August, 2019

Innovation brings results

Options: Students in 7-10 can participate in a range of STEM subjects including the Board-endorsed course ‘iSTEM’ in Years 9 and 10.Advertising feature
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Change: Strong academic performance has grown due to more student-centred learning including Project and Problem Based Learning and Flipped Classroom.

Despite Parramatta Marist nearing its bicentenary as a Catholic school in 2020, it remains at the forefront of educational change and innovation ensuring each student ‘goes forth with strength’.

The school aims to develop a positive school culture that emphasises respect, trust and responsibility.

Students are expected to have a mindset that they can learn and will learn. In 2008, the school adopted the student centred approach of Project-based Learning (PBL) across all subjects in Years 7 – 10 and is a member of the US-based New Tech PBL School Network.

Subsequently, the school introduced Problem-based Learning into Year 11 using an approach developed at Republic Polytechnic, Singapore.

In 2013a ‘Flipped Classroom’ approach was introduced into Year 12 to meet the demands of the content heavy HSC syllabi and the rigours of the exams.

The growing interest in STEM education as underpinned by PBLis of significance to students now and in the future as these approaches to learning are being used at university and are becoming more widespread particularly in the fields of medicine, allied health and engineering.

A STEM curriculum delivered by PBL encourages enquiry, innovation, and academic rigour within the fields of Mathematics, Science and Technology in order to create a contextual learning environment for students where knowledge is built through the construction of projects and solving of problems.

Students in 7-10 can participate in a range of STEM subjects including the Board-endorsed course ‘iSTEM’ in Years 9 and 10.

Out of the classroom, the school has an intensive sporting, orchestra and band programs to broaden the learning experience. The school can boast vibrant non-ATAR and Vocational Education and Training (VET) schemes to ensure the needs of all students are met in the ever-changing educational landscape.

Parramatta Marist has been positioned in the top 100 schools in the HSC for a decade. In the 2016 HSC rankings, the school was placed 51st overall in NSW.

In Mathematics (Mathematics 2 Unit, Extension 1 and 2) the school was ranked 4th; in Mathematics General 2 ranked 28th; and in English (Advanced, Extension 1 and 2) ranked 61st in the state.

Impressively, 28 per centof Year 12 students in 2016 received an ATAR above 90 and 95 per centof all exam results were either a band 4, 5 or 6 in all courses.

Parramatta Marist High is a Catholic systemic comprehensive all boys schoolwith a history and tradition spanning over 197 years.

Founded in 1820 byconvict George Morley, Parramatta Marist has been under the care of theMarist Brothers since 1875.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

A true power all of its own

‘That’s alright,” he said, “I’m enjoying the quiet.” That’s how today’s column begins, the two of us together, looking out over a small bay on the less developed, west coast of Sicily.
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Yes! We are finally in Sicily.

We are staying with friends, Angelina and Giovanni, in the small bayside village of Scopello, which means rock, and our bay is rock edged and sheltered.

In ancient times the area was known as Cetarea, which means “land of tuna fish” (Google it).

On Tuesday, close to sunset, the ocean breeze was cold. Good fortune, persistence and a dash of luck had provided us with dinner.

Earlier, I followed my nose down a winding track and found a fish wholesaler; no fish, but yes, he would shuck me a dozen oysters.

“We’re closed tomorrow (Wednesday). He’s driving three hours east for the annual horse race…he’s got a marquee, trackside,” the fishmonger’s offsider said.

Headed back to the bay, I popped into the local supermarket, which sold fresh fish. I bought some tails of the local, deep-water white fish. Even though it was covered in plastic and on black trays, its flesh was opalescent .. a good sign. I pictured it lightly fried, between slices of fresh bread and butter.

Right on cue, husband arrived late in the afternoon with a loaf of fresh, light-rye bread and a bottle of local pinot gris.

So there we were, eating oysters, followed by our fish, pan fried in browned butter, between slices of fresh bread. Shoes and even underwear were optional in our primo bayside position.

We’ve been overseas once in our 25-year marriage and I’m randomly envious of those who flit here and there.

