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spring 2015

The Maker Movement

National Science Week in August was a real highlight and was

celebrated widely throughout the School. At the Junior levels

we used the week as a platform to inspire our students to

delve deeper into the culture of ‘making’. The ‘maker

movement’, which is comprised of independent designers,

inventors and tinkerers, has experienced huge growth in

recent years and is increasingly infiltrating schools. It is an

excellent means of exploring scientific concepts relating to

electronics, circuitry, coding and materials, and is an area

which we are keen for our girls to keep exploring.

With this in mind, we set about transforming the Centre

for Creativity into a working maker space. Students were

allocated three lessons during the week, where they rotated

through a wide range of activities, involving construction,

design, circuitry, coding and robotics.

In the middle of the week we had a visit from guest

astronomer, Dr Sarah Sweet. She spoke to the girls during

Assembly about her early interest in Science, her current work

and the steps she took on the way to commencing her career.

There was a genuine buzz and excitement throughout the

entire week as the girls engaged in their activities. As

teachers, we were equally excited and gratified to see so

many girls participating in, and enjoying, Science.

Mr Ross Baker,

Prep – Year 5 Science Teacher,

Year 3–6 Co-ordinator

Standing Up and Stepping In

Ruyton Girls’ School is registered with the National Day Against Bullying and Violence. We are a School

prepared to say

‘no to bullying.’

Our students in Junior and Senior School participated in a number of

activities designed to raise awareness about bullying, in particular about what bystanders can do to stop

this behaviour in our community. Our students learned how they can

stand up

against bullying and commit

as community members to

step in

to help others when needed. Year 6 students wrote personal

commitments to helping others who may be bullied. These were filmed and the video was shown at

Assembly. Year 6 students led the Assembly, defining bullying and by standing for the Junior School. At the

end of a very thought provoking meeting the whole Junior School, including staff members, recited the

following pledge:

‘We, the students and staff of Ruyton, commit to including others in our lives. We pledge to

stand up


we see others harmed and

step in

when others are left out. We will honour our relationships with all our

peers, so that our whole community can feel safe, happy and included. As it says in our School song: Ruyton

girls will ‘always play the game’ –


Dr Evie Bowtell,

Junior School Counsellor

Sylvia’s Super Awesome

Maker Show

At the end of Term 2 we had a Super Awesome day at

Ruyton. Thanks to Mr Brett Moller, Director of Digital

Learning, ‘Super Awesome’ Sylvia visited the Junior School

and worked with the Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 students. ‘Super

Awesome’ Sylvia Todd became immersed in the world of

making and tinkering at the age of seven. After visiting a

Maker Faire, Sylvia and her father were inspired to create

a Web Show about making, which led to the production of

Sylvia’s Super Awesome Maker Show.

Sylvia has delivered

TEDX talks, participated in the White House Science Faire

and met with President Obama, represented Girls in ICT on

a panel at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, spoken at

summits and conferences, and successfully launched a

Kickstarter campaign to fund development of her

Watercolorbot robot project kit. Sylvia is only 13 years old.

When Sylvia spoke with the girls it was her humble

approach and her obvious love of science and technology

that were most endearing. Her opening words to the girls


‘I’m not a genius, I am just doing what I love’,

and with

that passion she engaged them in the world of science and

a world of possibilities, reinforcing that learning is fun and

making things is rewarding. Sylvia’s show is watched by

children and adults around the world. She has also produced

Simply Awesome Sylvia Project Books.

The show and books

cover everything, frommaking rockets, to sewing soft

circuits, to programming an Arduino. In reviewing her book

Mr Steve Wozniak, Cofounder of Apple, wrote,

‘Doing things

like this made me love building projects and made me feel

special when I was quite young. The knowledge of how to do

such things is around but it’s almost always more important

to get youngsters to WANT to do things like this. Sylvia carries

that motivation factor so well that I actually would want to

embark on these projects myself. The hardest steps are the

beginning ones and these projects are simple enough to not

lose the interest of youngsters who want to build things in

their lives.’

Sylvia’s message is to get out there, have a go

and make something; exactly what we hope all our girls will

do. If you would like to learn more about Sylvia and her

work the following sites will be of interest:

Taken from the Wednesday Weekly, 17 June 2015, Issue 1068

Ms Linda Douglas,


Super Awesome Science