3D Printing in Year 7 Technology

Our Year 7 students have had great fun learning how to use our 3D printer. In their Technology classes they have been experimenting with the online CAD program, Tinkercad.

The girls initially made some basic name tags as they familiarised themselves with the software.

As they became more confident in their use of the software their designs have developed significantly. Their most recent task was to create identification tags for their vegetable pot plants.

As you can see below, with a little spray paint the tags look very impressive!


Redesigning the Technology Classroom

Our current Year 11 Design and Technology students have been involved in an ongoing project throughout 2018 looking at redesigning the RO2 Technology classroom. The current classroom is no longer suitable for the requirements of the students and the students have submitted individual proposals for the refurbishment of the space.

This process actually began back in 2017 when the design team from Blacksheep  Design Studio spoke to the students about the design process and how each step is critical to ensuring the end result meets the needs of the client. The students then prepared designs based on the brief they had been given and presented them to the Technology staff.

The design for the space has now been finalised and the students are hoping it will be implemented over the coming break. Ms Leong has created a presentation that gives an overview of the design process. Another great example of authentic learning in action at St Clare’s!


St Clare’s Fromelles Documentary

Our work on the Fromelles project is ongoing as we look to create our own documentary on the Battle of Fromelles. This is a major undertaking and the students in our 9.1 History class have been working hard to make this dream a reality.

This morning Lambis Englezos took the students through his recent trip to Fromelles. This was a fascinating insight into his current research around a possible mass grave at Rifle Villa outside of Fromelles. Lambis also introduced us to some of the many local identities in the town of Fromelles that he has got to know over the last decade.

Over the past two weeks a group within the class has been formed to create promotional material for our plan to ‘crowd fund’ the cost of producing the documentary. Once Lambis had finished his presentation this group of students met with both Lambis and Patrick Lindsay to go over the plan. Having access to such wonderful resources in Lambis and Patrick is something most schools could just dream about!

We are planning to crowd fund the documentary through the Australian Cultural Fund. Patrick has been able to provide valuable assistance having previously used the platform to financed his Kokoda documentary.

There was much discussion around how the promotional video should be structured and what to include in the introductory blurb. It was decided that Lambis should reflect on the importance of nations recovering their war dead so a number of questions were posed for him to reflect on.

Patrick then spent time with students ensuring the narration was of the highest quality. The students used the Voice Recorder app on the iPad to record their narration. Patrick reinforced the notion of ‘light and shade’ in their voices to add to the quality of the overall presentation.

There were so many wonderful learnings that took place this morning for our students, working with two experts in their fields. We are hoping to have all promotional material ready to upload to the Australian Cultural Fund site by the end of this week.


Year 7 STEM Project

The project we have been working on as part of our involvement in Sydney University’s STEM Academy is now coming to an end. It has been a wonderful journey for all involved and the amazing learning that has come out of the project has been wonderful to see.

There will be ongoing monitoring of the hive by our students in their Science classes, as well as the printing of the beehives on the 3D printer in Technology so there is still work to be done.

Lucy, from 7.1 has created a fabulous website the captures the journey from start to where it currently stands. The website will be updated as hives are printed. 

A group of our girls will be presenting some of their work to the students of St Charles, Waverley next week. We hope to be able to share much of the knowledge we have gained with the students from St Charles over the next few weeks.

Space Flashbuild

Our Year 7 students are currently studying ‘Space’ in Science and a number were given a unique opportunity this morning to participate in a ‘Flashbuild’, The Flashbuild was led by Dr Tim Parsons from DeltaV Space Hub who was assisted by students from UNSW’s Engineering Faculty. Some of our best Science students from Years 8 to 12 were also part of this great experience.

This morning was part of a series of events promoting the NewSpace Flashbuild that culminates in the launch of a weather balloon on Tuesday 11th November in Muswellbrook.

The Flashbuild involved the group of students being divided into tow missions, one to Mars and the other to the Moon. Tim introduced the missions to the group after giving some background around the Flashbuild and the launch next Tuesday. Dawn, a second year aerospace engineer spoke about the importance of women being part of the Australian Space industry.

Following the introductions the students moved to the iPads where they used the Sky View app to identify the current locations of Mars and the Moon. The app uses augmented reality to show the positions and was a great way to get the students excited about their missions.

The students then split into two groups to take on their missions. Each mission was divided into four teams that were responsible for different aspects of the mission. To begin the mission the students used Google Earth to explore Mars or the Moon. Tim had created brief tours (KMZ files) that were shared with the students so when they opened the file it took them directly to the exact location of their mission.

From there it was all systems go as the four teams worked together to complete their mission. There were many challenges around scale as the team responsible for the habitat found it hard to represent the plan they had created within the space.

One team was responsible for programming the transport devices. The Sphero devices were used for this and there was a great deal of discussion around getting the Spheros programmed precisely so they navigated through the geographical hazards on each mission.

Once the missions were complete it was time to share the learning with the team and hear of the challenges that confronted each group as they went about completing their tasks.

We finished the session with a brief display of some of the items that the UNSW Blue Sat team had been working with. Unfortunately time was against us and we did not get time to delve deeply into the work of Blue Sat.

This was a prototype event to see how effective a Flashbuild would be in a school setting. Without a doubt this was a wonderful success and we hope to hold more of these in the future.

A big thanks to Dr Tim Parsons and the UNSW team of engineers who gave up their time to provide so much valuable learning for our students.

