Category Archives: Senior Library

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Great Debate – Yr 12 Students v Teachers

Last Friday the Forum was full to overflowing with students from all year levels as excitement mounted in the lead-up to our first ever Great Debate between the Year 12 Senior B debating team and three courageous debating teachers.  The topic they were contesting was That Gen X have ruined everything for the Millennials. Both sides were passionate, witty and quick, with a touch of sarcasm thrown in, and the outcome, not surprisingly, was that the Baby Boomers are the real culprits who have created all the problems!

Because we had limited time, the speakers were limited to 4 minutes each, and were gonged off if their speech went more than 4 minutes and 15 seconds! All in all it was a highly entertaining and extremely popular event, with our MC, Deputy Headmaster – Extracurricular, Mark Brusasco, stating that he hopes this event will become an annual occurrence.

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Chopstick Challenge to Celebrate Multiculturalism

Our first ever Chopstick Challenge, organised by two of the Year 11 SRB boys to celebrate the different cultures at BGS, was an electrifying contest between teachers and students as they raced to pick up a variety of challenging objects with a pair of chopsticks. These included: marbles, toothpicks, thumbtacks, pins, smarties, coins and even a pen from a bottle of water!!

Our Head of Physics, Ms Chan, was a fabulous MC, calling the heats and the final and adding great enthusiasm and excitement to the event. Many were keen to try their hand, but few could match the skill, speed and coolness under pressure of our Head of English, Mr Howes, who managed to blitz the competition to take home the ultimate prize –  a hat full of lollies!!  See more photos at our BGS Facebook page.

 


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Music on the Green

At lunchtime on Wednesday, students in Years 9-12 had the opportunity to enjoy our inaugural Music on the Green event, a wonderfully collaborative partnership between the Library eXchange, the Year 12 Public Purpose team and the Music Department.  Both the Public Purpose Program and The eXchange have, as their aim, a desire to foster community and to provide leadership opportunities for the boys, and this event had loads of both. Boys were able to purchase their lunch from the Year 12 sausage sizzle, and then sit and enjoy it while being entertained by the Big Band, conducted by Mr Jim Noble, and the Senior Vocal Group, led by Music Captain, Louis Backstrom.

The Year 12 team was raising money for Bucket of Love, a charity that provides basic supplies to remote villages in the West Papua province of PNG. Started by two PNG sisters who saw the disparity between rich and poor, Bucket of Love steps in to provide various basic necessities in sturdy plastic buckets – items such as school supplies, basic first aid supplies and birthing kits. The villagers and local farmers then re-use the buckets to increase their productivity and income, gradually taking the steps needed to break out of the cycle of poverty. In contrast to providing buckets, money raised from Wednesday’s sausage sizzle will be sent to rural communities so they can spend it locally, thereby supporting their local economies.

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Gender Respect Project – ‘Listen To Her’

The Gender Respect Committee, a part of our Public Purpose Program, aims to educate our students on important social issues. The committee was the brainchild of Philippa Douglas, Coordinator of Public Purpose. Their latest campaign ‘Listen to Her’ has seen the boys on the committee working with girls from surrounding girls’ schools to learn what gender respect means to young women of today. This has culminated in an amazing display outlining important aspects of gender equality from a youth’s perspective, located in the Learning Commons in The Lilley Centre.
(David Carroll, Deputy Headmaster – Students)

The aim of the Gender Respect Project is to equip boys with an understanding of gender inequalities so they can build respectful relationships with the women and girls in their lives. The project teaches boys how to be the best people they can be, and how they can be leaders among their peers and in the their school by modelling healthy and respectful manhood that values women and girls.

The Listen To Her Campaign, a part of the Gender Respect Project, was created to help boys see the world through the female lens. Seven girls’ schools from Brisbane and Interstate participated in the project. The girls were invited to write on post-it notes one thing they wanted boys to know.

There were three objectives to this campaign:

  1.   To provide a platform for girls to be heard in a safe and supportive environment,
  2.   To help boys understand what it is like to walk a day in a girl’s shoes,
  3.   To empower young men through knowledge and language to challenge attitudes and behaviours within their peer groups to bring about change.

