April 2024

ANZAC Day 2024

On the 25th of April, Lynfield College’s student leaders attended the Puketāpapa ANZAC Day Service held at the Mt Roskill War Memorial Cenotaph. They were honoured to have the chance to represent our school in the parade alongside veterans, community leaders, other schools and community groups. Our Head Boy, Calum Bint, delivered a scripture reading at the service and three of our head students had the opportunity to lay a wreath in memory of the lives lost during the Gallipoli campaign. The service was deeply moving and our student leaders felt privileged to be a part of such an important event.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day, held annually on the 25th of April, is the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand armed forces during World War 1. ANZAC troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on April 25, 1915, with the unsuccessful and costly campaign lasting over 6 months until November. 2,700 New Zealanders lost their lives during the Gallipoli campaign and over 5,000 were wounded.

ANZAC Day is also a chance to remember New Zealanders killed in other conflicts and it is a day to honour returned and serving servicemen and women. It gives us a chance to reflect that New Zealand’s involvement in war has been very costly and for those who have survived war, it has marked an end to life as they knew it.

Lest we forget!

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Lynfield College VEX Robotics World's Trip Update

To All our Sponsors and Supporters,

Thank you for helping our teams get to Dallas to compete at the VEX Robotics World Championships, it was a great opportunity for our students, I know they appreciate your generosity and that they have all learnt a lot from the experience.

After the High School team finished their competition our Middle School team had theirs. All started well with them winning their practice match and the first four qualification matches. In the next three qualification matches our alliance partners robots all tipped over, leaving our team to try and defend and score by themselves against both robots of the opposition alliance which is an almost impossible task. The next two matches were close, but unfortunately didn’t go our way. Match 10 was a decisive win for our team giving them a 5 win, 5 lose total and ranking them 44th out of 80 teams in their division. Unfortunately, they were not selected by a top ranked team as their alliance partner for the division finals.

Once division finals were complete in mid-afternoon, we again headed to the Dome theatre, to watch the grand finals were all the middle school division winners and the VEX U, university semi-finalist teams face each other to find the Worlds Tournament Champions for their particular competition. Like the High school team, the eventual winners of the Worlds Middle School tournament were also the division winners from our division.

The day after the competition was over, we packed up the robots, tools, spare parts and our personal luggage and drove the 4.5 hour journey back to Houston. That evening we boarded our 14 hour flight home.
Competing in the World Championship was an exceptional experience for our students and we would like to thank all our sponsors who along with the fundraising efforts of the parents and students have made this possible. These students are all planning to go back to Worlds next year, hopefully they can qualify again at the National Championships in February 2025. The new seasons game that was introduced during the closing ceremonies is quite different to the one we have played for the last year and they are all looking forward designing and building new robots for this purpose.

Once we have a schedule for the Auckland region tournaments for the new season, I will forward it to you so you can come and see for yourself what our students are doing. Currently it looks like Lynfield College might have 7 or 8 teams competing this year in Auckland competition.

Thank you so much for sponsoring our teams. We look forward to meeting you later this year either at an Auckland competition or by arranging for us to come and demonstrate our robots to you and your staff during the next school holidays.

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The High School VEX Robotics World Championship finished yesterday evening. Our High School team faced a very tough draw and experienced a couple of on field technical issues. At the end of the three days, they finished 73rd out of 82 teams in their division.

Once division finals were complete in the late afternoon, we headed over to the Dome theatre, which seats 8500 people, to watch the grand finals were all the division winners face each other to find the Worlds Tournament Champions. The eventual winners of the Worlds tournament were the division winner from our division.

The closing ceremony was very spectacular at the end of this VEX Robotics unveiled the new seasons game. This is the game we will be the game we start competitions for in June this year working towards Nationals in February and Worlds next April if we qualify again. The teams are looking forward to designing new robots for the new season.

Our Middle School team started their Worlds competition today. They have won their practice match and their first competition match, so they are well on their way and very happy with their progress so far. Seven more games tomorrow and 2 the day after and then hopefully into division finals. We are hoping for a better result for them than the High School team achieved.

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From Houston we drove to Dallas where we are staying for our remaining time in America. In the few days before the competition we have visited Six Flags over Texas amusement park, a baseball game, the Frontiers of Flight Museum, the Perot Nature and Science Museum and the 6th Floor Museum which is where JFK was assassinated from, great science and history lesson for our students.

Today was the first day of the Worlds Competition for our High School team. Unfortunately, they had a battery disconnection during their first game, but they have 9 more qualifying games in the next day and a half before hopefully making it into the division finals rounds.

There are 820 High School teams from all over the world competing in 10 divisions, and each division winner will compete against the others in the grand finals for the World Championship title.

Attached are some photos of these activities and our sponsors banner in our pits at Worlds with our High School team.
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We flew out of New Zealand on the evening of the 18th of April and landed in Houston late afternoon the same day, an interesting concept for some of the students to get their head around, crossing the international date line and landing before we left.