To find out more about each mission view the attached documents.

mars team brief

luna team brief



Year 8 Religion

One of our Year 8 Religion classes used some very creative and innovative ways of responding to their recent task that asked them to examine the life of St Clare or St Francis.

One group used Google’s Tour Creator to create a virtual tour of the significant places that St Francis spent time in during his life.

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 8.39.56 am

Another group used the Scratch programming site to code a presentation on St Clare.

There was also a beautiful website created to highlight the difference St Francis has made to our world.

When students are given the freedom to choose how they want to respond to a task the results can often be quite surprising. Perhaps in the future we may be able to give students the same freedom in what they want to learn and see even more inspiring creations!

Virtual Reality at St Clare’s

Two of our Year 10 students, Janice and Annabelle, spent some time this morning at UNSW’s 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab. The 3D Visualisation Aesthetics Lab is an award-winning cross-disciplinary research hub that explores arts-led approaches for visualising complex scientific and biomedical scan data.

The purpose of the visit was to showcase some of the work Janice has created in VR using Unity. Janice’s work involved creating a VR game that teaches the principles of the ‘Collision Theory’. This is part of her preparation for her studies in Chemistry in 2019 while Annabelle is currently researching emerging technologies for her IST project. Accompanying Janice was an ideal opportunity to visit a world leader in using VR in the medical field.

The team were very impressed with the work Janice had created as she walked them through her game, explaining how it worked and the development process she had worked through.

After demonstrating her game she was able to spend time with some of the developers talking about how she could improve aspects of the game. She received some great advice on overcoming some of the problems she was currently encountering using Unity as well as the type of programming language she should be working in.

Both girls got to spend time on the current work the team are doing in visualisation of the inner workings of the human body. This was a fascinating experience and opened their eyes to the incredible developments that are taking place in the field of medicine.

We are looking forward to continuing our work with John and the team at 3DVAL. They have been extremely generous with their time as we have looked for opportunities to integrate VR into our learning.

At this stage we see VR being a valuable tool for us initially in Science, through the type of work Janice is undertaking and in the immersive opportunities that exist on platforms like Microsoft’s STEAM. While in Technology, the virtual mannequin in Tiltbrush allows the designer to see their creation in a completely different way. Our ultimate goal is to have a group of students designing and creating in VR using Unity.

This is an exciting time as we look to create new and exciting opportunities for our students.




Crowd Funding Our Fromelles Documentary

A group of our Year 9 History students spent time with our mentor, Patrick Lindsay to look at ways we can fund the production of our own documentary on the Battle of Fromelles.

The idea for the documentary came from Patrick after the initial workshop we had to launch the Fromelles project with the 9.1 History class. Patrick had been looking for an opportunity to put together a documentary after he wrote his acclaimed book on the Battle of Fromelles. After seeing what our girls were doing he felt there was an opportunity to tell the story of Fromelles in a unique way.

Over the past few months as the girls created video profiles of soldiers killed at Fromelles, Patrick has spent time interviewing the girls and documenting the entire process. The vision for the project is for our girls to tell the story of their soldiers by walking in their footsteps and retracing the journey they would have taken in those three or four days they were at Fromelles.

Telling the story of the soldiers from a female perspective would be a very powerful narrative and one that has not been done before. For the girls it would mean going to the town of Fromelles to visit the battlefields and meet some of the people who helped us put our video profiles together.

Lambis Englezos recently went to Fromelles and delivered our completed videos to the curator of the new Fromelles Museum. The videos were gratefully received and the curator promised to share them with the Mayor of Fromelles. Lambis will be meeting with the girls later in November to report on his visit as well as sharing some exciting news around his current research.

After today’s session with Patrick the girls have formed a ‘working committee’ to organise our campaign. We will be using the Australian Cultural Fund to promote our project and will have Patrick to mentor us through the process. This will be a great experience for our girls.

There are so many ‘life skills’ involved in this project. A number of the girls are currently studying Commerce, so many of the skills they will develop through being involved in this project will have a direct benefit  for their studies in 2019.

We are looking forward to sharing the journey of our girls as they endeavour to make their vision into reality.

What does educational transformation mean? —

As we continue to look to reimagine what learning looks like at St Clare’s it is heartening to know that all schools are struggling with this issue. How do we provide authentic and relevant learning experiences for our students when a rigid curriculum and oppressive final exam encourage the status quo? Greg Whitby, Executive Director of the Parramatta Diocese, makes it clear in this post that doing nothing is no longer an option.

Just as the industrial revolution ushered in a mass model of schooling, the digital revolution is forcing us to rethink schooling for today’s world. The biggest difference now is the rapid pace of change, which means the gap between school, society and technology is growing ever-wider. The call to radically transform schooling is being met […]

via What does educational transformation mean? —

STEM Academy Project Update

The delivery and installation of our beehive signified the end of our STEM Academy project for 2018. The driving question for the project was, ‘Sustainability-Whose Responsibility?’ examined through the life cycle of the native stingless bee.

Elke from Native Stingless Bees has worked with us throughout the project to teach our students about native stingless bees and then help identify the best place to locate the hive.

The native stingless bees are much smaller than the bees most of us notice in our gardens and our the newest members of our community were soon out and about familiarising themselves with their new surroundings.

Our students still have a little work to do with the project. This is around communicating to our local community that there is now a native beehive close by. The girls have prepared posters and videos that will help get the message out there.

This project has been a great way to start our journey down the STEM road. We have a number of STEM projects in planning for 2019 and look forward to sharing the details of each in the weeks ahead. A full review of the current project will be posted once all evaluations have been completed.