Students from prep to year 12 have just completed their cleanup of the school grounds and fenceline as part of Clean Up Australia Day. Each form and year level were allocated a different area of the school to clean up. Rakes, gloves and bags for the rubbish were given to each group at 12pm today.
Happy new Year of the Horse! The Lunar New Year celebrated by Chinese people all over the world!
Some of our students have received cards and envelopes to wish them a Happy New Year from our Chinese colleague, Veronica Woo who teaches at SMP Loi Lam school in Malaysia and who visited us at the end of the year. Some of her gifts and decorations adorn the school office and foyer in recognition of this special festival and second language, mandarin Chinese. A number of students were given red packets or ‘ang pau’ with a laminated photo (rather than the traditional money insert) of her visit to our school. Veronica said: “The rule for parcel post states that money is not allowed to be sent via this mode of postage. Nowadays, kids here who are used to the tradition of receiving ang pows with money inserted!”
As Ms Woo wrote on the card to the school “GONG XI FA CAI”
Two youtube videos suggested by Veronica Woo for the staff and students to watch:-
YouTube link to the one minute “OzTrees 4 GYS” presentation or view below:-
The video clips above were filmed on Saturday 18th January at the Singapore Science Centre, as part of the Actions for Earth Global Youth Summit. All the students had specific roles from collecting contact names and addresses for each of the attending schools, photography and script-writing to slideshow creation, creating our logo and giving feedback to our speakers.
We woke up nice and early, ready for a huge last day of the 2014 Global Youth Conference. When we arrived at the Singapore Science Centre, where the conference was held, we listened to Peter Browne talk about public speaking and the best and most effective way to present our pitches. After the presentation we got into our country groups and practiced our one minute pitch and then presented to all of the delegates. The top six school groups in both the Junior and Senior categories then presented their three-minute pitches to the judges abouth their ideas which will help the environment.
We wanted to plant a tree on Australian soil for every delegate who attended the 2014 Global Youth Summit. Our project, “OzTrees 4 GYS” is to plant a tree to represent each student from the 12 different countries who attended the inaugural Global Youth Summit. There was a junior and senior category, with the audience selecting their favourite ideas with 6 senior and 6 junior teams making it to the finals. We were in the senior category and we made it to the finals. This meant we were required to complete a three minute pitch to extend upon our ideas in order to win over the judges. We were lucky enough to receive 3rd place which is 6 medals, a trophy and 500 Singapore dollars in order to implement our proposed project.
As a group we decided we were well off compared to many of the other schools attending and we already had enough money from sponsors to implement our project, so we decided to donate our prize money to the Cambodian Kampong Project. After we did this we were told that the money we donated was 1.5 million dollars in Cambodia which is enough to build them a brick home.
The conference ended with performances from most of the attending countries and K-pop dance group (push music). For our performance we acted out famous landmarks in Australia with “We Come From a Land Down Under” playing in the background. It was great to see everyone having fun, with a great end to the conference.
We woke up and had our breakfast at the hotel as usual then we got on the buses in our designated groups to head straight from the hotel to our first activities. Depending on what groups each of us were in we visited the Semakau Landfill, an Incineration Plant, Marina Barrage and/or the New Water Desalination Plant.
We jumped on the bus for a half an hour bus ride before swapping to a boat for another forty minutes. We when arrived at the landfill we split into groups with one group going straight on the bus to tour around the landfill while the other group went into a room to watch a presentation on how the landfill works. Then the groups swapped over. The Semakau Landfill is located about 8 kilometers south of Singapore, situated amongst the southern islands. Two of these small, shallow islands have been joined together by a membrane providing two halves to the whole system. The incineration plants provide the landfill with rubbish that has been turned into ash and placed in the cells in the first part of the system. The waste from the incineration plant is transported by a barge to the island and then loaded onto tip trucks which fill the cells. As each cell is required, the seawater is pumped out and the cell is filled with incinerated rubbish and compacted.
Tuas South Incineration Plant
The Tuas South Incineration Plant is a “Waste to Power” Plant, which means that the waste from domestic and municipal sources is transported to the Plant and used as fuel for boiler that is used to create steam and turn a turbine to produce electrical power. The electricity produced is seven times the amount actually used in the plant, while the rest of the power is fed back into the grid. The incineration plant is a very modern and technological solution to waste disposal, using close circuit video cameras to monitor the waste arriving in trucks and lots of automated systems. However, the waste is not separated, so plastics, paper, metal and biodegradable waste are all dumped into the incineration and burnt at temperatures up to 850 degrees Celsius. This ensures that the waste is sterilized to remove any diseases.
New Water Desalination Plant
Community Outreach Program at Clementine Apartments
The Singapore Flyer
The Cloud Forest Dome
SuperTrees and Skywalk
Chinatown Tour – Wong’s Calligraphy Studio, Chinese Banquet, ChinaTown Shopping, Trishaw Ride and Bumboat Tour.
