As part of the TAP and to conclude the Year 7/8 ‘How your say’ politics elective, we invited Corangamite Shire’s 2019 Citizen of the Year, Donna Ellis, to challenge our students about ways that they can be involved in their community. We opened up this session to all Year 7/8 students who learnt that, according to the Census, 1 in 5 people volunteer, that females are more likely to volunteer than males and that there are distinct peaks; females in their 40s, both sexes in their late teens and again in senior years from 60-75 years for both sexes. Students debated the rationale behind these statistics and discussed the various types of areas people can volunteer in such as the environment, sport, aged care, schools, fundraising, health, emergency services etc. Students then nominated different examples of these volunteer organizations, discussed why people in rural areas were more likely to volunteer and discovered that it was a result of perhaps a stronger sense of community and belonging. We hope that our students will consider being a more active contributor to their community moving forward. Great Lesson, thanks Donna.
To conclude our CCC class for this semester students visited two local businesses to investigate careers in agriculture based in the Timboon township itself. Cherolyn Bullen, from Bullen’s Wholesale Nursery, described the history of the business and it’s current structure, business model, produce and markets. Cherolyn stressed the importance of good quality soil for the potting mix and the business’ use of technology to pot plants and in the greenhouse. The staff worked on keeping the plants healthy and ready for market while keeping up with maintenance and paying attention to detail to ensure that the best quality plants were produced. Veterinarian, Peter Younis from The Vet Group, hosted our students as they learnt about the variety of careers that vets involved in their practice undertook such as large and small animal vets, agricultural consultants, trainers, international consultants and researchers. Pete described the traits that he thought made good vets including empathy, ability to collaborate, a good listener, being curious, good communication skills, being adaptable and giving and stressed his reliance on community participation and volunteerism when choosing applicants for a role at The Vet Group. Students toured the vet practice rooms including the surgery and x-ray facilities and considered the variety of careers involved in the production of the goods for sale in the practice’s foyer and front office. Who knew?
To conclude their studies of Natural Disasters and learn how volcanoes have impacted in our region, the Year 5/6 students undertook a field trip to climb Mt Leura and Mt Noorat. The day was facilitated by members of the Mt Leura Committee of Management and the Friends of Mt Leura who hosted students at the Mt Leura Information Centre. Graham Arkinstall explained that Mt Leura was part of large volcanic complex known as Leura Maar which was formed 10,000-40,000 years ago. He described the way the landscape had evolved over time from an inland ocean and that over 35,000 years ago megaflora disappeared from the volcanic plains due to reason unknown. At Mt Noorat students learnt about local author of “I can jump puddles”, Alan Marshall, and they explored the crater and surrounds. From the crest of both Mt Leura and Mt Noorat students could observe the fertile soils that have contributed much to the agricultural enterprises in our region and compare different sorts of rocks, plants and land formations in the landscape.
A requirement of Dairy Australia's Cows Create Careers (CCC) is for Year 7/8 students to write a science report based on their observations and findings involved in caring for two calves for three weeks on site at school. Peter Fulton generously loaned students two heifers that were cared for by the CCC class and supervised by Fiona. Great report writing guys
Recently Beach Energy once again hosted our Year 11 Chemistry students as they undertook a site tour of the Otway Gas Plant. Community Relations Manager, Linda French, conducted the site safety induction exercise and students were made aware of the strict protocols in place to ensure that all staff and visitors remained safe on site. Linda described how hydrocarbons are formed, the location of Australia’s gas basins, and how gas and oil is found on land and off shore. Michael Binstead detailed how gas is produced at the Otway Gas Plant when hydrocarbons, or raw gas containing water; petroleum products; gasses; and unwanted inert gasses including nitrogen and carbon dioxide flow from production wells through buried pipelines to the gas plant. The carbon dioxide is detached and the gas is dehydrated to remove water and mercury. Natural gas is then removed and undergoes fractionation to produce ethane, propane and butane. Students learnt from the Production Site Manager about the range of careers at the site including engineers, technicians, chemists, accountants, and contractors before Paul Said accompanied students on a site tour where they could see the gas production in process – real chemistry in action!
