2014 Highlights

Word Up Winner – Rebecca Gandhi

On Friday 5 September the Auckland Word Up competition final was held at the Corbans Estate Arts Centre in Henderson. The competition is open to youth aged between thirteen and twenty years. All work had to original and categories included the forms of rap, songs, poetry and spoken word performance.
The competition was judged by Mark Williams and Dietrich Soakai, both of whom have international reputations in the worlds of broadcasting, music, rap and spoken word. There was a tough field of twenty acts that presented the judges with the difficult task of deliberating the runners up and overall winner.

Congratulations to Rebecca Gandhi for being awarded the overall winner! with her spoken word piece entitled ‘Oddity’in which she explored personal ideas around cultural identity. Watch and hear Rebecca on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD1tjucrbJI&feature=youtu.be

Rebecca received a recording opportunity at Tonewheel Studios, publication in the online literary journal, Blackmail Press, an interview on basefm with Mark Williams, and automatic entry into the final of the Going West Readers and Writers festival poetry slam held in the Titirangi War Memorial Hall this coming Saturday September 13th.

Rebecca made a short speech upon receipt of the award on the night, telling the audience that one of her inspirations for writing had come in the form of a personal inscription to her from her favourite poet, Anis Mojgani , who had inscribed in the front of his book of poems bought for her by some friends; ‘you are a wondrous orchard’. Rebecca has taken this statement to heart and is bearing fruit from the orchard of her self in the form of her beautiful poetry.

When asked later about the experience of winning the competition, Rebecca responded with; “I liked being in the environment because everyone was so warm. And it wasn’t about being there to compete, it was more about sharing the things that are inside of you. I also now feel much better about speaking in front of people.”

If you would like to see Rebecca perform and support her in the Going West poetry slam, do go along this Saturday to the Titirangi War Memorial Hall at 7.30. General admission $10

Alternatively, you could tune in to basefm on Thursday September 11 at 9am and listen to her interview with broadcaster-DJ and Word Up judge Mark Williams.
I know where I will be this Saturday night.

Susan Allpress

English Department

Photo of Rebecca taken by Yon Ankersmit, Arts Faculty Leader

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2014 New Zealand Young Physicists' Tournament

This is the second year that we have entered students in the regional rounds of the New Zealand Young Physicists’ tournament that took place at Westlake Girls High School, North Shore. The tournament started at 9 am and finished at 6 pm.

We had a Year 12 team and a Year 13 team competing against mostly Year 13 teams from 17 Auckland schools (Each school could enter a maximum of 2 teams). Our Year 12 team consisted of Pyong Kang Her (captain), Raynil Laxmidas and Pratik Chandra while Year 13 was represented by David Wu (captain), Jessica Yao and Steven Ling.

The contest works this way : Prior to the tournament, competing teams, consisting of 3 students each, are given 7 complex problems to theoretically and experimentally research. These questions are released in Term 4 of the previous year. At the competition the teams present and defend the validity of their solutions against teams in “Physics Fights”. Juries consisting of respected physicists and physics teachers rate their reports and the discussion that those reports generate. Each team is graded out of 10 points per judge, with 5 judges in total per fight.

At the start of the tournament, our Year 12 students felt intimidated by the Year 13 students which may have led to them not doing do well in the first round of the “Physics fights”. However, once they overcame the initial fear and got used to the procedures involved, they gained valuable points in the remaining two fights. The Year 13 team continued to perform consistently in their “Physics fights”.

Our Year 13 team finished 7th overall and our year 12 team finished 15th overall. Both the teams must be praised for the long hours they spent in preparation for the competition. The depth of the research, both theoretical and experimental, which they undertook in preparation for the problems will linger in their memories for a very long time.

The teams look a little stressed just prior to the tournament (left image), but by the end were happy with their efforts (right image)!

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Mr Reddy and Ms. Tebay were the supervising teachers, who also acted as judges on the day. In addition Mr Black, Mr van Dyck, Mr Eyre and Mr Kumar also provided valuable feedback to both the teams prior to the competition.

With this years’ experience behind them, they have already started the discussion for next year’s tournament. We are confident of having another good run next year.

Smokefree Rockquest Rocked for Lynfield's One Tribe

One Tribe was one of 12 bands that performed at the Smokefree Rockquest Auckland Central Regional Final on Friday 13th June at the Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School. The band had previously been chosen for the Regional Final from over 40 bands in the contest heats in May.

One Tribe's 2 songs – ‘Dream’ and ‘New Kids in Town’ - were very well-received and the band placed 2nd overall and ‘New Kids in Town’ was awarded The Lowdown Best Song Award!

They now have to go through a selection process in order to get to play at the National Finals in September.

