Friday 15 April 2016 saw a team of four pupils from Year 10-12 set off, accompanied by Mr R Johnston and Mrs H Millar from the Chemistry Department, to compete in the UK National Finals of the RSC ‘Top of the Bench’ Competition being held at Loughborough University. Ellen Gilmour, Auriel Guarino (both Year 10), Sarah Hadden (Year 11) and Eason Chan (Year 12) had competed at the Regional finals of the competition held at Queens’ University Belfast in January where they were successful in winning the honour of representing Northern Ireland at the UK Finals. This was only the second time that the school had entered a team in this prestigious competition which is organised annually. Read More
About Suzanne McAuley
Posts by Suzanne McAuley:
What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “Geography Workshop?” Most likely you would not imagine making pyramids with toothpicks and marshmallows, would it? I didn’t know what to expect when we walked into the John Armstrong Hall to attend The Christian Aid Geography Workshop. There was the deafening sound of fifty teenagers, rumbling away like Mount Krakatoa on a bad day.
A few minutes later, a man walked in and explained that he represented Christian Aid, who specialises in helping developing countries who have a high degree of poverty. He then told us a very interesting story of a man who had been trapped in a collapsed office building for 2 HOURS after an earthquake hit his city. His resilience to survive was incredible. After this, the marshmallows and toothpicks came into play. He laid them out irregularly around the tables and challenged us to construct an earthquake- resistant structure with it. Our group decided to make a pyramid, which seemed like a good idea, as the pyramids at Giza seemed to have withstood the test of time pretty well. We were quite pleased when it survived the simulated earthquake (a shake of the table), without collapsing.
The Longitude Explorer Prize is an innovation competition, where innovation entries are based around the use of satellite data. I entered the competition shortly after it was announced in November 2014.
Since then, I have attended an induction day for the event at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, competed in the semi-finals at Techno-pop in Bristol, and finalized after a close round of judging, held at a Teen Tech event in Stratford, London. Needless to say, it has been quite a journey, and I think my concept design that I entered into the competition reflects that. My original concept was based on e-ink technology, but this was scrapped for an improved solution involving the Raspberry Pi (a small, educational computer) and an online website.
A team of four pupils, Ellen Gilmour, Auriel Guarino (both Year 10), Sarah Hadden (Year 11) and Eason Chan (Year 12) travelled to Belfast to participate in the regional finals of the prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry competition ‘Top of the Bench’ where they emerged victorious. The pupils had to complete a practical task in the laboratory which demonstrated their team work and problem solving abilities before enduring two different rounds of questioning which tested the content of the GCSE specification and their general chemistry knowledge. Congratulations on being not just top of the class but top of the bench! The team received individual prizes and will now represent Northern Ireland at the UK National finals in Loughborough University on Saturday 16th April 2016. Mark Collins, Chair of the RSC Local Section who organised the heats, described the team as consistently excellent throughout the night and worthy winners! We wish the team every success as they prepare for the finals of the competition.
In December, the Robotics Club competed in the finals of the First Lego League tournament at W5, SSE Arena. This is an international competition; in which teams from around the globe research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design; build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field.
On Saturday 28th November, our Bar Mock Team competed in the regional heat of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition, held at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast. They won all three of their rounds, facing strong teams from Foyle College, Grosvenor Grammar School and Methodist College and subsequently secured a place in the final. The pupils competed against Coleraine Grammar School in the regional final and won the coveted title of ‘N.I. Champions’ for the third time. Read More
Dalriada travelled up to BRA on Saturday morning in conditions that wouldn’t favour running rugby. The visitors ended up with a fine 21-15 win. With the pitch covered white instead of green after an early morning snow shower, Dalriada were first to make a breakthrough after a penalty following a Jack Dowey break. The penalty was kicked to the corner and after a couple of phases Angus Johnston slipped through a gap for the opening try. This was converted by centre Stewart Moore. From the kick off young winger Ross Fallows made some great ground and obtained a penalty. Dalriada again opted to kick to the Corner and Aaron Christie was bundled over from close range from the line-out. The Conversion was again converted by Moore.
No such thing as a free lunch?
Year 12 Business Studies students Katie Trotter and Troy Patton get a close look at the new vouchers being sponsored by Subway, Ballymoney. The lucky winners will be selected based on work ethic, organisation, attendance and many other elements to be in with a chance to win a free lunch. A big thank you to Jim Warke and Mandy Craig (featured) for supporting education.
Pictured are the students and staff of the History, Classical Civilisation, Religious Studies and Art Departments’ trip to Rome. The group departed on the 22nd October and returned on the 27th visiting sites such as the Vatican, the Colosseum, and Roman Forum, the excavations at Pompeii, the Circus Maximus, the Castel St. Angelo and the four major Basilicas of Rome. A full report will be added later in the term.