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www.mnnews.today/aurora-magazine Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
teaching STEM, noting the long histor y
between St Mary's and the Science
AT ST MARY'S, GATESHEAD
National Science Week 2015 was
celebr ated at St Mary's High School,
Gateshead, with a showcase and
demonstr ation of student projects from
Science, Technology, Engineering and
Maths (STEM) classes on 14 August.
Assistant Principal, Peter Antcliff, was
excited to see student work in action, as
integrating skills in science, technology,
engineering and mechanics into the
cur riculum has been a focus area at St
Mary's over the past few year s. "Our
teacher s are very passionate about STEM
and we'r e seeing the fruits through what
the students are demonstrating today,"
said Mr Antcliff. Mr Antcliff was also
excited about the school's expanding
into stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) from 2018.
STEM classes at the school offer students
greater study options moving into that
stage of the cur riculum.
One of the demonstr ations, a scale bridge
designed and constr ucted by a team of
engineering students, recently took out
the top prize in the regional competition
for the National Science and Engineering
Challenge. The bridge, weighing just 53g,
held a load of more than 8900g, and took
out the top honour and send the team to
the next round of the competition, the
Super Challenge, hosted by the University
of Newcastle from 25-27 August*. The
winning team included Year 9 and 10
STEM students, Joseph Delbridge, Claudia
Lee, Jake Blue and Marcus Georgalas, who
will go on to compete with the top eight
schools from across the state, including St
Peter 's , Maitland.
St Mary's STEM students also recently
took out the 'fastest lap' prize in the
school division of the Hunter Valley
Electric Vehicle Festival with their
motorised bicycle. The vehicle was
designed, constr ucted and wired by
the school's Electric Vehicle Team and
reached speeds of up to 30km /hr. Jacob
Hodges, a member of the Electric Vehic
Team, could see the value in the practic
applications of STEM classes at St Mary'
for his future career choices. "I'm [think
of ] either becoming a teacher, or a care
in the Ar my," said Jacob.
Special guest and Member for Shor tland
Ms Jill Hall, also addressed students on
the impor tance of building STEM skills
for their future career paths. "Science
and engineering are skills you really nee
to concentrate on, in par ticular STEM,
because that's going to be the gateway f
the future," said Ms Hall. She encour age
students to engage in the field and deve
skills and knowledge that will put them a
the cutting edge in their chosen career
path. "You will be the people who are
making the decisions, developing the
progr ams and the people whose skills
will be needed, wanted and sought
after by employer s in the future,"
said Ms Hall. Ms Hall also noted
another impor tant outcome of STEM
was students' learning of life skills
including problem solving, team work
and later al thinking.
Newcastle Regional Chair of the Science
and Engineering Challenge, Brian Atkins,
also praised the school's commitment to
Jacob Hodges, member of the St Mary's Electric Vehicle Team, with the prize-
winning motorised bicycle. Photo courtesy of Stephen Carter.
between St Mary s and the Science
and Engineering Challenge. St
Mary's was the winner of the
first National Science and
Engineering Challenge ten
*At the time of printing, the Super Challenge hadn't
taken place. For updates on how St Mary's and St
Peter's progressed, please visit mn.catholic.edu.au.
To learn more about enrolling your
child at St Mary's, Gateshead, contact
the school on 4944 4800.
As I enter the last month of my contract as
Communications Manager for the diocese, I
that goes into bringing Aurora to fruition each
month, and a feeling of privilege to be here
from our Aurora Editor of 14 years,Tracey
Aurora has become the magazine
it is today.
Q&A with Aurora Editor,Tracey Edstein.
What do you love most about being
I love the opportunity to tell our people's
stories. So many individuals are doing
often 'second hand', the impact of an Aurora
What makes Aurora unique?
A year ago Aurora
Excellence -- the highest accolade of the
believe one of the reasons for this is Aurora's
Aurora is distributed monthly
is arguably the broadest of any Australasian
Each edition brings so much energy
and variety in contributors and content,
where do you get story ideas and source
so many excellent writers?
The stories published in Aurora
community are engaged in schools, parishes,
neighbourhoods.The editorial team -- Trish
Monica Scanlon and Joanne Isaac -- and
the diocesan Communications Team -- are
commitment. I appreciate too the many phone
or comments. Aurora relies very much on
support from its community.
What are some of the achievements
from the last 150 issues?
In April 2014, Aurora highlighted the need
for the CatholicCare Nightcare Van to be
cover of Aurora
applause.The local media has often, and rightly,
called the church to account, and yet the
unprecedented move to the secular press.
Aurora today has a very different look
and feel from the original edition. How
has the magazine changed?
in December 1996, under the editorship of
most important development has been the
change in style necessitated by reaching out to
to inform so many people of the church's
are engaging and inviting. So often, the issues
explored in Aurora
of general interest. As editor, I am constantly
trying to ensure that the magazine's content
The media-scape has changed greatly
since 1996. How has Aurora adapted to
the digital world?
Aurora in hard copy, there are other options.
Aurora appears online on the diocese's
What's a favourite Aurora memory?
to be "the Aurora
150 EDITIONS,THOUSANDS OF STORIES
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