Daily Archives: April 28, 2016

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How to Make a Steampunk Hat

The Senior Library has been the venue for some great activities recently, all based around the steampunk genre. These included:

  • a steampunk display
  • steampunk hats made from gaffer tape
  • steampunk goggles
  • steampunk clocks made from recycled objects
  • steampunk hot air balloon science
  • a very funny steampunk tea-duel between teachers and students

Because we wanted to introduce a casual makerspace into the Senior Library, we decided the steampunk genre was a natural bridge between books and making. The heroes in steampunk books were always makers, always tinkering and creating as Victorian era science progressed with steam-powered machines, rather than with electronics and computer chips: hence the term “tinkerable technologies.”

Our first activity was to create a steampunk hat made from gaffer tape, hot glue and paint. While there are a lot of instructions on the internet for making steampunk hats, we decided that this was the one we would use: DIY Duct Tape Steampunk Top Hat.

Using another hat as a mold, gaffer tape was wrapped around the hat, sticky side out, and then back again, sticky side in. This was repeated with the crown and the brim, and then the two parts were taped together. Next, a hot glue gun was used to create lines and dots, the hats were painted and decorated. Gold paint was added to the glue dots, which resulted in these amazing hats looking very realistically like pieces of old leather riveted together by creative tinkerers.

Next on the agenda was a pair of steampunk goggles to go on the hat, made entirely from items sourced from Reverse Garbage.  (Instructions can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/collections/16250418/Steampunk-Activities.  Similarly, the Year 7 & 8 boys were encouraged to create steampunk clocks from bits and pieces found at Reverse Garbage.

Those boys who participated had a great time, and one of the hats was even worn by the Tiffen Master at our student/teacher tea duel!

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Winners in the 2016 Library Photo Competition


The Annual Library Photo Competition in first term is always a good time to invite our boys to share their photos from the holiday season. This year, after 2015 being a year of global news that pulled us all closer together, the theme was HOME, with two categories: ‘In my Backyard’ and ‘Over the Fence’.

It proved to be a challenging theme! There were many conversations, and plenty of creative thinking from our entrants as they decided what really mattered close to home, or ‘In my Backyard’, and what could be deemed to be ‘Over the Fence’.

The display in the Lilley Centre grew slowly this year, and covered a diverse selection of material. Garden spiders and familiar creatures, favourite pets, food and places were all considered close to home, while in Over the Fence we saw far-reaching places of beauty and interest, both within the Australian landscape and beyond.

Congratulations go to the following students for their entries this year:

  • Mitchell A (Year12) was the Overall Winner for “Camping under the Milky Way”
  • Max S (Year 9) was Runner Up for In My Backyard with “Dry Storms”
  • Bill H (Year 10) was Over the Fence Winner for “New Zealand Landscape”
  • Richard M (Year 10) was Runner Up with “Morning Light”

We would like to thank all the staff and students who made this competition and display a success by contributing so willingly. Thanks also go to our Assistant Head of English, Mr Paul Kobez, for his expertise as our judge.