Magis

It is exciting to have another year underway and already students getting involved in the great variety of extension opportunities we offer. This week we called for students to form debating teams in lower secondary and upper secondary. Ron Lloyd is coordinating lower school debating and any upper school debaters need to see me. I am very keen to find Year 11 and 12 students willing to form a team for the Australian Jesuit Debating Carnival that takes place this year at Xavier College in Melbourne at the end of second term.

Mock Trials begins again. Interested students met with Jim Fitzpatrick on Tuesday at lunch time. Students need to keep an eye on Simon for dates and briefing times. Media Club has also met and started planning activities for Open Day. I am getting queries about Philosophy Club and we will start meeting on Fridays in Week 4. I will put notices in Simon. Astronomy Club will have viewing nights on Thursdays and Saturdays. Again, students need to keep an eye on Simon for information about times and dates.

As we continue to develop new programs for our gifted students, we are working with Paul Luckas at the Centre for Learning Technology at the University of Western Australia for a new College initiative. With Paul, at UWA, students will get to see (and learn about) robotic telescopes, undertake a hands on activity using Stellarium and use Photoshop to process images taken with the SPIRIT telescopes. During this workshop students will also be introduced to the process for using SPIRIT remotely at night. This will enable us to follow up with activities and support for students through our own Astronomy Club run by Peter Mazur. We are very excited about this brilliant opportunity for our gifted science and maths students. The workshop will take place in the first week of the holidays.

With students back at school I had many queries this week from primary schools asking about our Primary Philosothon for gifted students. This will take place on 20 June at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. We can only take 70 students, so places are limited. Given the number of schools who want to send students this year, there will be only a few places from each school. This gives gifted Year 5, 6 and 7 students a unique and very challenging day. Having already run one Philosothon, I will change the program to enable the exceptional students to enrol in each year that they are eligible and still have a unique experience.

Curtin University has announced that it is the Australian organiser for participation in the 2014 UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge 2.0. Water is essential for all life, as we know it. A simple fact that sometimes feels forgotten as political and commercial interests take priority.
UNEP-DHI Eco Challenge 2.0 provides an exciting and authentic learning experience for students aged 11-17 through the online strategic game "Aqua Republica". Addressing national curriculum priority dimensions of Sustainability and Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia the experience provides many learning opportunities across Social Studies, Science, Humanities, Health and Physical Education, English, Geography, and more.

Curtin University in association with UNESCO Hong Kong, UNESCO Bangkok, UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment, United Nations Youth Association (Philippines) is offering additional opportunities for schools to engage in this global challenge. Participation is free and student teams play to align the demands of government, commerce, health and industry to manage a water supply.

Competition dates are April 9-13, 2014 and students play online from anywhere in the world. Registration of teams must be completed by March 31, 2014. Curtin University is offering prizes additional to the international prize pool for any schools who register (between February 14 and March 28, 2014) via the Australian gateway. Interested students need to contact me if they would like to form a team. In the meantime some of our gifted Year 12 students are forming a team to accept this challenge.

Library

The Library has been a hub of activity this week as students came in the sort out their iPad problems, study, read and borrow books. We have many new books available for primary and secondary readers. These are on display in the entrance to the Library. Also on display are photographs of our Year 12 students taken at the College Ball on Friday. You are welcome to come along to browse books or photos.

I have had many queries about our Lego Club. This begins on Wednesday after school, in the Kooly Area, in Week 4. Students from Years 5 to 7 are welcome.

New Books for Primary and Secondary

Dr Annette Pedersen
Magis & Ignatius Centre Coordinator