Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Update on the Farmbot

I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the keen group of community members who have supported the Farmbot project.  We have successfully added the tracks and an arm of the robot to our raised garden bed.

We hope to have our first crop planted early next year when the school year resumes.  This group is now called "TechtoTable" and we have established a facebook page [TechtoTable.co.nz] should you wish to follow our progress.  We also extend a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us as we begin to learn how to programme this robot to plant, monitor, water and weed our crops.

Next meeting is to launch this project:
Sunday 28 January 2018 at St Margaret's College 10am
please email flaviadean@gmail.com for more information

If you have not seen a farmbot in action click on this link  [farmbot.io] 
to see what it should do.

Laser Cutting Workshop

During Term Two of this year, we were very fortunate to add a laser cutting machine to the amazing resources we have available in the Centre for Innovation.

This workshop provided staff and students an opportunity to become confident using the laser cutting machine and thinking creatively about the possibilities of gifts and cool stuff that they could create.

Participants were introduced to the concept of "failing forward" - cutting their project early on in the process to see if their idea was going to work.  Once this step had been made, then embellishing their creation could take place as the next step.

It was a pleasure to work with a small group of keen people at the end of the school year.  The Centre for Innovation continued to hum as everyone else began their holidays.  The challenge for many was to start off with creating something simple first before launching into a more complex design idea.  Holding back the creativity in the room was a challenge and a delight. I look forward to more spectacular creations that are still work in progress.

Friday, 3 November 2017


We welcome 5 new students to this group.  This term we have been having fun with flight.  The children have created parachutes and tested them from the atrium balcony. 
Aiming for a target on the floor below

We have also battled the wind with our rockets. 
Working together to launch the rockets

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Evolocity Challenge 2017

I am so pleased that two of our students have taken up the challenge to compete in the Evolocity Challenge. Last weekend, Ruby McCallum and Elise Mason were excited to be part of the regional evolocity competition held at the A&P Grounds in Christchurch.  

Year 11 students, Elise and Ruby have been working with the evolocity support team throughout the year to construct and fit an electric motor to a vehicle.  Their chosen vehicle was an upcycled bicycle.  Ruby and Elise’s vehicle supports sustainability as most of their project was from recycled parts.  It was easily manoeuvrable, semi-fast and takes up little storage space.  Throughout this process, the girls have learnt a lot about electric engines and working collaboratively. They have also had opportunities to extend their engineering and technology through welding classes and building a system to control their vehicle.
In the Bike Section:
1st in the Drag Race with a speed of around 27 km/hr
2nd fastest in both the Bike and Cart Categories
2nd best in the stopping distance and deceleration challenge
3rd in the Slalom Challenge

Already the girls are talking about next year and what they want to achieve.   They are keen for more St Margaret’s College girls to be involved in this programme.  If you are interested in finding out more about the Evolocity Challenge please speak with Elise or Ruby or get in touch with Ms Chong.

The next challenge will be to participate in the national challenge on Saturday 2 December at the Christchurch A&P Grounds as part of the “Electric Wheels Festival where you can experience a range of electric vehicles - cars, bikes and grass karts.  Come along and support this awesome pair.  

Saturday, 30 September 2017

iOS 11 provides additional features for iPad users

Visit the following link for more detailed information.  I particularly am excited by the augmented reality and screen recording options!


Shed of the Year 2017

Designing and providing children with opportunities is something that Steve Davis from "Unlimbited" is doing voluntarily.  Steve has created a design and shared this so that many children of the world can benefit from a 3D printed prosthetic arm at a low cost. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Senior Design and Artwork

The addition of the Universal Laser Cutter in the Centre for Innovation has provided our senior students with a chance to work with a greater range of materials as they begin to finalise their portfolios.  Students studying in the design and DVC, visual art and digital technology areas have been regularly accessing this machine to enhance their prototype and modelling skills.

Not only are these senior students utilising and developing their skills in laser cutting but the 3D printers have also been busy supporting some IB Artwork.  

“These different models of heads represent the different reactions people have towards stress and control over one’s emotions” Nicolette Oosterhuis.  Her inspiration has come from the artist Nick Van Woert.