For the third consecutive year our Year 10 students have won the South West Science Engineering Challenge which is a nationwide outreach program designed to inspire students to study science, engineering and technology. The Year 10 students participated in the regional competition at Deakin University completing problem solving tasks including bridge building and electronics. When asked why Timboon P-12 students consistently do well in this Challenge, Mr. Mottram explained that our students are encouraged to problem solve, persevere, to do their best and that rural students are very tactile learners. Well done team! #Sciengchallenge
Once again our Year 7/8 students have completed against regional schools in Dairy Australia's Cows Create Careers Dairy Day facilitated by DeeJay Events. During the term students had worked on a report based on the weight gain and health of their calves, a science project, a team photo and group work. The groups were then awarded marks with two Timboon teams consisting of Bobby, Issac, Logan and Lachlan coming equal second with Dee Dee, Emily and Charlotte. All the competing schools’ group scores were then totaled with Timboon recording equal first place with Kings College. Congratulations CCC students and thank you to all our visitors this year, especially Simone and Pete, and of course, Spud and Society!
The Year 5/6 teachers and the TAP Coordinator were cognisant that students from Timboon P-12 School and surrounding areas were impacted by the St Patrick’s Day fires and were cautious about the way this topic was covered during the Bushfire component of the Natural Disasters unit for this term. The focus was on comparing the 1983 Ash Wednesday and 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires and reinforced the importance of being prepared and seeking assistance from community organisations. To conclude the term’s work Sharna Whitehand, the Corangamite Shire Fire Recovery Coordinator, taught the Year 9 students ‘The Fire Game’ as part of their Homegroup sessions. The Fire Game was developed by the Surf Coast Shire and the Corangamite Shire to help communities be informed and prepared for the risk of fire with the tag- BE AWARE. BE PREPARED. GET CONNECTED. Our Year 9 students, in turn, taught the game to their Year 5/ 6 peers, using it as a prompt for discussion with the younger students about preparing for fires; the Year 9s, of course, have covered this topic in previous years. Thank you to Sharna and our Year 9 students for playing the Fire Game with our students and providing much lively discussion about household fire plans.
As we wrap up Cows Create Careers for 2019 we have invited a panel of speakers into the Year 7/8 CCC elective classroom to describe their respective career paths including their education, experience, daily roles, features of their job that appeals to them, any quirks or benefits they receive and any pieces of advice for our students. Panelists included Jeremy Pike, a project officer with Heytesbury & District Landcare Network, Keely Price, a livestock / milk procurement officer from The Midfield Group, Dermot Kearns, a farm manager with The Midfield Group, Bronte Gorringe, an agribusiness consultant from Mulchay & Co who was accompanied by Charlie, and Michael Lyne, who owns and operates Michael Lyne Contracting. After the formal panel session Michael introduced students to his contractors Ben Newey who operated the disc seed drill, Chook Fowler with a self propelled sprayer and Matt Hanson who drove a silage/hay baler. Thank you to all our panelists for their time and interest in helping our students investigate potential career paths in agriculture.
Simon Gleeson was invited into the VCAL Maths classroom to introduce Bilyana Grazing as a business model for VCAL students to investigate inputs, processes and outputs in agribusiness. Simon described the evolution of Bilyana Grazing, it’s business structure and how the operation is paid on a weight gain basis rearing healthy, fertile dairy replacement heifers and that it has also diversified into Wagyu F1s. Students learnt that attention to detail, the calculated purchasing of inputs such as pellets and drench, a reliance on budgets/planning and using an Excel spreadsheet for decision making was an integral component of this business. Simon stressed that Maths was used to determine business running costs, animal production costs, cost benefit analysis, managing cashflow, benchmarking, goal setting and year to year comparisons which resulted in better decision making and efficiency. After this introduction to business analysis, our VCAL students will work on individual projects investigating number, measurement, financial numeracy or probability/statistics in agribusiness.