Magis

Magis runs a variety of extension programs and opportunities for gifted students at John XXlll College. I work to design a variety of such opportunities in order to address as wide a selection of our clever students as possible. This week we sent information out about the Live Audio Engineering Workshop that starts in Week 2 of Term 2. As part of a number of such varied initiatives we have designed this new extra-curricular course to appeal to and extend students interested in music, sound technology and work opportunities in this area. We are running a ten week course starting in Week 2, Term 2. Students will be taught by professionals to set up a public address system, compose music, mix music, chose the correct song selection for a client, understand Health & Safety Regulations and to deal with clients. Over the term they will learn to set up and use professional equipment and to consider the implications related to working with such equipment and clients. At the conclusion of the ten week course they will receive accreditation in the form of a certificate and then be qualified to DJ College socials, for example. The course is taught by industry professionals.

This week we sent invitations to gifted Year 11 and 12 students in local Catholic secondary schools to attend our Magis Carnival on 26 June John XXlll College. The students will join our Year 11 and 12 Magis students in examining complex problems from our world and beyond. These problems have a spiritual dimension or a philosophical connection to the religious underpinning of our schools. For example;
Social responsibility is confined within borders.
Happiness is a misunderstood idea in the western world.
The notion of 'self' is limiting.

The Carnival will run after school from 4.30 to 7pm. Students will be placed into small groups with a facilitator and a question they will have received some weeks earlier. This will give students the opportunity to discuss and argue through their thoughts and ideas in relation to specific questions. We will probably work with two set questions and then have an informal session to finish the evening. While I will send out questions at the end of May, students are not expected to have to do any study or preparation other than thinking. The evening should provide clever students with a worthwhile intellectual challenge and the chance to meet like-minded young people.

Over the break a group of our gifted maths/science students will attend the SPIRIT Workshop at UWA. I will explain what they learnt during the workshop in my newsletter next term. In the meantime I expect their experience will be documented in a local newspaper. Opportunities such as these are rare and we plan to organise more for our intrepid astronomy enthusiasts. We are fortunate to have teachers as passionate as Peter Mazur, who is prepared to give up so much of his time to this discipline. This week Astronomy Club met on Friday night for their final evening of the term.

Over the holidays I have an interesting task in examining a PhD on contemporary photography. The PhD has a practical component and a written exegesis. Given my interest in our own Media Club and Magimation, this academic research into contemporary digital media should provide some new insight.

Library
We have a large delivery of Lexile books that have been processed ready for students at the beginning of Term 2. Primary students will find this an excellent way to improve their literacy skills. Students in Years 7 and 8 have also been prepared to work with Lexiles and that will take place through their class teaching.

This week has been a busy for a number of us caught up in the wonderful process of the fresco. The College photographer, Catherine Woods, has been documenting Alan Pascuzzi's work which is due to finish next week. The careful application of plaster and paint to the cartoon on the wall is captured in time lapse photography that will give us amazing insight into Dr Pascuzzi's creative endeavor to honour the canonization of our College namesake.

Dr Annette Pedersen
Magis and Ignatius Centre Coordinator