Category Archives: Senior Library

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Science Week 2020

Science Week was held during Brisbane Grammar School during the week 17-21 August 2020. The theme for the week was Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans.

Activities were coordinated jointly by the Science Department and the School Library. The main library was set up as a scene from ‘Under the Ocean’ and numerous events, screenings and competitions were held throughout the week.

A group of six Year 11 pupils who are acting as University of Queensland Science Ambassadors in 2020, whose role is to promote Science at Brisbane Grammar School, were central to the planning and running of the lunchtime activities for Year 7, Year 9 and Year 11.

Marshmallow Tower

On Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th, the Centenary Library was alive with the sound of students competing to build the tallest marshmallow tower. There was a prize for the tallest tower on each day, with victors from class 7A and 7E. More creative structures were rewarded also. The boys thought ‘outside the packet’ and used strategy to create towers that stood tall without assistance. They were only allowed 10 skewers as supports, so they had to be creative with their use. Well done to all the Year 7 students involved.

Staying Afloat

This activity in the Learning Commons on Wednesday 19th had the boys working in teams of 3 to design and build a boat out of aluminium foil. The boat then was floated in water and weights added until the boat sank. This was a trial of design and execution of the build and in addition they needed to plan where and how to add the weights to ensure even distribution on the boat.

Tarp Turn

This activity on the Boarders Lawn had the student problem-solving in teams of 4. They had to work out in real time how to turn a small tarp over without any members of the team stepping off the tarp in as quick as time as possible. This proved to be a lot of fun for the participants who tried hard to find ways to bend the rules but our ambassadors were on hand to ensure fair play.

 


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Art Exhibition

Last week the Centenary Library and the Lilley Centre Learning Commons were lucky enough to host the Year 5 – 12 art exhibition, Survey.

The first half of 2020 has shown us how quickly the world, and our perspectives, can change. The pandemic has changed the lens through which we view everyday life. It has also taught us to survey what we take for granted.

Faced with the challenges of home-based learning, Visual Art students were resourceful and innovative in approaching the creation of their artworks. Survey was an exhibition showcasing artworks that represent the variety and diversity of student perspectives on our world.  The exhibition was enjoyed by students and staff alike.


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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.

 


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Libraries for Vanuatu

Knowing what to do with books from a down-sized collection is always a challenging conundrum. However, there are a number of organisations willing to take donations and sort them to stock libraries in developing countries. After earlier donating trailer loads of metal library shelving, this morning we were able to donate over 200 boxes of books to The Library Project Vanuatu, who were extremely grateful for such a huge donation – particularly after the devastating cyclone which hit Vanuatu a few weeks ago.

According to The Library Project Vanuatu:

In 2015, Vanuatu was at the bottom of the list for South Pacific countries for literacy and numeracy. The government and stakeholders believe that lack of resources is one of the key factors for this statistic.  We believe that the installation of libraries in Vanuatu can help to raise the standard of literacy and numeracy. This in turn opens up new opportunities for the children, widening their future prospects. 

We partner with schools, churches, clubs etc to help them build libraries in remote villages in Vanuatu. Our vision is to see a well resourced library installed in every school in the country.  

To donate books, DVDs, posters or shelving, email  vanuatu@libraryproject.com.au.


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New Wellness eBook Collection

Made up of around 300+ fiction and non-fiction titles (both ebooks and audiobooks) our new Wellness Collection from ePlatform offers credible resources to help in many different areas:  teenage anxiety, depression, exam stress, sleep problems, sports competition pressures/ performance, emotional dysregulation, PTSD, bullying/ cyberbullying, eating disorders, grief… to name just a few.

These resources include positive psychology resources that have proven effective in empowering social, emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, strengthening resilience and equipping people with knowledge, skills and confidence to best navigate life’s challenges.

Take a look at these resources today by accessing ePlatform from our Library Homepage.


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What are you reading today?

Have you seen our extensive Wheeler and Overdrive online collection? Find the direct links on our website.


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Tea Duel Challenge

Our annual Tea Duel, a tradition begun in the Senior Library in 2016 to celebrate the Steampunk genre, was held last Friday lunchtime much to the entertainment of a very large crowd.  Volunteers from our Year 12 Prefects and School Captains invited a favourite teacher to duel against them by dunking a biscuit in hot tea for five seconds, then holding it up to see who could last the longest before eating it as it collapsed.  Our long-time Tiffen Master, Mr Michael Moloney, was once again the MC of the event, and each pair of contestants was avidly watched by a Deputy Tiffen Master to ensure no cheating occurred!  While the teachers looked unbeatable before the competition began, they were gradually eliminated by the boys, with Angus and Rishi ending up being the last two battling for the honour of 2020 Tea Duel Champion. Congratulations to Angus, whose name will now be added to our new Tea Duel trophy for perpetuity.


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May the 4th – Star Wars Mania

Last week the BGS Libraries celebrated Star Wars with an assortment of activities, all marking the special day, May the Fourth. Middle School boys had a chance to decorate cupcakes in a Princess Leia design. Following instructions, boys proved themselves to be eager and successful cake decorators, and of course, cake eaters!

Two of our teachers donned costumes to host a special Star Wars Kahoot competition in the Middle School libraries. Boys were challenged to be fast and correct in order to be announced the winner. Years 5 and 6 boys also had the chance to enter a colouring competition.

A highlight of the week was the Droid Race Challenge in the MS Amphitheatre with eager particpants competing and one of our IT staff hosting the event in costume. Senior School boys were also given the opportunity to pit Yoda against Darth Vader with droid races in The Lilley Centre, compered by two of our Year 12 students.