Primary Schools Parliamentary Convention
On Wednesday 15 August, Year 5 students Kiera E and Toby S represented Bialik at the 2018 Primary Schools’ Parliamentary Convention.
The topic of the day was, “Should a sugar tax be introduced to improve public health?” Held at Parliament House, Melbourne, all proceedings of the day took place within the Legislative Assembly. The event began with a welcome to country delivered by Perry Wandin from The Wurundjeri Council and a welcome to attendees delivered by The Hon Martin Dixon, MP, acting as Speaker of The Legislative Assembly. Ms Ros Spence MP, Member for Yuroke then introduced the topic for the convention and led into opening addresses.
Students from selected primary schools were invited to make opening statements and Kiera gave an address on behalf of Bialik. Associate Professor Julian Rait OAM from The Australian Medical Association of Victoria and Simone Austin, President of Sports Dieticians Australia, gave keynote addresses and following these, students broke into mixed school discussion groups where they discussed and debated the reasons for and against introducing a sugar tax. Following a lunchbreak, representatives from each discussion group reported back to the assembly, with Hon Martin Dixon, MP chairing the session.
Individual students then had the opportunity to share their personal views during the soap box session. The final vote showed that the majority of attendees believe that a sugar tax should be introduced with 46 voting in favour of it and 45 against it. The day was an interesting and provocative one as we heard and the students learned about emotive, factual and well researched views.
The day was officially closed by Hon Mr Tim Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Education.
CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO VIEW GALLERY
Despite dire weather warnings across Victoria last Thursday, our Year 10 French students were very fortunate to spend the morning in the CBD drenched in sunlight, on a French walking tour of Melbourne – A l’Écoute de Melbourne. They were joined by students from Scotch College and Camberwell Grammar as part of the Boroondara Gifted Network.
Bialik students were paired up with a student from another school, and together they touredaround the city visiting famous historical landmarks, guided by a French podcast, which explained the history behind the landmark. These stories were informative, but also at times surprising and even comical. The students were required to complete questions based on what they heard in the podcast as they made their way around the streets.
One of the most popular stops was the visit to Degraves Lane, and in particular the Belgian Waffle Stand. This is where the students stopped for a delicious French morning tea. The Bialik students really enjoyed making new friends on the excursion and they also learnt a lot about their city through the highly informative French podcast.
Year 8s Creative Commerce Workshop at Fintona
On Wednesday 9 May, 4 students from Year 8 represented Bialik at Fintona’s Creative Commerce full day workshop. During the day the students engaged in problem solving techniques as part of investing in a business with each student team being provided with a company to value using a cashflow model. They faced issues that businesses around the world face today, modelling the changes in the cashflows that such issues create and using their knowledge and teamwork skills to solve problems for their businesses.
CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO VIEW GALLERY
Year 7 Da Vinci Decathlon
This week, two teams of Bialik students participated in the annual Year 7 Da Vinci Decathlon held at St Leonard’s in Brighton. The Da Vinci Decathlon is an academic inter-school gala day run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon, with events of an academic nature. The disciplines in which the students competed included: Science, English, Ideation, Art and Poetry, Cartography, Creative Producers, General Knowledge, Code Breaking, Mathematics and Engineering. The tasks within these disciplines are exciting and challenging with a particular emphasis placed on higher-order thinking skills.
All students spent time in Term 1 and Term 2 engaged in mini workshops within each of the disciplines and we are grateful to Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, Dr Ford, Ms Slaney and Sally McCredie for running sessions in their specific fields. Competition day was incredibly challenging and our students both thrived and enjoyed the fast pace and high level of the complex tasks.
We are very proud of the way our students represented our school and congratulate Team Yellow on achieving first place in Science and second place in Creative Producers and Team Blue on achieving second place in Code Breaking and third place in Creative Producers.
Bialik Team Yellow: Lily C, Isaac P, Elliott G, Orly S, Zoe K, Evan D, Elijah C, Nathan B
Bialik Team Blue: Jem A, Natasha G, Mia W, Jake J, Sammy V, Milla G, Jennifer B, Seth R
Year 8 & 9 After School Pardes Enrichment Program
The focus of our afterschool PARDES program in Term 2 is Understanding Politics, with Mr Dan Sztrajt leading the sessions.
Last week, the group of Year 8 and 9 students visited the Glen Eira City Council and met Mayor Cr Tony Athanasopoulos and CEO Ms Rebecca McKenzie. Both Cr Athanasopoulos and Ms McKenzie spent time with the students explaining the workings and complexities of local councils, sharing their experiences and answering our questions. They also gave the students a tour of their offices.
