Tag Archives: Senior School

STEM Academy Workshop Inspires Staff

The University of Sydney hosted an intensive three-day workshop in Newcastle recently, for members of it’s STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy program.  Macquarie College delegates Mrs Michelle Cottier (Head of Mathematics),  Mrs Deb McCord (Head of Science) and teacher Mrs Stephanie Chaumont participated in the highly interactive program. 

Participants were tasked with the STEM project of making our own solar cookers. After splitting the group into Math teachers and Science Teachers, the Math teachers were given a formula to follow were the Science staff were given a task to cook a piece of frozen pizza using a pizza box and other materials. Using our understanding of reflection and absorption we were able to successfully cook our pizza, crispy bottom and all.

The math teachers worked with an equation to create a parabolic mirror, that had a focus point for the sun’s rays to concentrate on. The math teachers were able to cook a bunch of different things.  Mrs Cottier chose to heat a pencil, which she successfully heated to the point of generating smoke.

The STEM Academy is a 12 month program for teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, to help advance the level of STEM learning opportunities throughout Macquarie College.  Watch this space for some more news in coming weeks about STEM developments and student projects.

Macquarie College presents Melinda Tankard Reist

Macquarie College is pleased to present Mrs Melinda Tankard Reist as the next keynote speaker in our eSmart Program series.  Melinda will speak at a special parent and community event on Wednesday 13th March.  Melinda’s presentation entitled “Navigating a sexed-up world: the sexualisation of children and what we can do about it” is a must see event for parents of all children.

Drawing from current global literature on the subject, as well as the experiences of young people themselves, Melinda will explore with us how the proliferation of sexualised images and messages contributes to a distorted view of bodies, relationships and sexuality in young people, hampering their healthy physical emotional and social development. 

Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is best known for her work addressing sexualisation, objectification, harms of pornography, sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence against women.

Registrations to attend this free community event are now open online

Click Here to hear more about Melinda’s impacts on school children of all ages, right across Australia.


“I hesitantly went to Melinda’s talk about children being sexualised in the media thinking it was going to be a sensationalist attempt to make me feel bad as a parent. During her introduction I realised it was the best 50 steps I took from the car to the auditorium and 90 minutes later, I had quantifiable evidence and authentic strategies to help educate my children against the normalisation of women and girls as sexual objects in the media” –  Heather Douglas, parent, S.A.

“Melinda Tankard Reist has a simple message which is powerfully delivered. With her prodigious intellect, sand blasted sense of humour and immaculate research she puts a much needed spot light on the erosion of childhood, the pornification of our environment and the commodification of young people” – Adolescent psychologist, Dr Michael Carr Gregg.

“Melinda is probably the world’s best presenter on the damage advertisers and pornography do to our children and teens – often when we don’t even know. Her highly visual presentations will knock your socks off. You will be left angry in the very best way and be so much better equipped to talk to, and protect, your kids.” – Steve Biddulph AM, Author Raising Girls and Raising Boys.



Year 12 Chemistry Students Explore Chemical Production at Orica

During Term 3, Year 12 Chemistry students visited the Orica Plant at Kooragang Island, which houses an ammonia plant, three nitric acid plants and two ammonium nitrate plants. After learning about the processes involved in the production of ammonia and ammonium nitrates in class, it was a great opportunity to see the processes in action on an industrial scale.


Students donned safety gear and took a tour of the plants, although the machinery was so noisy you could barely hear the person next to you. We also visited the on-site laboratory used for environmental testing, and learnt about the distribution of various products to the mining, infrastructure, soft drink, agriculture and medical industries.


Overall, it was a great day that will hopefully help with any questions relating to ammonia production that may arise during the HSC.


Emma W (12C)


Students tackle the 40 Hour backpack challenge

From 8pm on 17th August, through to midday on 19th August, several students across the Senior School completed the World Vision Backpack Challenge. They committed to living out of a backpack for 40 hours to experience what it would be like to be a refugee or displaced child who has to leave almost everything behind when fleeing their home.  So far, the Macquarie College team has raised over $3,000 to support World Vision’s projects – enough to help two refugee camps establish safe places for early childhood education activities. Fundraising efforts will continue till the end of the month. Please click here to donate and support a team member online.

One student, Madison Walters (7B) , shares her experience from the challenge:

On Friday the 40hr Backpack Challenge started. I was excited and prepared but little did I know how hard it would be. I went outside to start and immediately realized how cold and uncomfortable it was. I lay down on the daybed (which was really thin) and tried to get to sleep.

On Saturday I went to church very tired and raised $80 and then mum dropped me off at Sienna’s house. There was already a tent set up and I unpacked a little bit and had some noodles. To do this we used a very small cooker and water from our bottles to boil to water to put in the noodle cup. Soon after Millie arrived and we got bored and hungry very quick. This made us think and realize that this was not going to be easy. We chatted and played some card games. At 3:30ish we went outside and played with Sienna’s dog, Jasper. At 6pm Sienna’s dad took us to a movie night at the church I go to, Charlestown. We watched Peter Rabbit and I enjoyed entertaining the little kids. After my mum took us back to Sienna’s house to stay the night. We ended up getting to bed at 11pm.

I was exhausted and was ready to head home and relax. But we still had a few hours left. We played some card games again and stared at our phones for 10-15 mins before we decided to be productive and played more cards. We were counting down to 12 mid day. 5….4….3….2…1…!!

Yes 40 hours done!!! This was by far very difficult and hard to do. I now had a small glimpse of what it would be like to live with limited resources. I seriously think these displaced kids have so much to cope with that I will never understand. So sad really.

Year 8 Students Selected for International Sporting Festival

Congratulations to Millie W (8W) and Emily D (8H) for their selection to represent Team Lake Macquarie at the International Children’s Games in Jerusalem, Israel.   This international multi-sport festival is for students between 12-15 years of age, and Lake Macquarie hosted the event in the Lake Macquarie region in 2014.  Both girls are very excited to travel internationally to represent the region, and meet other young athletes from all over the world.

Emily is flying over to the Games on the 25th July and competing in swimming between 30th July and 2nd August. She will be racing in the 50m, 100m and 200m Backstroke as well as the 200m Individual Medley. This is Emily’s second overseas trip for swimming, having competed in New Zealand in 2017.  She trains at the Toronto and is part of the Macquarie Shores Swimming Club.
Millie is competing in tennis at the games, playing both singles and doubles matches.  Millie currently trains at Tennis Central Belmont, and plays a weekly competition at Belmont with her dad while making to time to also compete in Northumberland Region Junior Development Series and other Tennis Australia sanctioned tournaments throughout Australia.   Millie has competed in tournaments in New South Wales and Victoria.   Millie also had the opportunity to compete in the International Children’s Games in 2016 in New Taipei City, Taiwan.  This was Millie’s first overseas trip.  

Congratulations to both students on their dedication to their training, competition and their sporting passions, we wish you all the best.