Congratulations to the following students :
Craig Hebblethwaite 13MH
Mine Dube 12YB
Boaz Competente 13MH
Jairah Perida 12KK
James Samountry 13PK
Toa Peteru 13TN
Lygia Verhoven 13FE
Tialena Evening 13GR
Rebecca Gandhi 13MH
Sarai McKay 12PNU
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There is a  video on the  Lynfield College Music Facebook page:


Language Perfect Elite and Gold Awards

The Lynfield College Language Perfect World Championship Awards Lunch was held on Wednesday June 25 to celebrate the success of the 36 Gold and four Elite Award winners. These students were placed in the top one percent of all participants.

Four Elite Awards were gained by Darren Ng (Chinese), Meghana Moturu (3rd overall in German), Dave Sharma and Carrie Zhang (Japanese).
Following some encouraging words by Principal, Steve Bovaird, on the benefits of learning an international language, the students indulged themselves in some well-deserved food.

A deserved thank you must go to the team at Language Perfect for supplying food and refreshments for the lunch.

We are all looking forward to the challenge of next year’s World Championships and hope to improve further on the success of this year.
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Trash to Fashion Finals

As previously reported Lynfield College had 10 finalists in the Auckland Councils Trash to Fashion competition. Well done to all the girls who made it through and for all their hard work and commitment to the show.
Congratulations to Kayla Rousselle (centre below) who received Highly Commended for her Aesthetically Asian category and took out the Young Emerging Designer. Kayla won a $2000 scholarship for future study and a fashion mannequin.  Her  garment ‘Sweet and Sour’ was made from recycled fabric, egg cartons and knitting needles.
 ‘Dressed to Kill’ created by Albert Ama, Priyanka Anand (model), Leon Bartley, Rebecca Fleming-Yates, Nicolette Half, Sophia May and Lena Zhang-Harrap(model) also won the Special Achievement award. Their  garment was made from recycled fabric, cardboard boxes, Christmas baubles, chocolate wrappers and sequins. The Trash to Fashion competition also provides the learning support students with the opportunity to be present and actively involved within the community and to receive recognition for their skills that they have to contribute within society.

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David Wu - 2014 Finalist Eton Press-Casio Senior Maths Competition

The Organising Committee has recently completed marking the scripts of the preliminary paper of the 2014 Eton Press - Casio Senior Mathematics Competition.
As a result, David Wu of Year 13 has been selected as one of the fifteen finalists, out of approximately 1200 entries, to compete in the final examination to be held at Hutt International Boys’ School on Friday 22nd August.
As part of the competition, finalists from outside of Wellington region are provided with air travel to Wellington from their nearest airport. Students travel to Wellington on Thursday August 21st.  They will be met on arrival and billeted overnight.  On the day of the competition, after sitting a final 2 hour examination in the morning, students spend the rest of the day involved in organised activities. At the end of the day there is a small ceremony where the winner is announced and prizes awarded. Students then travel home on the first available flight.

Congratulations, David! We wish you well in the finals of this prestigious event and look forward to hearing of your success there.

Kitty Sun, Year 10 - Award for her Geography Essay 

 Kitty Sun, Year 10, has achieved a Highly Commended award in the Schools’ Geography Research Competition run by the New Zealand Geographical Society.

The topic was Understanding Factors that Build  Resilience, and the judge, Peter Holland from the University of Otago’s Geography Department, had this to say about Kitty’s essay..
"Your essay impressed me as an informative reflection on the migrant experience. In it you argued that while individual resilience is vitally important for survival in a challenging environment, so too is resilience at the levels of the family and communal institutions, notably churches, social organisations, and the like. You then presented these ideas in a very fine introduction before writing about metropolitan Auckland as the setting for your study. You have provided a very fine account of the city’s economic, environmental and social conditions, and discussed their involvement with resilience at the individual, family and community levels.

The probing account of your interview is a further strength of this essay. The interviewee had experienced episodes of earthquake and outbreaks of disease in her homeland before emigrating to New Zealand, and you argued that these events made her more resilient and better able to deal with the challenges of life in a new country; her experiences in China and Auckland “taught her more about herself ... [and] allowed her to discover and understand her own individual ways of being resilient.” This is an intriguing notion -- in an aware and sensitive person, resilience fosters further resilience. "

Congratulations, Kitty!

Race Unity Speechmaker


Congratulations to Gauri Prabhakar 12KK who was one of six finalists competing in this year's National Final of the ‘Race Unity Awards’.

As in previous years, the standard of speech making was outstanding. Gauri’s response to the theme I am Aotearoa New Zealand: Te ranga tahi / Together we grow included an account from her own life, a discussion of the place of The Treaty of Waitangi, and suggestions for the future as we appreciate our differences and grow together as a country.
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Senior Chemistry Students' Success

Jessica, David, Boaz and Danielle report on a successful competition..

The University of Waikato organises the NZIC Analytical Chemistry competition every year and Lynfield has been participating in it for the past three years, with tremendous success.

