Fromelles Project Update

Our dedicated group of Year 10 students is continuing to work towards raising funds and awareness for their documentary on the Battle of Fromelles. Last week the team met with our local State Member of Parliament and former St Clare’s student, Dr Marjorie O’Neill.

Marjorie spent time with the students talking about the project as well as discussing strategies they could use to help build enthusiasm in our local community. We are very grateful to Marjorie for taking time out of her busy schedule to spend time with the students.  Having such high profile support for our project has given the team a great boost.

Planning for filming in Fromelles is now well underway. It is anticipated that the team will gather in Paris at the end of the Immersion Trip to Italy and France taking place in the April holidays next year. They will then travel to Fromelles for an afternoon of filming before heading to our base in Ypres.

From Ypres the team will travel to Fromelles and surrounding villages filming in the footsteps of the soldiers they researched back in 2018. Under the direction of producer, Patrick Lindsay, the students will learn more about the battle and walk the battlefield of Fromelles, walking the same ground their soldiers fought hard to secure more than a century ago.

They will also spend time at Pheasant Wood where their soldiers lay forgotten for so long. Buried in a mass grave by German forces following the brutal slaughter of our soldiers on July 19, 1916.

We are so excited by the journey we are about to embark on. Planning will ramp up in earnest towards the end of November as Patrick and his team spend time with the students researching and developing the stories around the soldiers they profiled in 2018.

Here is a reminder of what the students created last year.

 

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Tech Girls Movement Awards

The Tech Girl Movement have officially announced the awards winners for 2019. Our team of Year 9 students can be very proud of taking out first prize in the ‘Game Changer Award’ category for their app ‘Breakthrough’.

Breakthrough is an employment education app targeted specifically for teens looking for jobs. Providing education for teenagers that are preparing for a job or who are struggling to manage the workload of having a job, Breakthrough is an innovative and informative solution to the growing job demand for teens. Breakthrough is helping to make teens confident in themselves while also helping them expand their workplace capability. With information like how to create a resume, plan for an interview, manage a payslip and tons more, Breakthrough is the free answer to teenager employment education and is an app made by teens, for teens.

Congratulations once again to team members Tilly Groves, Gabrielle Lee, Lara Ciaglia, Stephanie Hooper and Iona Dyson-Merwe, and a big thank you to Miss Nicola Steele for all the extra time she put into preparing the girls for the Challenge.

Here is the video the team submitted to the competition.

2019 Art and Design Exhibition

The annual Art and Design Exhibition took place on August 23rd through until August 25th. The exhibition is a combined showcase of the talents of the students at St Clare’s and Waverley College in both Visual Arts and Design and Technology. This year it was our turn to host and the College was filled with an incredible array of creations.

The opening night was just unbelievable with more than a thousand guests visiting the College to view the work on display. Our Hospitality team worked tirelessly to feed the guests and in doing so showcased how absolutely amazing they are. We are constantly in awe of what they are able to do.

If you were not able to visit the exhibition we have captured as many of the works as possible in this video. The senior exhibition which was showcased in the College Hall will be published separately.

Tech Girls Are Superheroes

This year St Clare’s entered into the Tech Girl Superhero Challenge. The team was made up of five Year 9 students; Lara Ciaglia, Stephanie Hooper, Iona Dyson-Merwe, Tilly Groves and Gabrielle Lee.

Over twelve weeks our team had to identify a problem in their local community and design an app to solve it. After brainstorming and conducting market research, the team decided to focus on how they could help teenagers trying to find their first job. They developed a complete business plan, prototyped an app, and decided on which platform they would use to code it. After the app was coded, these girls developed a pitch video and finalised their marketing strategies and pricing model.

The app is called ‘Breakthrough’ and is designed as an interactive job board while also providing teenagers with information on writing a resume, going for interviews, receiving payslips, and paying taxes.

The St Clare’s team were extremely fortunate to be assigned an industry mentor, Lisa Sisson from Unearth Technologies. Lisa met with our team weekly and provided guidance and support on the project, as well as valuable insights into the world of technology and the importance of female representation in this field.

At the NSW Showcase it was announced that the St Clare’s team won the category of ‘Game Changers’. Congratulations to the girls on all their hard work and success!

2019 NCSS Challenge

This year we had over fifty students take part in this NCSS Challenge run by Grok Learning. The NCSS Challenge takes place over a five week period and teaches the students how to code as they work through the weekly challenges. The Challenge is broken into different levels to cater for various ability levels. Students can choose from basic block coding up to highly advanced use of Java and Python.

This year we had students take on levels from Beginner through to Advanced. Typically Year 7 and 8 students take on Beginner then move to the Intermediate level in Years 9 and 10. The Advanced level is primarily for senior students.

Both the 8.1 and 7 Newman classes participated in the Challenge as part of their work in Mathematics. Students in 8.1 primarily took on the Intermediate Challenge as most had completed the Beginner Challenge in 2018. Our 7 Newman class was happy to take on the Beginner Challenge to familiarise themselves with the basics of the Python language. We also had a small group of Year 10 students who took on the Beginner Challenge.

There were a number of standout performances across all year groups with Angelique Kennedy , Charlize Fox, Eliza Kennedy, Jasmine Parsons and Jessica Cooper from the Year 7 Newman class all scoring a perfect score in the Beginner Challenge. An outstanding achievement!

Special mention must be made of Sophia Pappas from the 8.1 class. Sophia took on the Advanced Challenge this year as she had completed the Intermediate Challenge in Year 7. While she struggled to score a lot of points the experienced gained will be most valuable when she takes on the Code Quest later in the year. Sophia is never afraid to take on a challenge and this quality is something that will take her a long way in life.