More frequently, though, I get serious pleasure out of groovy little moments captured, like those we snatched this week.

This week didn’t really take me to Sicily. But you probably already saw through the ruse?

This week we enjoyed the hospitality of dear friends at Binalong Bay. No passport required.

HYPNOTIC: With its endless oceans and infinite night skies, Tasmania has the power to bewitch and beguile better than anywhere else in the world.

The food experience was real, just insert St Helens Salty Seas, the Launceston Cup and the fish, fresh blue-eye from the local supermarket.

Call it the Binalong effect.

It started at that same day 2am, when I spotted a fleet of 20 boats, moored 500 metres off shore.

Out the loo window was a mass of bobbing light. Cray fishermen? Scallops? Fishing fleet?

Apparently, it was a small fleet from Hobart’s Wooden Boat Festival making its way north, up our east coast. A rare sight, Angela said.

There I was, on the loo with my dreamy mind, hypnotised by ocean-going glow worms.

The Binalong effect.

From there on, the days lasted long, the sun bright and the ocean mesmerising, sometimes in a threatening, dark blue, quicksilver, kind of way.

Here’s a trick that the ocean plays: It will let you sit and watch for days and it will do all the work.

One day it will be like an Italian widow, dressed dark, with threatening silver tips and almost grief-stricken; black in its mood.

Another morning it will be a nubile aqua, promising warmth and fun.

Spend hours just watching, and the sea magically empties your mind and refills your heart and the only exotic experience you need is a pan-fried fish sandwich with people you love.

This week I noticed, because my mind wasn’t totally empty, the many, many people who travelled from overseas and interstate to experience the Binalong effect.

Note to self, Tasmania is the new Sicily and BTW, Scopello and Cetarea are real, but not as dreamily beautiful as our Binalong.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Ben Cousins refused bail over new stalking, drug and VRO charges

Ben Cousins will appear in Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday. Ben Cousins following a previous court appearance. Photo: Heather McNeill
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Ben Cousins will spend at least two weeks behind bars after a magistrate refused him bail in relation to a string of fresh charges against the fallen star.

The former West Coast Eagles captain, who appeared handcuffed in the dock at Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday, is accused of several breaches of a violence restraining order taken out against him by his former partner and the mother of his two young children, Maylea Tinecheff.

The 38-year-old has also been charged with possessing eight grams of methamphetamine, which Magistrate Nick Lemmon said, if proven, would indicate Cousins was a “very heavy user”.

An aggravated stalking charge against the Brownlow medallist relates to “persistent” breaches of his violence restraining order which Cousins’ lawyer said were due to his attempts to see his children, aged three and five.

Some of the breaches related to Cousins attending his children’s first day of school, while two related to him showing up at the children’s Sunday school at church.

The police prosecution told Mr Lemmon that Cousins had been erratic since being taken into custody yesterday, and that police sought a 28-day holding order for his mental health to be assessed, however the magistrate did not make this order.

The police prosecutor told the court Ms Tinecheff feared for the safety of herself and her children when Cousins was “under the influence and unpredictable”.

Cousins lawyer Michael Tudori argued his client was only trying to see his children and that his former partner had manipulated the restraining order to decide when he could and couldn’t see them.

He provided an example of when the pair had recently attended the Bruce Springsteen concert together, after Ms Tinecheff asked if Cousins could get tickets from a friend.

“None of the charges relate to any violence,” Mr Tudori said.

Mr Lemmon, however, decided Cousins was too high a risk to release and indicated he would likely receive a jail term if found guilty.

“In regard to the aggravated stalking charge and patterns of breaching the VRO which involve recent convictions… if Cousins is found guilty of aggravated stalking and perhaps just one more VRO breach, in my view, the likely outcome is a term of imprisonment,” he said.

“The risks that arise are not about risk Ben Cousins will fail to appear… the risk is the risk of reoffending.

“There is now an established pattern of breaching VRO charges… in my view there are no conditions I could impose (to reduce the risk of reoffending).”

Cousins appeared confused and kept looking to his lawyer when the magistrate refused him bail.

