In Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven, published back in 2014, the highly contagious Georgia Flu is transported around the world from Russia, and kills 90% of its victims within 12 hours. Within a few short days, the world is in chaos as transport and essential services grind to a halt.  A doctor urges his friend to stock up on food and stay in his apartment, so he purchases seven trolley loads of food and essentials from the supermarket, including one of toilet paper! Planes full of virus-laden passengers are reminiscent of this year’s cruise ships laden with Coronavirus patients, waiting out at sea and denied access to ports.

Along with these interestingly similar scenarios, we discussed whether or not we are living now in an apocalyptic world; how authors might write about this time period in the future; whether the dissolution of law and order is an inevitable outcome of a cataclysmic event; and which three things would be the top priorities to save for future generations.  Suggestions were: seeds, animals, books, and artworks/artefacts.

All in all, it was a very thought-provoking afternoon!

 


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2020 Photography Competition

On Friday the winners of the annual Photography Competition were announced. With so many outstanding submissions again this year, it was a very difficult decision for the judges to make.

Congratulations to the three winning entries!

Middle School Winner: Arnav

Japan’s Culture – I have chosen this picture because it shows Japan’s people and it’s culture. In Japanese culture the lamp symbolises light to help one spiritually in finding the way when faced with darkness (difficulties). That is why lamps are such a common feature in every Japanese temple.

Senior School Winner: Jasper (Jasper won last year in the Middle School category also!)

Light and Dark – My photo depicts the Nakesendo Highway cutting through a forest in Japan. The Emperor during Feudal Japan would be carried by his servants the near 600 km from Kyoto to Tokyo along this highway. This photo shows the forests around the trail that highway robbers used to hide in before attacking the Emperor and his convoy.

Staff Winner: Deb

Solace – After days of navigating through the city of Beijing – with every street, every train, every bus, every road, every restaurant, every monument and every temple swarming with thousands of citizens and tourists – I turned back for one last look through the tunnel to Tiananmen Square, and there was just one man standing guard into the Forbidden City.  For a split second there was a sense of quiet and solace.