The Australian Space Design Competition is a rigorous and challenging activity for students interested in the future of Space. The competition invites students in Yrs 9 to 11 to respond to a request for tender and design a fully functional future space settlement. Aspects to be addressed include overall structure, operations, automation, human factors and logistics. National finalists are invited to represent Australia at the Space Settlement Design Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
The Junior Space Design Competition requires students in Yrs 7 to 8 to form a marketing consultancy and prepare advertising material to support the space settlement designed by their senior counterparts. Recruitment of personnel to ensure the on-going operation of the space settlement is the main theme, and both the Junior and Senior teams work together on a shared passion.
The Da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of adolescents. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative producers, cartography and legacy. MSM enters teams in Years 7 to 10 and weekly training occurs in the lead up to the competition where students learn to collaborate, delegate and tap into each other’s strengths and passions.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars. Da Vinci demonstrated an ability to perceive the interconnected nature of knowledge and embraced learning with a lifelong passion and determination to uncover the unknown. The Decathlon competition places a particular emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity.
Mt St Michael's College has a long and successful Debating history, with past students in both State and National teams. Students are offered the opportunity to take part in the Queensland Debating Union (QDU) competition, as well as the Junior Round Robin competition for first-time debaters.
We recognise at Mt St Michael’s College that there are many advantages to be gained from learning how to debate well. The first and most obvious is that it can do wonders for a student’s self-confidence and team work. While debating is a team exercise, it is very individual in its benefits. It also helps students to be active listeners as well as sharpening their analytical skills.
Students are also encouraged to hone their speaking skills so that when they have something to say about an issue, they will have the ability to stand up and say it, and say it well – even in front of an unfamiliar audience. In short, debating can help a student to be the best she can be. The ability to communicate and be receptive to the communications of others is a wonderful advantage in life.
This competition provides students in the Middle School (Years 8 and 9) and the Senior School (Year 10) with a creative platform in which to engage in clear, concise, respectful discourse around challenging ethical cases. Students with a passion for justice interested in developing their critical thinking, advocacy and communication skills will find this competition highly rewarding. It is not a debate as teams competing against each other can agree on a topic, but rather a vehicle for training the mind to draw conclusions carefully, collaboratively and clearly.
The Film and Multimedia Club is an extension of curriculum work in Multimedia Studies.
Minecraft Academy is a group of students from years 7-11 who with their love of Minecraft meet weekly and collaborate together to build worlds. The largest ongoing project is the MSM College, containing teachers, students, working lifts and doors. Minecraft Academy also works in a 3D virtual world using VR software. Trying to escape Zombies and Spiders which just seem to creep up on you is the constant challenge in this format.
The TED-Ed Club offers students in Years 8 and 9 a hands-on opportunity to work on the storytelling and communication skills that are vital. Students come together to discuss, research, present and celebrate creative ideas. Working with the College’s Film and Multimedia Club, students have their TED talks filmed and uploaded to have the opportunity to become influencers for a better world.
TOM is a six week challenge that encourages problem-solving skills and team work. The girls work in teams of seven and there are different disciplines for teams to enter including Maths Engineering, Social Sciences, Applied Technology and Language Literature.
The teams are teacher selected (after the girls express interest in participating) as there needs to be students from three different year levels Year 8 - Year 10 in each team. There is no cost to participating in this activity. For further information visit http://www.tom.edu.au/QLD/Default.aspx
Writers' Club is an inspirational group of students from Years 7-12. Staff provide stimulus to help budding writers with ideas for their writing. A normal afternoon involves a quick brain dump to clear peoples' minds, followed by stimulus material, which can range from pictures to songs, or even peoples' shoes as happened one afternoon. Then the writing happens. For more than 30 minutes, the only sound in the room is the scratching of pens and the silent whirring of minds.
Once this is done, sharing and critiquing occurs, where people can share what they’ve created, and be given constructive criticism to improve their writing. It is often amazing to witness what young writers are able to put on to paper in half an hour! Sometimes the room is sent into uncontrollable laughter, other times into complete silence and awe. Writers' Club also has an annual camp and occasional excursions, enabling writers to immerse themselves in a range of experiences.