Category Archives: All

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Science and Tech Activities

The Lunchbox Club participants have been enthusiastically exploring ecological themes and water cycles by cultivating Spice Jar Terrariums. Building on the knowledge they have gained across time in Science, the boys were able to explain comfortably the processes of the water cycles and were even in deep discussion about pressing sustainability and environmental issues.


The eXchange hosted a series of Deconstructing Tech workshops, designed to teach students how to do a ‘tear-down’ of the most popular tech devices. The boys have disassembled various generation iPhones in the first workshop in this series, followed by exploring computers and tablets with Mitchell Collins, one of our IT support staff.

The hottest things right now in animation are Frankentoys. Imagine mashing together a doll and a dinosaur to create Barbiesaurus Rex or gluing your favourite action hero’s head to a troll to make Spidertroll. The fun (or chaos) doesn’t need to end there. After they are created we will be using them in stop motion productions. This simply cannot be boring. Workshops started in week 4, so watch this space for the final versions!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw5ATSVolaI

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Plastic Free at Centenary!

 

Science Week has continued on at Brisbane Grammar School’s Centenary Library, thanks to Library Student Volunteer Ms Teneale Muir.  

 

Starting four weeks ago,  Teneale has worked in all three Brisbane Grammar libraries as part of her university studies placement.  During this time, Teneale has created a Plastic Free theme in the Centenary Library by making a wall display detailing the effects of plastic on our planet, a dragon out of recycled plastic to add to the Fantasy theme currently running in the library, and lastly, running a workshop on reusing plastic rubbish, teaching the boys how to make a phone holder using a plastic bottle.  Students were given all the materials required and enjoyed being able to not only  create something that would hold their phone and lead but also help with reducing waste.

 

Ms Muir has always tried her best to recycle or reuse rubbish where possible.  After watching the ABC’s War On Waste series recently, her knowledge on what plastic is doing to the planet changed, along with some of her family’s rubbish removal habits.  For example, her three year old now knows what soft plastics are and to put them in a separate bin.  These go to their local Woolworths to be recycled rather than go to landfill.  Teneale enjoyed implementing the Plastic Free theme into the Centenary Library for National Science Week’s Future Earth theme, and hopes it provides students with an insight on what plastic is doing to our Earth.

Ms Muir will be finishing her field placement this week, and has thoroughly enjoyed her visit at Brisbane Grammar School.

 


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Science Week – tweaking their curiosity!

Open Day this year marked the first day of National Science Week and was an excellent way to kick off our annual partnership with the Science Department and tweak the curiosity of both young and older visitors. A Forensic Science display in the Senior Library allowed visitors the opportunity to see and use technology and scientific techniques used by the police force to help solve crimes.  We were also very indebted to the University of Queensland ….. Department, for the generous loan of their ……. kit. Visitors were able to explore examples of plaster castings and various species of fly larvae used to help estimate time of death and decomposition rates.  Black light showed up fingerprints, and microscopic investigation of blood, pollen and fibre samples were available for budding young investigators. The hit of the day, however, was a photo booth where visitors could have fun dressing up in detective costumes.

Science Week continued in full swing with Science teachers and teacher librarians working together. To lighten the mood during the week and show the humorous side of science, the Middle School libraries screened episodes of Richard Hammond’s The Science of Stupid, a show that gives detailed explanations of the science behind  breathtaking stupidity caught on camera.

Physics teacher, Scott Jones, also gave an abbreviated version of his TEDx talk –  Where are all the Aliens? – addressing the ongoing question of life in our Galaxy. With 100,000 light years in size and over 100 billion stars, why have we not seen other civilisations out there in the Milky Way Galaxy? Scott examined some of the best ideas concerning the topic and finished with a brief discussion about the need for humanity to take full control of our world and its environment to ensure the future for our children and enable us to one day explore the galaxy.

Middle School Science teachers took over both libraries with practical demonstrations of the physics of air pressure and friction, encouraging students to construct air-powered cars from cardboard and balloons, and then test these experimental models against one another on the racetrack.

As the week came to an end, students from Years 5-8 competed for prizes in exciting year-level-specific Kahoot quizzes, designed and created by Science staff to challenge the students’ scientific knowledge about topics ranging from Chemistry to Astronomy to Biology.

We love partnering with all departments, but Science Week holds a special place on our calendar each year.

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2017 TEDxYouth@BGS

Last Friday, 200 students and guests enjoyed the culmination of months of planning and hard work when they attended our second TEDxYouth@BGS, held in the Forum.  TEDx is a worldwide program, consisting of locally organised TED events where local speakers can showcase their ideas and inspiring stories, and we were very proud that two of our staff members – Scott Jones, Physics Teacher and Rick Pendleton, Swimming Coach – and three of our Year 12 students – Ashmit Vyas, Sam Souyave-Murphy and Edmond Chang – were all willing to share their ideas with a global audience.

Our event represented an outstanding achievement, not only by the speakers, but also by the team of students who worked tirelessly in the background to organise the speakers, the performers, the program, the website, the ticketing, the marketing, the parking, the catering, the AV, the recording, the photography and the overall smooth running of the event on the day.

We were also extremely fortunate to have the help of a speaker coach this year, Carl Lindgren, who has been involved in TEDx since its worldwide inception, and who generously gave up hours of his time to help create a wonderful event that Brisbane Grammar School can be proud of.

To access the website, click here:  https://www.tedxyouthbgs.com/

To access the photos, click here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/142921424@N05/albums/72157684926852200/with/36287823202/


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Library Thing for Libraries

LibraryThing is a great way to keep details of what you have in your own library, or of the books you have read or want to read. I have been a member since 2007, and have 173 of my own books listed.

