Community School students celebrate their international success.
Photo Lisa Engeman
ever there was a group of children destined to produce a Nobel Prize
winner it is Adrian Bruces Year 3/4 class
at Byron Community School. In less than a year this group of under
twelves has managed to win two science-based
competitions, one of them against an international field of entrants.
The first was
the Global Virtual Classroom Project run by the Give Something Back
where the Byron students teamed up online with a class from Valencia
in Spain and one from Mississippi in the
United States to produce a website displaying plays that
portrayed scientific principles.
13 other teams of three schools each from around the world, the project
was chosen for first
prize in May by an esteemed group of judges, amongst them Dr Gary
Godfrey, a research physicist at the Stanford
Linear Accelerator and Alan Giles the CEO of the worldwide HMV Group.
efforts the school won $US1,000 ($US3,000 was split between the
three schools in the winning team) which they used to
buy a couple of sets of Lego Technic for the classroom, not to
mention international recognition in the educational field and
a valuable valuable cultural exchange and friendship between the
students across three continents.
The next prize
this same class won was awarded by kids science magazine Scientrific.
The children had to design
a postcard of the planet Mars and because theirs was chosen as the
best out of all the entries, it will appear in
the next issue of the magazine in August. The school also won a 1,000
piece jigsaw puzzle, science books and t-shirts.
Teacher Adrian Bruce said the competitions have been a great learning
tool for both him and his students. In the first project we
used chatting software so the kids would be talking to the Americans
or Spanish kids in real time, they emailed each other and it built
a nice camaraderie between the kids, they were always really keen
to read the emails and they still keep in contact. Were intending
to keep working together, he said.
contest was a creative way of teaching about Mars and using new software,
we learnt how to source
mostly free software. As a teacher I dont know landscape generating
software so we would load it and learn it
together, co-learning is the buzzword now in education. The students
value us as lifelong learners, the teacher isnt
the fountain of knowledge, they are always learning, too.
Mr Bruce has been
a teacher for 14 years and has a website, www.adrianbruce.com,
where he offers free
lessons using games to help make learning more accessible and fun.
His website gets 25,000 downloads every
month and many of the users are from countries like Sudan and Ghana
where teaching materials are scarce.
To view the kids
winning website check http://gvc03c32.virtualclassroom.org
and for other schools wanting to
enter the next global classroom visit www.gsbi.org/gvc/.
Registration opened on May 15 and teams are
announced on September 24.
Byron Community School and the Starfish class would like to thank
The Echo reporter
Patrizia Reimer for her kind words about our class projects in this