The conference started with a guest speaker talking ... about perspective, and how we need to open our eyes to the world.
MACS (Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools) hosted its inaugural conference for talented and gifted students at St Columba’s College. Kolbe Catholic College was able to send four students from our Ignite Program to participate in this outstanding opportunity. The students were able to select from a variety of workshops, include a focus on Engineering (in STEM), critical and creative thinking (through Tournament of Minds). The students gained much from their experiences, as highlighted in their reflections.
I was given the opportunity to learn some of the concepts revolving around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at an accelerated level of learning. We learnt different engineering concepts to do with changing the structure of objects such as compression, torsion and tension. The way we tested and learnt these concepts was with a paper straw. Using these concepts we made a cardboard chair with plastic screws and 2 sheets of cardboard only. Our second session about STEM that day was about art, where we made a piece of clothing. The group that I was in created gloves using fabric. My favourite session of the day was where I learnt about some of the components in structural engineering. The reason why I liked this one the most is it let me fully explore skills used in engineering throughout it.
Xavier (Year 7)
I went to two workshops. In the Tournament of Minds, we learnt that Tournament was about creative and critical thinking. We had to define what creative and critical thinking meant. Then we had to write a paragraph from a picture. We then had to try to make very boring book names which was very hard for us to do. Then after a break and some food we went to our second workshop. We went to art where we had to use random materials to make a piece of clothing that had to support a problem such as supporting a job. We made gloves and a collar that supported people in office jobs with a quick way to dress up and wear clothes. After that we went back to the main room, and we were able to present our art project as a presentation. Everyone showed their projects and then we got to see Mr Schepis sit down on a chair built in STEM. We watched him sit on the chairs with not many failing to hold him.
Alejandro (Year 7)
When we first arrived, we listened to guest speakers telling stories. After this, we split up to do our activities. For my first activity, we did STEM, specifically the engineering part. I worked with my classmate to create a chair out of cardboard, which was later tested by one of the staff. After, we had a short lunch before doing a second activity. My second activity was the Tournament of Minds. We wrote many things, such as short stories and titles. All of this was done to expand our imagination and creativity by drawing ideas from image prompts and sentences.
Savion (Year 8)
Throughout the day, we participated in many activities while learning different things and interacting with other schools. The conference started with a guest speaker talking about a story about perspective, and how we need to open our eyes to the world. We then got into different workshops that we were able to choose from. My first one was ‘The ‘E’ in STEM’, which was an engineering activity that taught me about problem solving and forces as we made our own chairs out of cardboard. The second one I did was an art workshop that taught me how to be creative and be open to all possibilities by making an accessory. Overall the day was very fun and enlightening.
Yuan (Year 8)
Mr Anthony Schepis
Curriculum Leader (Innovation & Growth)