“I take these charges very seriously your honour,” he said before Mr Lemmon reiterated that he had already made his decision.;

During a previous court hearing in December, when Cousins was fined $2000 for breaching his VRO and drug charges, the magistrate warned him he could face a mandatory jail term under family violence laws if he re-offended.

“Your record will fast catch up with you – that would be the greatest fall from grace of all time,” he said.

“You are no use to your children if you are completely wrecked because of drug issues.”

Cousins is still subject to a conditional treatment order and is seeking private help for his addiction issues.

He will appear again in court on March 10 after being arrested by police on Thursday night in Melville in Perth’s southern suburbs as he arrived at a house.

Police issued two search warrants at residences in Melville and Bicton as part of their inquiries into allegations of family violence matters.

Cousins’ resides with his girlfriend in Melville.

A search of Cousins’ car allegedly uncovered methamphetamine in his satchel.

He is charged with seven counts of breaching a VRO, aggravated stalking, possess a prohibited drug, possess smoking utensil and not having a drivers licence.

All the charges relate to incidents alleged to have occurred in late January and February.

“As a result of those inquiries, detectives executed two search warrants at residences in Melville and Bicton overnight,” police said.

Cousins’ ex-partner took a VRO out against him in May 2016.

The pair have unresolved issues in the Family Court which relate to Cousins’ visitation of the children.

An informal agreement currently in place allow the former midfielder to see his children on Fridays and Saturdays while the visits are supervised by his parents.

“[The Family Court] is the place where this all should be resolved, not this court,” Mr Tudori said on Friday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Britain eyes Cornwall for take-off into space

Small satellites make jet launches possible, potentially opening a new chapter in space commercialisation. Photo: Orbital Access Miles Carden, aerohub enterprise zone manager, poses in from of aeronautical equipment at Cornwall Airport, Newquay. Photo: Nick Miller
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A proposed space vehicle assembly facility in Cornwall. Photo: Supplied

Miles Carden, of the Cornwall Airport Newquay, see a brighter future for space. Photo: Nick Miller

Proposed spaceport in Cornwall. Photo: Supplied

Newquay, Cornwall: The wind is roaring off the Atlantic at Cornwall airport, blowing patterns in the puddles on the tarmac.

In the brief silences between the gusts you can hear the sheep baa.

In just three years’ time, this could be Britain’s first spaceport.

Jumbo jets will roll off the runway over the cliffs to the sea, carrying rocket payloads to launch over the ocean into space with clusters of next-generation ‘cube’ satellites.

Within a decade, it may be one of a network of launchpads for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, where the well-heeled leave their million-pound beachhouses for an off-planet jaunt, just for the larks.

Not long after that, it might be a ‘hyper-sonic’ flight hub, where moguls and rockstars shell out for hops around the planet: New York in an hour, Sydney in three.

And the adjacent ‘business park’ – currently a muddy plain – will bristle with science labs, preparing and evaluating experiments in microgravity that could transform chemistry or medicine.

This is the dream, anyway.

The UK government has declared the country back in the space race.

It is 45 years since the British-designed and built Black Arrow took off from Woomera in South Australia, taking a Prospero satellite into orbit and making Britain only the sixth country in the world to successfully launch a space vehicle.

But at the time of launch the project had already been cancelled. Since then Britain has become a world leader in manufacturing satellites, all of which have flown to space on foreign technology, in a foreign country.

Last week the government published a draft bill setting out the rules and regulations for a new space launch industry. And it offered a £10 million ($16 million) carrot to the handful of sites around the country who believe they can transform into a spaceport.

Jo Johnson, minister of state for science research, told the ‘Launch UK’ meeting at the Royal Aeronautical Society that the country was “at the dawn of a very exciting new era”.

He promised the first launches from British soil by 2020.

Added aviation minister Lord Ahman: “we are boldly legislating where no British government has legislated before”.

Miles Carden, aerohub enterprise zone manager at Cornwall Airport Newquay, is confident they will be Britain’s first spaceport.

