For the third year in row, Shearwater Year 9 and 10 students have won the Northern Rivers Science and Engineering Challenge, part of a nationwide STEM outreach program presented by the University of Newcastle in partnership with Southern Cross University.
Groups of students were asked to participate in various activities designed to test critical thinking, teamwork and problem-solving ability, with points awarded for design and capabilities. At the end of the regional event, with an exhilarating win in the bridge challenge, Shearwater came in first with 1200.78 points, winning the School more than $1500 worth of science equipment.
We are proud of how the students performed and the way they handled themselves on the day showing School spirit and excellent manners.
Christina Pearce and Robert Sutherland
High School Science
Is it possible to tell a story in 200 words or less? Year 11 English Standard students took the challenge.
Black jeans and a singlet. She gazes at her reflection.
“I’ll be down in a sec! Just one more minute.”
Black jeans and a singlet.
Yuck! No way, I look gross.
A young teenage girl, drowning in a pile of clothes as she scrambles desperately to find something nice to wear. Her room looks like a cyclone has hit it, clothes jumping out from every corner, laughing at her. She picks up top after top and chucks them on the ground after examining herself in the mirror. She decides maybe it’s her pants that have to change instead. Countless outfits are thrown to the floor in dismay. Finally, she finds something she thinks is okay. Black jeans and a singlet.
“Hmm,” she thinks to herself, “this looks nice.”
“Mum, I’m ready to go now.”
She had finally managed to drag the entire family to the dinner table. She often ate with her children but these days they weren’t very good at conversation; the two teenagers sat blankly, neither of them raising a finger as their mother set the table. But she wouldn’t let their pale-faced pessimism get to her. This was a special occasion – the whole family having dinner together. It was always hardest to get her husband to the table as he was the heaviest.
My eyes wander, indulged by the white snow on the strong-armed trees. My feet take me down a pebble path running beside an ice river. I listen to the chirping of the birds, my nosed greeted by the clarity of the air. I reach a wooden-pillared shack; the doors invite me in. My skin is hit by a sudden warmth and I find myself in a chair in front of a fireplace. For once in my life, I feel I belong.
The girl opened the door as carefully as she could, wincing at the sharp creak it made. As quietly and lightly as she could, she stepped out into the narrow hallway. The moon was full tonight, sending shadows creeping through the house. The dark doorway at the end of the hallway leered up at her and the girl could have sworn she saw something move in there. Sweat was trickling down her back now, her breath escaping in small gasps.
The stairs groaned as she stepped on them, causing her to cast panicky glances over her shoulder. Despite the moonlight, the kitchen seemed very dark, too dark to even see the shadows inside. She hurriedly stepped inside the darkened room, the shadows jumping out at her as she… opened the fridge door.
Before she could grab a brownie, a voice yelled down at her from one of the upstairs rooms. The girl jumped back in fright. She’d been caught!
Congratulations to Class 3 students Oliver Heath and Finley Pichler (pictured above) who won the Australian Schools Marbles Championships held recently in Brunswick Heads. Oliver then went on to win the Junior Australian Marble Championships. Oliver and Finley were the youngest competitors in the event, along with Liminal Casidy, also Class 3, who came second in the individual event. Well done to all the Shearwater participants!
At the end of last term, our Year 8 students presented and showcased their Personal Interest Projects (PIPs) to an audience of family, friends, staff and the wider Shearwater community.
The Year 8 PIP is a six-month journey, providing the student with an opportunity to delve into an area of interest, further a passion, discover and develop a new skill and watch a project come to fruition.
Students are encouraged to seek a mentor in the community, journal their experience through writing, drawing, photography and/or film, and record and document their ideas, thoughts, successes and failures.
A major part of the PIP experience is the development of time management skills and creating realistic and achievable goals. For many, their projects have spring-boarded them into further activities in their area of interest and created future opportunities.
As always, the projects have been wide-ranging. This year’s included, book writing, song/rap writing, learning Auslan, Boat making, photography, film making, making clothes, painting, furniture making, drawing, making a chicken burger from scratch, presenting the history of confectionary, macrame, video game creation, making a skateboard, cooking and recipe making, amongst many others.
The students have loved the journey and were completely absorbed and inspired by what they were doing and by their peers. We are very proud of what the students have achieved, during the last six months, with their hard work and dedication.
Tony Van den Driest and April Galetti
Year 8 Guardians
Hummingbee Kindies have been busy with seasonal activities this term…we’ve tucked our Golden Daffodil Bulb Babies into their cosy winter beds and care for them each day; some are starting to tentatively pop up their little green heads already!
We have been preparing for our Winter Festival... rolling beeswax candles, and constructing our ‘little houses with starry windows and a fireplace inside’ for our lanterns, to shed a little light for us at this darkest and coldest time of year.
Our fingers have been busy learning finger knitting and making all sorts of things from our stories using modelling beeswax.
Outside we have loved stretching our bodies and exploring what new things we can do with long-rope skipping and our new monkey bars. Thank you Alex for building them for us!
Thank you, too to Zach and Willow’s families who donated rocks for a new dry creek-bed in our playground, and to all the kindies who loaded and pulled trolley loads of rocks into our garden! Our mud-pit continues to be a favourite play-space and is transformed every day with a new play-story, construction and sculpting in mud.
Crystal Creek provides us with opportunities for cooperative play…like moving a huge tree branch to make a bridge to help us cross the water to Crystal Treasure Corner.
Our garden has provided bounteous gifts for baking day – silverbeet, shallots, basil, parsley, tomatoes, mint and lemongrass for warming teas and we have beetroot, zucchini and peas coming on for next term's baking days. Above all, we enjoy our native mulberry, with her tiny pearl-like fruit and the little cubby she provides beneath her branches.
© Shearwater The Mullumbimby Steiner School