 

Fromelles Documentary

Over the past twelve months a small group of dedicated Year 10 students have been working behind the scenes to try and raise funds for a documentary on the Battle of Fromelles.

The idea for a documentary came about through our work last year with Lambis Englezos and Patrick Lindsay. Both gentlemen worked with our top Year 9 History students to create video profiles of soldiers killed during the Battle of Fromelles.

The documentary will tell the story of the battle through the words of the women left behind. It will feature the video profiles created by some of the students and follow the students as they walk in the footsteps of the soldier they had profiled.

At times over the last twelve months we doubted whether there was any interest in the project from outside the College. At the start of this year we were given a great boost by a wonderful donation from Peter Fitzsimons and his wife, Lisa Wilkinson. This message of support was very important in us being able to attract interest from other parties.

On Tuesday we hosted representatives from three RSL Clubs. Campsie RSL, Kingsgrove RSL and Club Rivers have all pledged their financial support for the project. This support will enable us to get the documentary up and running.

Patrick Lindsay’s production company, Limetree Studios, will be producing the documentary. Limetree Studios most recent production, ‘Kokoda, the Spirit Lives’, has received great acclaim at a number of film festivals around the country.

This is a very exciting time for the students and the College as we begin planning for filming in France next year. We look forward to sharing the journey of the students as they work with Patrick in the months ahead.

microShower Update

Our Year 8 SteamPunk students have been working on further developing their ‘microShower’ device that came out of their work with the team at UTS SteamPunk Girls.

 

The device has now been through a few stages of development with the team 3D printing their design each time an alteration is made. They have two major issues left to resolve, one is around keeping the device waterproof while allowing access to the battery and the other is having a more streamlined design that enable all components to to be contained securely inside.

The basic concept is that the device sits on a wall in the bathroom and using a motion sensor it detects when someone enters the shower. Using a microBit the team have programmed, the device will begin monitoring the time a person spends in the shower. The lights on the microBit will then change colour and shape to indicate when a person has spent too long in the shower. Seeing a red angry face means you have been in there too long and used way too much water!

The team are hoping to have their final product ready for testing by the end of this term. Given the state of our dam levels they could be on a winner with this product!

Newman Symposium Update

It is worth reflecting on the work done by our students at the Newman Symposium last week. All five teams performed brilliantly and impressed everyone with their knowledge of the many different components that would be required to send humans to Mars.

The presentations were required to follow a set format, starting from the introduction of each member of the mission team, explaining how to get to Mars and the issues surrounding such a trip, surviving on the planet and what a Mars base might look like. Each team was also required to include an advertisement that was designed to sell a trip to Mars.

Once the presentations were finished each team had to demonstrate how they would incorporate autonomous machines on the planet by programming a drone, a Sphero and a robot to move around their Mars base.

This was a great way to finish our STEM project that the students had worked on throughout Term 2. This project will now be refined to implement across all Year 7 in Term 2, 2020.

Here is a compilation of excerpts from each of the five presentations.

Newman Symposium

The first St Clare’s College Newman Symposium was held on Wednesday afternoon prior to the Open Evening. The purpose of the symposium was to showcase some of the outstanding learning that had been taking place in our Year 7 Newman class during the first half of the year.

The focus of the symposium was on the recent Space STEM project the students had been working on throughout last term. The class was divided into five ‘mission’ teams and each team was responsible for creating a visual presentation that demonstrated how they responded to the driving question, ‘Can we live on Mars?’.

Each team was also required to construct a prototype of their planned Mars base and code a drone, a robot and a Sphero to move autonomously around the space. There was an added dimension with a time limit being imposed on the students, much in the style of the ‘Masterchef’ pressure tests!

The symposium was a wonderful way of showcasing the incredible learning opportunities the students had been exposed to over the term. The quality of visual and oral presentations across all five teams was exceptional, while the ability to code a drone, a robot and a Sphero to move around the Mars bases was very impressive.

We will share the individual presentations at a later date but here is a collection of video and images from the preparation through to the final presentation.

Drone STEM Project

Our Year 8.1 students began their second STEM unit for the year at the start of this term. The driving question for the unit is, “How can people and technology improve society?’ The students will be using our Parrot Mambo drones and drone technology in general to investigate this question.

The project was launched last week in their Science class with the students working with their teacher, Miss Ruan, and our technical guru, Mr Ben Johnson. Miss Ruan led the students through the process of unpacking the driving question, while Mr Johnson took the girls through the basics of the Parrot Mambo.

In Maths the students will be developing their skills in using and analysing data. They will look at how different companies use drones to gather and analyse data as well as making comparisons between drone companies based on available data. Companies like PrecisionHawk are leading the world in using AI to make analysing data more efficient.

In Science it will be all about ecosystems and how drone technology is enabling society to monitor and manage ecosystems more efficiently. The students will be required to program their drone to map out the ecosystem that exists within our magnificent front garden. They will also look at drone companies like DroneSeed that are emerging in the agriculture industry.

In Technology all Year 8 students are involved in using the drones through their unit, ‘Engineered Systems’. This unit will run until the end of 2019, so there will be opportunities for all Year 8 students to learn to code the drones and explore how drones are humans are changing the way we view our world.

Initially we had planned for this project to be purely a STEM project, however, with the vast amount of innovation happening with drone mapping, Mrs King was keen to get the students exploring this question in their Geography class.

We are looking forward to sharing more of this project as it develops over the coming weeks.