Faridah, our wonderful guide, collected us in the charter bus and took us to Chinatown. As we got closer, there were more and more Chinese New Year decorations. 2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse, so there were hundreds of horse lanterns lighting up the streets. When we arrived in the heart of Chinatown we walked to Wong’s Calligraphy Studio, where a Chinese artist wrote our names in Chinese on fans to keep as a souvenier. After drying our fans, we walked through the very busy markets and climbed the steps to the restaurant where we were to have our Chinese banquet.The food that came out was very different to what we would usually have. There was many dishes to eat and had to try to work our way through them by using chopsticks. We enjoyed dumplings, crispy-skin chicken, fried rice, sweet and sour fish, green tea and banana and red bean fritters. After filling up on our dinner we then went to do some shopping around the markets for about 30 mins. Many of us came back with bags of stuff, including gifts and souvenirs, which we then carried with us to our trishaw ride. The trishaw ride was great. Most of us students had never been on one before so it was a new experience. We passed a lot of Chinatown, getting a quick view of most of it. We then arrived at the bumboat. On the bumboat we experienced scenic night views of the lights of Singapore, which was amazing.
The “bumboat” is a traditional craft that was used to transport good to and from Clarke’s Quay, when Singapore was becoming established as an international trading port. In the present day Singapore Harbour is one of the busiest trading ports in the world, with bulk container carriers lined up, waiting to load and unload. Our guide, Faridah, explained that Singapore has experienced exponential growth over the past 50 years and is expected to continue to grow. We then went back to the hotel hoping for a long night’s sleep.
Fresh off the plane, the Hawkesdale VCE Environmental Science students woke up this morning eager for their trip to Malaysia. The day begun with an Asian styled breakfast, giving the students an opportunity to explore a different cuisine. After breakfast everybody hoped on a bus and headed for the Tanjung Bin coal plant in Malaysia. After a long trip and the stops at customs, the students were keen to explore the coal plant.
When we arrived at the coal plant a big lunch was provided for everybody hosted by warm welcoming staff. The food was luscious and divine, and although many students hadn’t tasted Malaysian food, all enjoyed the lunch. For many the lunch was a highlight, as not only did it fill our stomach, it also gave us a taste Malaysian-styled food. All the staff were very generous and we can not thank them enough for their kindness and willingness to share their knowledge with us.
After lunch we were taken on a tour around the coal plant, getting a insight of how it runs. Before the tour everybody got geared up in helmets, vests, and protective footwear. This was a challenge in itself as many students struggled to find shoes that would fit and many were walking around as if they were in clown shoes. We saw first hand how the coal plant worked by walking around, and taking a bus tour. Along the tour we got to see the boilers and visit the port where the coal is imported. Taking photos at the port was difficult with many of us struggling to keep our eyes open while the photo is being taken.
Once the tour was ended, everybody hoped back on the bus and headed back to Singapore where we enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the waters edge.
Please note this post was added by Anne Mirtschin for Britt Gow who experienced some problems adding the post overseas.
An online colleague, Rox Cossico, who has connected his class with our classes on a number of occasions, read a recent post on our school blog re the drive for toothbrushes, toothpaste and soaps and made a comment thanking us all. He has since sent this message in an email:
Thank you to all your faculty, students and parents for helping our country. We appreciate it very much. Millions more are livng in miserable situation. A month after the typhoon most foreign workers who came to our rescue have already left. Our very own government does not have enough resources to help our own people so whatever it is that you give save lives on a day to day basis. Thank you so much. We cannnot repay you for your help. The only thing Filipinos have in abundance right now is our talent to express our thanks. I'msharing you several videos to show our appreciation.
A parent information session on cyber bullying was held tonight in the school library. This was organised by our student welfare staff. John Keats a Youth Resource Office fromVictoria Police Force talked about cybersafety and keeping our families safe online. He also shared some experiences in his role both as a parent and as a police officer.
A small group of interested parents attended. The potential positive impact that membership of social networking sites may have for people was emphasised but the dangers of predators and of cyber bullying was also clearly outlined. Time was also spent discussing sexting and the danger of child pornography charges being pursued.
A video made in the UK, shared the heartbreak of a boy who suffered from cyberbullying.
Parents were encouraged to populate the online space so that they have a basic understanding of what can occur, how to keep their child as safe as possible and to provide a strong, positive online profile. Cybersmart is a valuable site and Am I old enough by Victoria Legal Aid.
When asked, parents stated that they would like to know how to:-
- log off
- delete updates etc
- use facebook, keep a strong, protected profile
- block people
- send a friendship request
Other questions related to setting a code on an iPad, how to use skype, twitter, youtube, moshi monster and minecraft safely. An evening will be conducted soon for parents with a ‘hands on’ component.
What are your concerns? What would you like to know or be shown?