On our first day we pickup up our rental van and headed off to Galveston where we visited the Naval Museum. We followed this up with a visit to the beach and Galveston Pleasure Pier where we ate at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co.

Our 2nd day in America was spent at the NASA Space Center Houston and a short shuttle to the astronaut training center and rocket park at the Johnson Space Center. A lot of amazing technology for the students to see there today. We ended the day with a classic Texas Steakhouse dinner.

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VEX Robotics Interviewed on RNZ

The night before they flew out to compete at the VEX World's in Dallas, United States William Hooper and Sohail Asyaban were interviewed on Checkpoint by Lisa Owen from Radio NZ.

The interview can be watched at this link: https://youtu.be/dr--WRkRZBk

MP Dr Carlos Cheung Visit

On Friday 12 April our Mt Roskill Member of Parliament, Dr Carlos Cheung, visited our two Lynfield College Robotics teams who are travelling to Dallas, Texas next week to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championships 2024. It was great to meet Dr Cheung who was very impressed by the work the teams have put in and the robots they will be taking to the United States. Dr Cheung wished them success for their exciting journey.

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What is VEX Robotics?

VEX Robotics targets STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Teams design, build, program, and drive robots to compete in specific competition challenges.

Middle School and High School level students are required to build and program an 18” by 18” by 18” robot (it can expand beyond this size). Students program their robots using VEXCode or Pro’s, a C based coding language especially for robotics. The robots must compete in both autonomous and driver control elements.

Here is a link to the VEX Robotics Competition 2023/24 sessions game.

VEX regional scrimmages are held throughout the competitive season which runs from May to February. This gives students the opportunity to problem solve and improve their robots before the New Zealand National Championships in February. The successful teams can then compete in the International Worlds Championship, this year being held in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Here is a link to the VEX Worlds Experience 2023.

VEX Robotics is an area where New Zealand students excel. In recent years, Lynfield College teams have won several awards at Worlds. New Zealand teams are highly regarded and frequently recognised among their peers throughout the world.

Rajal Sharma wins Silver in Archery

Congratulations to Rajal Sharma who participated at the 80th National Outdoor Archery Championships held in Hamilton over the Easter weekend. He won a Silver medal in the U18 men’s compound division shooting at the 50 meter distance.

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April is Autism Awareness Month

The Maori word for autism is takiwatanga (in his/her/their own time and space)

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

We missed celebrating that day due to the Easter holiday, however we have this whole month to raise our awareness of autism. If you want to know more about autism, there are lots of clips on Youtube. Here is one which promotes awareness as it features young people with autism explaining how they feel: https://youtu.be/IApo5TBR7jc?si=i0qOmiRTDV8oHtmW

A few facts about ASD (Autism Spectrum disorder) in Aotearoa:

  • There is an estimated 320000 neurodivergent young people in our country
  • It is estimated that 20% of our young people are neurodivergent (10% dyslexic, 5% have ADHD, 5% gifted and 2% of these have ASD)
  • Many neurodivergent people have more than one of these neurological differences (ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia or other learning challenges)
  • Around 50% of these had to work out for themselves, as their challenges weren’t noticed by others
  • Most Neurodivergent people mask, they work really hard to hide their challenges and fit in
  • There are neurological differences, different wiring, in the brains of all neurodivergent people
  • Many neurodivergent people become highly knowledgeable and highly skilled in a range of specific areas
  • 20% of diagnoses of neurodivergent people happen after they leave school

You probably know and work with people on the spectrum, we are all around. Here are a few famous people that have been diagnosed with ASD:

Sir Anthony Hopkins, Daryl Hannah, Dan Akroyd, Courtney Love, Susan Boyle, Greta Thunberg, Satoshi Tajiri, Eminem, Tim Burton, Elon Musk, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Andy Warhol and Clay Marzo and Mary Temple Grandin.

Malo e lelei, Talofa Lava, Kia orana,
Bula and Warm Pacific Greetings

Our recent Fiafia/Talanoa evening on Wednesday 3 April was a resounding success! Celebrating the academic achievements of our Pacifica students while also showcasing the talents of our cultural groups was a wonderful way to honour both academic excellence and their cultural heritage.

The performances by our Samoan, Cook Island, Fijian, and Tongan groups were a highlight of the evening, showcasing grace, beauty, and pride in their respective cultures. 

Events like this not only recognize the hard work and dedication of students and their families but also strengthen bonds within the community and instil pride in cultural identity.

Ending the evening with a shared meal was a beautiful way to bring everyone together and further celebrate the accomplishments of our students. 

It was fantastic to see the acknowledgement extended to students, families, tutors, and teachers for their support and commitment to making the event a success. It's clear that events like this play an essential role in building a supportive and inclusive community within our school. 

Congratulations on a successful evening, we look forward to planning the upcoming Talanoa in Term 2!
Many thanks to Ms van Heeswijk for her beautiful photographs.

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