The event challenged 96 enthusiastic Year 13 students to spend a day in the university’s laboratories and apply their chemistry skills to accurately analyse, calculate and produce answers to set tasks, in order to derive an important chemical statistic.

On being confronted with the laboratory set-up, we were overwhelmed. On it was equipment that was unfamiliar to us, and new methods were expected of us that we had rarely encountered. It was a challenging experience as we were now expected to apply our chemistry knowledge that we had learnt in class into a practical investigation in new and unfamiliar environment. This had brought a great, yet new and exciting challenge for us to take on. Through trial and error and a hard persistence, we presented our very best and were rewarded with a successful outcome.

This year, we were placed 4th overall out of the 24 teams that had participated, and came home with a cash prize. All of our hard work and determination during those five hours in being precise and accurate with our measurements, yet scrambling to beat the clock in the final minutes to complete the task, had finally paid off. 

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We had a great day, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, with a huge surprise in placing so highly in the competition. It was an exciting and nerve-racking experience to go up against all of the other teams, but we returned home proud of ourselves and the effort we had put in.

Junior Scientists Shine at Science Fair

We have had another successful year at the Niwa Auckland City Science and Technology Fair. 19 students displayed their work and were quizzed by teachers, scientists and industry professionals.

After all their work,
  • Joshua Boasman, 9WL was awarded 2nd Place in the Physical World Category as well as a special prize with his project Good Vibrations.
  • Karan Kalsi was awarded 2nd in the Living World Category for his project Are You Face-ist?
  • Kitty Sun and Phoebe Liu placed 3rd in the Living World Category and also received a special prize for How Clean Are Our Streams.

These students will be receiving their awards at the prize-giving ceremony on September 8th.

Dylan Kay and Gus Barrowman, and Hannah Stephen and Angela Zhang also received commendations for their projects.

The judges were impressed with the passion of our single senior entrant.

  • Rowan Doyle received a commendation as well as a special prize for his project where he designed a personal hypothermia monitor.

Congratulations to all those who worked so hard getting their projects together and we can't wait to see what our scientists come up with next year!


NZ's Next Top Engineering Scientist 2014

Now in its sixth year, this annual competition is a problem solving event for teams of three to four secondary students, organised by the Department of Engineering Science at University of Auckland.
A question was posted online at 9 am and students had to compile a report and email it to the organisers by the 6pm deadline.
2014 question: If Mount Taranaki erupted, how much would it cost the aviation industry?
This year, we had five Year 12 and three Year 13 teams in this competition. The judges at the university are now going through hundreds of reports and the results of the competition will be released early next term.

Above : Making sense of the question

Above and below : Lynfield students attack the problem and construct a solution.
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Thinking Conference for Gifted Students

19 of our students last week (April)  had the opportunity to discuss, debate and question some complex and open-ended philosophical, moral and ethical topics at the 2014 Gifted and Talented Conference. Each year a selection of our most able senior students attend, and this year we sent our biggest representation thus far.
Topics that kept the students concentrated were..
Justice, Truth, Beauty and Mathematics
Emotional Intelligence
Chaos and the Origins of the Universe
Oxbridge Question: Do you believe that statues can move?
The BIG debate: The precautionary principle.
Tracey Coffin 13MH has written about the day for us :

The gifted and talented conference addresses 'big issues' in a philosophical way, through musing about the universe trying to understand itself, figuring out the links between justice, beauty, truth and mathematics, and more. It challenges your view of the world and invites you to put yourself to the test of understanding. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a clearer view of the world and themselves, those who are not afraid to question.



World Champions - our Robotics Team Defends its Title!

Our Robotics team (Steven Barker, Conor Thomas and Nicolaas Waddington) has returned from the United States – as World Champions – again! The team touched down in Auckland this week to a heroes’ welcome and with the spoils of their victory close by.

"It was just relief that we'd finally done it," said Nicolaas.

It is the sixth time a Kiwi team has won the competition and the second year that accolade has gone to Lynfield College.

"Just because we're in the Pacific, hidden away from the rest of the world, we can stand out and be amazing at what we do," says organiser Frazer Noble of Massey University.

Fifteen-thousand students from 27 countries took part in the three-day competition and they built their own robots.

"The game was called toss-up and the aim of the game was to move field objects from one side of the field to the other. The further you moved them across, the more points you got," says Mr Noble.

New Zealand teams say the secret to their success is all in the preparation. Organisers say New Zealand will ultimately reap the rewards.

"These guys, when they go through engineering programmes, they're going to create products that can be exported and maybe move away from an agricultural-based industry and into a high-value, technology-based economy," says Mr Noble.

Lynfield College was not the only team flying the Kiwi flag - Otumoetai College from Tauranga came second by one point in the competition.

Congratulations Lynfield!  A brilliant achievement.