Tag Archives: Senior School

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.

2018 Camp Week – Year 7 (Camp Toukley)

Our first activity was one of my favourites. We did Stand Up Paddle boarding. It was really new and exciting and also quite peaceful – apart from being pushed in! Our second activity was raft building which tested our teamwork. The mud was smelly and gross. We all had to shower and wash our shoes out after that!  Then we hit the bush for another team activity which was fun, even though I got lifted up and passed through a giant spiderweb!

Our second day saw us hitting the water again this time in canoes which was also really fun, because I could get into a rhythm easily but we had to avoid going in circles.  Beach Activities was next, where the girls took on the boys and won in every single activity! 

The third day was our busiest day as we did four activities. First was the flying fox then the giant swing where we had to work as a team to pull everyone up 18m and then letting them drop, making a lot of people scream a lot. Next was archery then quad bikes.

The fourth day saw a lot of tired campers start their day at the beach, some too tired even to learn how to surf!   For those who did try, it was great to learn how to catch a wave, while others got to swim around or play in the dunes.  Some people tried the ‘Leap of Faith’, jumping from the top of a pole … it wasn’t for everyone!

I had an awesome camp this year and I can’t wait till next year.

There were so many activities which revealed how many boys were not very good at working together.  Having a debrief at the end of each day helped us all.  It was great spending time with our teachers, and getting to know them better, they seemed more relaxed at camp! 

Mikkel and Georgia

2018 Camp Week – Year 10 (Sydney)

Day 1 of our Camp Week started at school, where we took place in a variety of challenges which led us to finding our group members for the Sydney leg of the camp adventure. These activities included some virtual Amazing Race challenges, to picking locks and solving riddles. All of the challenges contributed to finding other team members as more people were added to the team throughout the day.  It prepared us well to work together, to see our members strengths, allocate roles, select meals, and build relationships with our new team members, so we could successfully cooperate throughout the rest of the camp.  Roles assigned included timekeeper, leader, wellbeing manager, photographer, navigator, finance, clue keeper and IT manager.

Then on Day 2 we hit the M1 motorway for Sydney! We stopped for lunch in Circular Quay, and then made our way to the hotel to settle in before dinner.  We had to catch a minimum of two modes of transport (ferry, bus, train or tram) to the Maritime Museum while getting photos of every group member on each mode of transport by the group teacher. The purpose of this task was to get familiar with using opal cards and getting familiar with your teammates so that on the day of the amazing race, you would know if someone was missing and you would know how to use your opal card. This activity was extremely useful as it helped our group for the amazing race to know if anyone was missing from the previous day, it set in place good habits.  Finding a place to eat dinner was a team effort having chosen the location the day prior.  After dinner, all teams met up again and were given different challenges that, if completed in time, were worth double points.  After the challenges were completed, we made our way back to the hotel to prepare for a big day ahead – the official start of the amazing race!

Day 3 of the year 10 camp was the busiest, being out and about in Sydney for approximately 12 hours that day. We explored a good amount of Sydney, making our way all through the city to collect points for each of our teams. Each challenge, depending on the difficulty, would give points, and the group at the end of the amazing race with the most points, would win.  It was a good bonding time for all teams, as exploring while having the checkpoints and the idea of it being a race made it even more enthralling. The day’s events challenged our navigation skills and time keeping skills. About mid afternoon we watched ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ at IMAX. This was to get our mind off the amazing race for a bit, rest and relax. Day 3 was a big and exhausting day, but it was a lot of fun and enjoyed by all.  At the end of the day some stayed behind to help with budgeting from the day’s spending, which tested our budgeting skills, because the left over money didn’t really match up with the receipts in the end!

Our group participated in a wide variety of activities such as walking across the harbour bridge to get photos in the middle, finding a bilingual sign in Chinatown and taking a photo of it, a video of all group members, each standing on a different step, singing the Australian National Anthem at the Opera House.  One of our team’s strengths was our motivation. We could tell most of the boys in our group were getting very tired and were sick of all the walking but they did not complain out loud and kept powering on and they did this because they cared for the team.

Day 4 was a good finish to camp week, it had the purpose of relaxing and finishing off a hard few days of exercising, both our brains and bodies. It still brought us closer together as we all tried to finish up our camp and end it on a good note. We arrived back at school in the morning, then had a pizza lunch followed by a few more team activities such as writing a speech to get more points, getting all the photos and videos of camp to Mrs. McCord, and finishing any activities in our Amazing Race booklet that hadn’t yet been completed yet.  It was nice to just be together and not have somewhere to go next, as we were all just about to go off to holidays!

I got to know a lot of people a lot better, bonding and forming new relationships with people I hadn’t previously, while strengthening those friendships I already had.  I learned people’s strong points and some of their weaknesses, and I discovered my classmates’ motivation and their competitive sides.  It’s fair to say, my team did not want to lose! It was challenging at times to work in groups where some people got distracted easily and completing our tasks was difficult.  I learned that everyone has a desire in them to quit and give up, as much as they have a desire to pursue and win. I learned that with a team the desire to try your best overtakes the desire to give up because as a team you are stronger and your mental strength increases.  I believe the saying is true that, “teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.”

We got closer to the teachers, as we were with them all day for multiple days.  We got to talk to them and know them on a more personal level. I also discovered their drive, the fact that they also took it seriously and didn’t want to lose.  Some of them are a lot more laid back than I realised.  Also, this camp demonstrated why you should follow your teacher’s instructions, as there are reasons why rules are in place!  I always knew the teachers cared about their students but this camp really opened my eyes to just how much effort, time and patience they have for us. When we were confused or troubled they would help out, and would comfort us, helping us to regain our strength by resolving group problems.

I found out that I need to push myself harder, as everyone else has passion and sometimes they are more determined and passionate than I am.  I realized that I’m useless at navigating when I don’t have a map or device on me to use!  I learned that I can resolve group problems and conflict effectively by getting everybody to reunite.

Eliana, James & Saffire