(Philippa Douglas, Coordinator of Public Purpose Program)

The following is a message from David Morrison, Australian of the Year 2016:

To the men of the Gender Respect Program, Brisbane Grammar School  … Taking time to see the world through the eyes of others and to hear their challenges is quintessentially human, but too few pause to do just that. It is all too easy to immerse yourself in the busyness of your own world. But be warned. I feel that such a course leads to a diminished life; shallow and selfish. You have taken a different path and will leave a great legacy as a result.

Now I know from my own experience that taking a stand will attract the criticism of some. That is life, I guess. I find an observation by the Greek philosopher Aristotle helpful when that happens. He said, “Criticism is easy to avoid. You just need to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” So stay strong, keep the faith and be someone.

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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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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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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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Our annual Tea Duel has been postponed!!

Due to Cyclone Debbie, the Tea Duel will now be held at the end of Term 2!!

 

Our second annual Tea Duel competition is fast approaching, with lunchtime next Thursday 30 March in the Library Learning Commons, the time and place of the big event!

Mr Russell, along with Berkeley and Tom of the Spirit Committee, have put together a ‘Breaking News Story’ which takes aim at our most controversial contestant from last year  – who has again entered the competition this year! This is a must-watch for any Tea Duel enthusiast… or anyone with a sense of humour!  The Library is also very appreciative of Mr Carroll’s good sportsmanship for taking part in the video interview.

For anyone not familiar with the eccentric sport that is ‘Tea Dueling’, last year’s promo video is included below.  This helps explain the rules somewhat, but just be aware that the day it mentions is from 2016! If you are a BGS student planning on attending the event,  make certain you come along next week on Thursday 30 March.

Happy Dunking!


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Somerset Literature Festival 2017


Each year Somerset College devotes an enormous amount of time and energy to organising the Somerset Celebration of Literature, a festival run over three days for schools and two days for the public, and it’s always a great place to listen to new and favourite authors. This year, some of our Year 9s and Year 6s enjoyed a day at the festival, with the Year 9s listening to Mark Smith, Shivaun Plozza, Fleur Ferris and Allison Goodman, and the Year 6s listening to Lance Balchin, Lucas Proudfoot, Matt Stanton and Professor Frankie Falconette.

Mark Smith grew up on a farm and at age 15 he’d never read a book.  He read Catcher in the Rye when recovering from falling off a horse, loved it and went on to become an English teacher and writer. The Road to Winter is book 1 of a trilogy, and is an Australian survival story set in a post-apocalyptic future. Mark’s advice to writers: Write what you know and are passionate about; take risks and persevere.

Alison Goodman creates vivid, believable worlds in her books, and has written fantasy (Eon and Eona), historical (Lady Helen) and science fiction novels (Singing the Dogstar Blues). She also likes to involve the five senses in her stories, and her example of her husband having a cortisone injection in his heel where the needle broke off was definitely told very vividly!

Shivaun Plozza realized she wanted to be an author and looked for different ways of achieving this, again and again until her book Frankie was published. Her advice to writers: Push through every single failure, as often the most determined and most stubborn authors get published.

Fleur Ferris was a paramedic and police officer from the age of 19 years.  She grew up on a 10,000 acre wheat farm and was a survivor of the Ash Wednesday bush fires. She always liked writing, and after her ordeal she wrote about the fires. For her, writing worked like medicine and speeded up her recovery. She has published three books: Risk, Black and Wreck. Fleur’s advice to writers: read widely and write about small incidents.

Lance Balchin is an artist who, through the medium of Photoshop, has created some amazing creatures in his book Mechanica: a beginners field guide. This is the first in a series of books, each page of which consists of a complex illustration and description of a mechanical creature.

Lucas Proudfoot held the audience in the palm of his hand through song, humour and storytelling. He played the didgeridoo, guitar and stomp box whilst encouraging the audience to learn more about indigenous cultures. Student David Butler took to the stage and performed the hula to the delight of other BGS boys in the Hall.

Matt Stanton has published a number of picture books for young people but his latest book is aimed decidedly at middle school readers. Called Funny Kid, the book tells the tale of Max, the class clown who is running for class president. Matt’s presentation had the audience rolling in the aisles and our boys are keen to grab a copy of the book when it is released.

Professor Frankie Falconette is a character brought to life by actor Nadia Sunde. Frankie is a Harry Potter enthusiast who brings to life the characters and creatures from the books. Her presentation included a reading of her favourite part of the first book in the series when Harry goes to Diagon Alley. There were also games to play and trivia questions for eager readers.

 

 

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