August 2017

Meet Sophia - the World's Most Advanced Humanoid Robot

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On Thursday 31 August our Robotics students were able to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.  They travelled to Waitangi to meet Sophia - the world’s most advanced humanoid robot. Lynfield College had the honour of being the only school in New Zealand invited to the Morgo Conference of Australasian high-powered entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The students were able to spend half an hour with Dr Ben Goertzl, the Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics and Chairman of the Artificial General Intelligence Society. He spoke with the group about the development of Sophia and the role that Fine Arts, Mechanics, Algebra and Programming all play in developing an artificially intelligent humanoid robot.

Irisha Inamke and Michael Howell then introduced Dr Goertzl and Sophia to the Morgo Conference for their keynote speech at this event. In this presentation we heard about the development of artificial general intelligence, the future of humanity and the wide perspectives on where this could all head. This was from the perspective of Dr Goertzl along with input and interaction from Sophia.

After the keynote, we were able to get up close to Sophia, interact with her and see what all the components were made of. It was a fascinating experience and definitely opened the eyes of our students to what the future of robotics could be.

Bhakti Wins Gold and Silver Medals at Para Nationals 2017

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This year’s NZ Para Nationals 2017 Table Tennis camp and competition organised by Table Tennis NZ was held at the Manurewa Table Tennis Club. Bhakti did exceptionally well coming home with a Gold in the Ambient Doubles and a Silver in the Novice Singles.

Bhakti will be taking part in the nation-wide 'Junior Disability Games' organised by Halberg Disability Sport Foundation in October, where she will compete in the 100m Sprint, Shot Put and Table Tennis.

Bhakti is also competing in a New Zealand Secondary Schools' championship in Hastings in December where she will represent Lynfield college in the 100m Sprint and possibly Shot Put or distance events. Bhakti now has National Classification through Paralympics NZ for her athletics track and field competitions.

Auckland History Teachers' Quiz Night Success

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Shreya Singaraju, Nicole D'Souza and Jacob Barry
Harry Ashley, Shamir Sharif and Jack Kearns
On 31 August Ms Bronwen Wilson took a group of Year 11 and 12 students to the Auckland History Teachers’ Association Quiz Night. There were just over 50 teams competing. While the quiz was won by a team from St Peters College, to our delight the team of Shreya Singaraju, Nicole D’Souza and Jacob Barry gained second place in the quiz and the team of Harry Ashley, Jack Kearns and Shamir Sharif were awarded third. This was an awesome effort from the students who were all very excited about Lynfield being the most successful school on the night with two teams in the top three.

Cancer Awareness Week: Shave for a Cure

Our Lynfield College Student Executive - organised Cancer Awareness Week was held from 21 to 25 August and included a range of well-supported events which included a Sausage Sizzle, Daffodil Day and the highlight of the week Shave for a Cure. Eight brave souls participated in a truly hair-raising spectacle that was enjoyed by a packed hall of students and staff. Six teachers Messrs Christie, Burne, Daly, Smith, Laga'aia and Ms Walbran, and our Head Boy Dylan Kay and Deputy Head Boy Rupin Kumar all submitted to having their locks shorn by fellow students.

Stories from the volunteers as to why they were participating were both heart-breaking and heart-warming - a reminder of just why we were contributing to raising these funds - to support patients with cancer and their families, fund breakthrough cancer research and help reduce the incidence of cancer for future generations. Lynfield College raised over $3,000.00.

Special Note: Huge thanks to Ms Matheson for tidying up the tufts and prickles!

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heads felicity and vinnie laughing

Student Voice in Ministry of Education Publication

Jackie de Pont (Year 12) recently had an article published in the Ministry of Education Learning Languages newsletter. Follow the link below to read Jackie’s account of the Lynfield College Cultural Exchange in Germany in April this year, on page 8.

KBB Music Festival Awards 2017

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Since 1983, the KBB Music Festival has been showcasing the best in secondary school orchestras, concert bands and stage bands in Auckland. From the small numbers in the original Auckland Secondary Schools Band and Orchestra Festival, the KBB Music Festival has now grown to see over 135 groups taking part from more than 50 schools across the greater Auckland region.

