Academic Talent Development (ATD) – Program Updates

Dr Sarah Bond – Coordinator Academic Talent Development Programs -Senior School

It has been quite an adventure the past few weeks for all of us participating in Academic Talent Development (ATD) programs online! Dr Bond would like to thank the boys who participated and the parents who have supported the program and who continue to do so. As we are moving toward the mid-year point, we will begin to schedule meetings to check progress toward ATD goals. Any boy who would like to schedule a goals update/review session with Dr Bond is invited to do so – just send an email to [email protected]

Online ATD ‘pull-out’ sessions ran throughout at-home learning and continue to run for boys who are currently learning at home. One recent session saw boys taking a virtual ‘field trip’ to the QLD Museum, viewing an online fossil exhibition, and discussing the ethical implications of virtual vs in-person experiences.

Boys in the Year 10 ATD Elective class are taking part in the Community Problem Solving program. Zayan Yousef and Asaad Vahidy were invited to interview Rob Molhoek, MP – State Member for Southport. Mr Molhoek kindly discussed problems relating to homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, bullying, and the economy. The class then chose a theme for their project-based work, which will focus on Mental Health.

Dr Bond would like to congratulate the boys who participated in the ASX Sharemarket game. First place at TSS went to Angus Ayre of the Maroon team, who posted a profit of $10,792. We look forward to the next Sharemarket game, which will run from 19 August – 28 October.

The Australian Mathematics Problem Solving Olympiad (APSMO) has transitioned to an intra-school/online approach for the 2020 school year. Students in Mr Newton’s y8 accelerated mathematics class are to be congratulated for their flexibility and effort in tackling APSMO 2020.

The Oxford University Computing Challenge (OUCC) helps students develop their computing skills to produce programmed solutions to computational thinking problems. A pilot group of ten students took part in the first round of the program and provided feedback. We look forward to expanding the program in future.

Our two Future Problem Solving teams (Senior and Middle division) are on-track to submit their second practice problem, about sleep disorders, to FPS Australia. FPS has transitioned to a more online model in 2020, providing webinars and online problem submissions and feedback. Good luck to both teams as they prepare for the Qualifying Problem, which will be submitted by August 13th.

The second year of our Formula One STEM program is underway, with multiple year 7 cadet class teams and a y8-9 Development Class team competing. Boys are in the pro0cess of designing their race cars using Fusion 360 and are developing their team names, graphics, roles, and marketing materials. The regional competition will be held on the Gold Coast in August (date TBA).

The QLD Science Contest is an annual event organised by the Science Teachers Association of QLD (STAQ). This is an independent project-based contest, which can be completed in a number of categories (Scientific Investigations, Engineering and Technology Projects, Classified Collections, Communicating Science, Environmental Action, Mathematical Investigations, Poster Presentation). Students compete either individually or in teams of up to three people. Applications are currently underway.

Year 10 and 11 students learned more about the TSS Honours Program in a session with 2020 Honours Program student Vishaak Gangasandra. Vishaak shared his research experience, focused on nuclear fusion and the functioning of a fusion reactor. In addition to the research component, boys in the Honours Program engage in leadership, community service, and academic rigour.

Tournament of Minds (TOM) offers teams of primary and secondary students the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork. The format in 2020 will be an online submission, with a single ‘super-problem’ across all categories. Practice sessions are underway, but it isn’t too late for boys to join the 2020 TOMs team!

For any questions or feedback regarding the ATD program at the Senior School, please contact Dr Sarah Bond ([email protected]).

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