St Johns Park High School
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Saints News Magazine
Industrial Arts and Agriculture
Agriculture at St Johns Park High School radiates an educational environment in which students receive the opportunity, and encouragement, to enhance their intellectual potential, creative abilities, professional skills, and social growth inside and away from the classroom.
The Agriculture course aims to uplift students knowledge and understanding about the production and marketing of both the animal and plant products. Students that are given every possible opportunity to develop all the necessary skills, and an attitude, that is a pre-requisite of managing and marketing these products on a mass scale in a sustainable manner. With the help of the wider community, we carve the student's personalities and instigate into their characters crafts of positive competitiveness along with a compassionate and responsible attitude towards the community and the ecosystem that we are blessed with. Our future depends on the students of today. Our investment in the students should be more than the knowledge that is contained in their text books and within the closed walls of their classrooms.
Excursions are organised to the Royal Easter Show and the Royal Botanical Gardens. The aim of these excursions always is to expose our students to the richness of our natural resources, especially in the field of Agriculture. Nature has a glorious plethora of variety, which has huge potential of enhancing the power of perceptive imagination, analytical judgement and comparative studies. This will stimulate the student's interest in a very important part of our multicultural heritage.
The Australian government grant of $40,000 has been used to install water tanks around the school. These rain water tanks are used to irrigate the garden area of the school, including the playing field and the school farm.
The landscaped areas of our school are our proud possession. These areas are soothing to the eye and nourishing to the soul. The aesthetics of natural beauty is always overwhelming and gives a spiritual dimension to the material driven life of the modern lifestyle.
Yr 9 & 10 Engineering
Stage 5 Engineering offers students a fun environment to explore their creative ideas and problem solving skills. Students experience a vast range of tools and materials when creating their projects. Currently students start with a fabrication exercise making a galvanized steel carry box. This is then used to carry their paddle pop sticks for their next project which is the paddle pop stick bridge competition.
Students particularly enjoy this project as they call it the “make and break” project. After receiving a maximum of 100 paddle pop sticks, students only using PVA glue construct a bridge that must span 550mm and then is weight tested on a specially designed machine until it fails. To date 105kg has been the heaviest weight recorded.
The soda bottle rocket has also been a huge favourite with some launches thrusting a 1.25l soda bottle over 100m in distance. Students build from start to finish learning and experiencing the importance and effect of forces such as gravity and friction.
This build experience carries onto the CO2 dragster project. Students build a mini dragster shaped from a balsa wood blank and then with a purpose built testing device spanning over the smooth timber floors of the indoor basketball court, launch their dragsters racing the clock for the fast time. To date the fastest vehicle has covered the distance of the basketball court in just under 1 second!
Other projects include making a scaled version of a catapult or trebuchet and a mouse trap propelled car.
Students have taken the skills and knowledge learnt during Engineering classes and implemented these talents into school competitions with great success.
Solar Boat Challenge – Winners! – Twice!
A group of 4 Yr 10 Engineering students from St Johns Pk HS competed in the International Solar Boat Challenge at the Sydney International Regatta Centre – Penrith.
Students studied alternative energy and focussed on the use of solar power in this practical project. The school obtained three kits to enter in the challenge. The groups worked over term 3 to build their boats- looking at hull design, stability, speed, steering and electronics.
All three boats were built and wired differently – anticipating the conditions they may face on the day.
Students were required to present oral and graphic presentations, giving evidence of their learning.
All three boats raced on the day successfully - but it was the sleek white “speed boat” design with twin keels that proved to be fastest and most maneuverable in the perfect, still and sunny conditions.
In the grand final race for the day, the boat was controlled extremely well and turned very sharply, helping it to gain a great lead. The win was short lived though as an admin fault meant that not all finalists were in the race - and we had to do it again. And we did! - Winning convincingly in a repeat top performance.
The team was presented with a medallion for “Fastest on the Water” and then went on to compete against the rest of the country in the National Finals again successfully winning this challenge with their twin keel designed speed boat.
Congratulations and well done.