The 2017 Festival was held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, from the 14th to the 19th August. Under the direction of Mr Paul Norman, the Lynfield College Big Band were selected for the Gala Concert for the 8th consecutive year. This places them in the top four of over 40 Big Bands at the Festival. At the conclusion of the Gala Concert they were presented with a Gold Award and both of the new the Special Awards for 'Best Performance of a Swing piece' and 'Best Performance of a Ballad'. The Lynfield College Chamber Orchestra achieved a Commended.

KBB Honours Band Selection: Year 13 student Andrew Isdale was selected to play lead alto sax in the KBB Honours Big Band for 2017. The band rehearsed and performed a range of Big Band charts under the directorship of Craig Walters from Auckland University.

58 Years of Friendly Rivalry

The annual Lynfield / Mt Maunganui sports exchange took place at Mt Maunganui College on Wednesday 16 August.  It was an early start as the players met at school at 6.00 am and were on the road by 6.15 am, ready for some friendly rivalry in this historical event. This exchange has been a highlight on the sporting calendars of both schools for 58 years.

The top teams in seven codes competed for the overall trophy based on the number of games won and lost. This year was a very close competition which Mt Maunganui won by one point!

Congratulations to our students for their fantastic sportsmanship. They were in every sense one big Lynfield team who had an awesome sports day they will remember for many years.


Golf: Win Girls Football: Loss Boys Hockey: Win
Boys Basketball: Loss Waterpolo: Loss Girls Hockey: Loss
Girls Basketball: Loss Netball Prem 1: Loss Rugby: Win
Boys Football: Win Netball Prem 2: Win Debating: Win
rugby a girls hockey basketball
boys hockey netball team waterpolo
soccer hockey team lineout

Chamber Music Awards Presentation

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Stefenie Pickston (Y12) receiving her award for 'Junior Winner*, National Original Composition' at the Chamber Music New Zealand 2017 Awards Presentation held on Sunday 6 August in Wellington. 

Stefenie's work 'Bolero: A Short Piece for String Quartet was commended by composition adjudicator Michael Norris said Stefenie Pickston’s composition was a "really interesting take on the bolero dance" and he commended her references to Ravel’s Bolero.

Well done Stefenie.

* In this context the word 'Junior' means the composition was under four minutes.

New Zealand's Next Top Engineering Scientist Competition

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The 2017 competition was held on Saturday 5 August. The question was posted online at 9.00am and students had to compile a comprehensive report and email it to the organisers by the 6.00pm deadline. Now in its ninth 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.

2017 Question:  How many rocket launches from Mahia Peninsula would it take to establish a lunar colony?

This year we had seven teams in total from Year 11, 12 and 13 students. The judges (PhD students and lecturers) at the university are now going through hundreds of reports and the results of the competition will be released early next term.

Science Fair Projects Showcased

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Above left to right: Ezra Satrio and Harshil Jogia, Farjaad Rehman and Saifullah Imran, Ashley Mar and Yana Sanvictores

On Thursday 3 August, the Science Faculty held an evening to showcase Science Fair projects from Year 9 students.  Parents were invited to attend and it was an opportunity for the projects to be judged.  From this, projects will be selected for entry in the NIWA Technology and Science Fair on Friday 1 September.  Below are some of the projects that were showcased.

Damon Greenhalgh wins Pat Hanly Creativity Award 2017

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Congratulations to Damon who was presented with the Pat Hanly Creativity Award for 2017 on Wednesday night at the Auckland Art Gallery.

These awards are open to Year 13 students of a Visual Arts subject and schools are invited to nominate a student who has demonstrated ‘outstanding creativity, imagination and commitment’.  It was an exciting evening, showcasing the best artworks at Level 3 across greater Auckland schools.

Head of Visual Arts, Mr Glynn Hambridge said, “Damon has a special talent and exciting career prospects in Concept Art and Gaming (watch this space)”.  Damon is still not sure where he wants to specialise in yet, but he intends to study at Media Design School next year. 

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