“If it’s going to be anywhere by 2020 it’s going to be Newquay,” he says, boasting that their active commercial airport has space to spare, local planning exemptions and a long history of rocket tests and military use (it was a heavy bomber base in the Cold War).

“All we need is to build a new hangar,” he says.

He was born the year man stepped onto the moon, and he’s still excited by the idea of space travel.

“It is cool stuff,” he says. “You sort of feel when you look back at history that we’ve lost that. The Shuttle no longer operates, Concord’s gone. We want to get that back. We’ve plateaued for a bit. You feel you’re on the cusp of it kicking off again and that’s exciting.”

Though there are a handful of bidders for the cash, the frontrunners are Newquay and Glasgow Prestwick. The government doesn’t want to pick a winner – so both could end up as active spaceports.

A couple of years ago the talk was all about space tourism but “people have gone quieter on that” recently, Carden says.

That’s partly due to the 2014 Virgin Galactic explosion, but it’s also because, as the dream moves closer to reality, the accountants have gotten involved.

“It’s not going to pay the bills,” says Carden.

What will pay the bills is the huge, and exponentially growing industry of ‘smallsats’. Over the past 5 years, 902 ‘smallsats’ were launched. Before 2025 there will be another 3600.

Big satellites generally need to be launched from fixed, vertical launch sites near the equator, but smaller ones can be launched from just about any country on earth – or from a plane over the ocean.

Maxime Puteaux, a satellite expert from Euroconsult says the “old space world” of big, horrifically expensive satellite launches is gone, replaced by constellations of high-tech cubes.

“Small space is taking over,” he says. “We are definitely on the threshold of a new era.”

Satellite technology is plummeting in price. The biggest use is in ‘Earth observation’ – weather forecasting, environmental monitoring and map making. The other big economic driver is the next generation of communication networks.

But there’s a bottleneck in the ability to send these satellites up fast enough – despite India’s launch last week of 104 satellites on a single rocket. */]]>

A whole new industry has emerged of “launch brokers”, who scan the world for potential ‘rideshare’ opportunities and market them online in a kind of Space Uber.

Puteaux says the big challenge for the UK is to develop an industry that can compete in price with providers in China and India.

So will this all be a reality by 2020? Carden is sceptical. In the end it’s a commercial, not a practical question, he says.

“But that’s not the point,” he says. “What we’re in it for really is giving our children the opportunity.”

The opportunity to join the race to the stars.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Rural practice in mind

FORWARD THINKING: Metro students Georgina Wells and David Trench were impressed by local facilities. Photo: Gareth Gardner 240217GGF01TAMWORTH’S medical facilities have got the goods, according to the state’s next batch of allied health professionals.
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A group of medicine and health students from universities based in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle iscurrentlyon a three-day trip of the region, getting a taste of rural medicine.

And the metro-medicos reckon Tamworth’s facilities are as good as any in the state.

Second-year University of Notre Dame medicine student, David Trench, said the hospital surpassed hisexpectations.

“It’s probably above and beyond what I personally expected to see and what a lot of the other students expected to see as well,” he said.

“I don’t think people come into regional areas expecting to see trouble and poor facilities.

“They know there is going to be decent facilities, a lot ofthe real issue these days is getting medical professionals to move into those facilities.”

Georgina Wells, a social work student from the University of Wollongong, was equally impressed and said getting a rural perspective would help working with clients, later on in her career.

“I’ve been really, really impressed, especially the new hospital,” she said.

“It was just really nice, probably nicer than the Wollongong hospital.”

The group also visited the University of Newcastle department of rural health andthe Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service (TAMS), before checking outfacilities in Boggabri and Narrabri.

The tour was hosted by the Rural Doctors’ Network (RDN) and Rural Health Workforce Australia.

RDN chief executive officer Richard Colbran said the excursion was part of a ‘Go Rural’ campaign, to address rural health workforce shortages.

“We need doctors and other health professionals working in our rural and remote areas,” he said.

“Go Rural is an opportunity for medical, nursing and allied health students to learn about the rewards of a career in rural health, and how rural NSW has some of the best training opportunities in the country.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.