It is so easy to navigate, I only needed to add the ISBNs of my books into the site and all the details of the books appeared. I am able to see other lists and can join book discussions; there are even free books and member giveaways.

I have so many books I still want to read that I will soon be starting a new list on LibraryThing of ‘Books to Read’.

In our school LibraryThing is linked to the catalogue so students can find book reviews or see similar titles to books they like to read.

(Bernadette van den Hout, Library Technician)

 


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Spray paint stencils

The Lunchbox Club have been busy making industrial art and learning some Photoshop skills along the way. This club is about exploring boys’ creativity in as many different ways possible. We aim to explore emerging technologies and softwares, balanced with related practical activities so there is a fluid mix of minds-on and hands-on projects. This stencil project will result in the boys’ efforts gracing the walls of the Centenary Library. In the coming sessions we will be exploring ecological themes and water cycles by cultivating Spice Jar Terrariums, followed by  a longer project where the boys will be adapting and reconstructing toys to create ‘Frankentoys’ which will then be used to create Stop Motion Animations. Great job boys!


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Year 5s are Savvy Scientists

On Tuesday evening the Year 5 rooms were filled with great names from the past and present. Alexander Fleming, Charles Darwin, Edmund Halley, David Attenborough and even Archimedes were just some of the scientists who came to life courtesy of our youngest boys.

The evening was the culmination of a great deal of work by students and Science teachers Dean Littlefair and Peter Hunter in collaboration with teacher librarian Vicki Palmer. While the Science teachers were able to focus on the science, having a teacher librarian on hand meant that boys were able to learn about accessing information. Skills such as defining a task, using print and digital resources, and correctly citing sources were all taught explicitly. A selection of specialised resources were also made available in the library and on the library website.

At the conclusion of the research phase, boys were required to turn their notes into an autobiography, setting the scene for the evening’s events.

It was a fantastic night with parents clearly impressed with the depth of knowledge shown by the boys. While nerves may have been present at the start, once boys settled in and began to share their life stories, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

David Attenborough (aka Max): “It was really good because everyone dressed up well and was on show. We were all proud to share what we had learned.”

Charles Darwin (aka Will):  “All the adults were asking great questions. It went really quickly and I was able to tell parents of all my great adventures.”


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Manga Pop-up Store

Yesterday boys from across the school were invited to visit the manga-themed pop-up store which was held in the Middle School Library at lunchtime.

Books were provided by Zombster, the manga book specialist store in Oxley, and covered all age ranges and a variety of suitable story lines. Alistair from the store was on hand to answer any questions and offer advice about the titles.

Boys were able to vote on the titles they wished to see added to our collection. Library staff are now working hard to process the books as quickly as possible!

This event has kicked off the start of our manga focus for Term 3 across all three libraries. Upcoming events include craft and food-making sessions, screenings of videos, an author visit and manga drawing tips and techniques.

Already boys are showing a much greater interest in this genre and its popularity will continue to grow as the term unfolds.


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The 2017 Tea Duel Competition – Duel you Fool!! …and they did!

Under the expert eye of our Tea Duelling Tiffen Master, Mr Michael Moloney, the second annual Tea Duelling competition was as intense as it was tumultuous. The last week of a long busy term is a perfect time for Year 12s (and teachers) to let down their hair. On the teacher’s team, we had a perfect blend of youth (Amy Busuttin and Julia Brereton) and wily experience (David Hills and David Carroll). On the boy’s team there was a galaxy of sporting and academic talent from the Dux of School, Joshua, to resident sporty types Olly, Will and Hugo. On the last Thursday lunchtime of term two, the players were ready to rumble.

The action was fast and furious. The crowd that packed the Learning Commons alternated between elation and despair. There was shock after schlock. Just when the crowd thought they had seen it all, pandemonium ensued when one of the biscuits turned out to be made of acrylic! Mr Dan O’Kane was given the red card – disqualification – without a doubt the most controversial moment in the entire history of Tea Duelling at Brisbane Grammar School. The competitors were stunned but had to carry on. In the semi-finals, Ms Brereton beat Olly while Phillip used a “half-drop” with stunning poise and timing to edge out Ms Busuttin. Mr Moloney’s cups of team may have been losing their heat but the Tiffen Master was on fire! The grand final pitted Ms Brereton against Gareth and the winner was…..Ms Brereton!! Congratulations to all who took part!!


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Readers Cup 2017

In the final weeks of Term 2, two teams of BGS students competed in the Readers Cup Competition, organised by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, in the Brisbane Central Years 5 & 6 and Brisbane North Years 7 & 8 divisions.  Students from schools throughout the district competed in teams of four or five to answer questions on five different set books. This year these books included Mister Cassowary by Samantha Wheeler, My Life and other stuff I made up by Tristian Bancks, Sister Heart by Sally Morgan and The Bone Sparrow by Zara Fraillon.  Each year BGS hosts the Brisbane North Yrs 7 & 8 competition in our Lilley Centre Forum with 23 different schools throughout the district in attendance in 2017.  This event is a great celebration of books and reading and a great way of bringing schools together.

Both BGS teams received placings in the top 12 in their respective competitions, a fantastic result reflecting all their hard work. Students spent much of Term 2 reading their books, making up practice questions and attending lunchtime meetings, and must be commended on their excellent behaviour when representing BGS during the events.  Big congratulations also must be given to Norman Park State School and Brisbane State High School for winning their respective competitions.  We now look forward to next year, to discovering exciting new books, making new friends and working as a team in the Readers Cup Competition for 2018.