The session at Glen Eira City Council concluded with Cr Athanasopoulos running a mock Council meeting in The Council Chamber. Students prepared their arguments ahead of time and assumed the roles of Glen Eira City Councillors, as they debated current issues on council’s agenda.
At the end of 2017, Year 11 student Jonathan G was recognised with a grant from the Boroondara Youth Foundation (sponsored by Community Bank) for the further development of his STEM project, the Autonomous Fire Ranger.
Jonathan explained, “In 2016 I began building a prototype of an aerial computer vision system, which could potentially be used in a variety of industries to help automate certain tasks and processes. After entering it in the Victorian Science Talent Search, where I won a minor bursary; and the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards, where I was a semi finalist; I decided to take it further. I believe that this technology has huge potential to change the way that we monitor bushfire activity and aid those in bushfire prone areas. By using a combination of autonomous UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) and some complex software, I’ve been able to create a proof of concept for this design.”
On Thursday 15 March 2018, Mary Heath from The Boroondara Youth Foundation visited Bialik to meet with Jonathan and hand over the monetary grant, which will help towards Jonathan’s vision of turning concept into reality.
Siblings Rebecca (Year 6) and Leon (Year 9) placed as Winner and Semi Finalist respectively in their individual age categories in the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards. Their altruistic creations are creative and show great dedication to using science and engineering to improve the world.
Rebecca, who was named the Primary School Winner for Engineering, used syringes, water and tubing to transform an ordinary walking frame into the ‘Multi Walker’, which makes it easier for the elderly to climb stairs and walk on ramps and other uneven surfaces. Rebecca said her invention was inspired by her grandmother because, “we cannot take her to many restaurants because she cannot get inside. This is sometimes due to one little step that she is unable to climb. My grandmother’s walker (which is a normal one) cannot get up the step without a high risk of falling over. That is why I invented the Multi Walker, so people don’t have to feel limited. Rebecca added, “My invention fixes the problem because it allows the person to get up and down stairs with the squeeze of a trigger.”
Leon also focused on helping people with his invention, Backward Vision Ski Goggles. He explained that his family are avid skiiers and that he worries that many potentially harmful accidents can happen when a skiier bumps into you from behind. In a bid to make skiing safer for the people he cares about, he went through many ideas and concepts, weighing the pros and cons and coming up with workable prototypes. Leon said, “Nobody has eyes in the back of their head! My project aims to warn the skier/snowboarder of imminent danger by giving them a wider field of vision. This means they can safely avoid a collision, saving themselves and giving an out-of-control skier/snowboarder time to recover. The project is modelled on a rear vision mirror of a car, which serves the exact same purpose for automobiles – to prevent collision.”
Well done to both students for their outstanding accomplishments!
Primary School Writer’s Workshop
This term, 16 students from Years 4 and 5 met weekly for a Writer’s Workshop series run by Beth Cregan from “Write Away With Me.” The series of workshops followed the theme of living statues with our students bringing a world known statue to life through their writing. Over the six week period, they wrote, edited and completed an original short story, exploring and using these essential elements:
• creating a setting
• developing a character
• plotting and planning a story
• writing great beginnings and endings
• building tension and suspense
• using imagery and descriptive language to capture ideas
• editing, using a range of effective techniques
The series concluded with the students inviting parents in to share their stories and writing process.
FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition
On Sunday 19 November, eight students from Years 7 and 8 competed in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics competition held at Swinburne University. The theme of the competition was Hydro Dynamics.
In Term 2, the students began learning code and building robots and programs based on last year’s competition, with a focus on growing their skills, knowledge and experience. 2017’s challenge was released at the start of Term 3 and from then onwards, they met Tuesday lunchtimes and Thursdays after school to work on the various tasks. These included designing, building and programming a Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot for the purpose of carrying out various theme-related missions in a Robot Game. Students also worked on a project, researching a problem that currently exists within our water cycle/system and developing a solution.
On competition day, they competed in three different Robot Game ‘mission rounds’ and also collaboratively and knowledgably shared their robot design and the complexities in building and programing it during a Robot Design Judging session. They presented their project and a 3D printed model to a judging panel. The final area of judging involved a group interview based upon the group’s core values and team collaboration.
The day was full of high energy and team work and to add to the excitement, the Bialik team received a Judges’ Award.