26 September, 2018 Academic

Learning through immersion

During the final week of Term 3, our Year 7 students participated in an Immersion Days program, where students had the opportunity to break off into an elective group of their choice and immerse themselves in new activities. The three day program saw students learning outside of a typical classroom setting, enabling them to discover new found interests and explore their passions.

‘Op Cycling’ is the new fashion

For those with a passion for fashion, this program helped students gain a greater understanding of the fashion industry and sustainable fashion. On day one, the students engaged in conversation with model and Old Michaelian, Bebe Dragovitch (OM 2015). Bebe spoke to students about her personal modelling journey, her style and the benefits of buying second-hand and vintage clothing.

To better understand different fashion over time, the students went to Rippon Lea Estate to experience the ‘Super 70s exhibition’. They were completely enthused by such an iconic fashion decade. Op Cycling program coordinator and Head of Languages at St Michael’s, Mrs Isabelle Mangeot-Hewison said that ‘when it was time to go op-shopping, some students even drew inspiration from  70s trends, when purchasing items that they planned to up-cycle.’

Learning through immersion

The final days focused on watching videos and researching ways to re-work clothing items. Students spent time planning, cutting, stitching and designing up-cycled fashion garments and at the culmination of the program, they were able to showcase their work in a show-stopping catwalk for family and friends.

Life of a professional sports person

Students involved in the sports immersion spent most of their outside the School gates, where they had the chance to visit iconic sporting destinations including the MCG, MSAC and the Victorian Institute of Sport. The program gave students an opportunity to speak with professional athletes, learn about nutrition and sports psychology and discover how to design their own fitness regime.  ‘Coincidentally, during a swimming session at MSAC, students even got to swim alongside Olympic Gold Medalist, Mack Horton,’ said immersion program coordinator and Head of PE and Health (7-12), Mr Mark Thompson.

Learning through immersion

After speaking with professionals, it was time to put new knowledge into practice. Students designed their own sports training session and participated in a sports clinic at MSAC.

Garden to Gourmet

There was plenty on the table for the Garden to Gourmet group, starting with a visit to a Kitchen Garden Farm. The group was fortunate to be invited by St Michael’s parents Ross Dobinson and Natalie Le Sueur to their property in Whittlesea to learn about gardening and the benefits of growing your own produce. Our students returned to Dolly’s Café with fresh vegetables from the garden and planned out a delectable 3-course meal with the assistance of Dolly’s Cafe Head Chef, Kane, which comprised of dumplings, tacos and lemon posset.

Learning through immersion

Many of the students had never made dumplings before and said that they were the most challenging to make.

‘It was difficult getting the pastry to stick and making them in the right shape,’ said Year 7 student, Georgia.

After cooking, cleaning and preparing a formal table setting, the students celebrated the elective by dining together in The Gipson Commons Boardroom. Beautiful decorations and music complimented the meal and Father McKie was invited to say grace before everyone enjoyed a well-deserved lunch.

Theatre Performance Intensive

An intensive three days of theatre performance enabled students to work as a team to create a performance piece that included singing, acting and movement. Under the guidance of specialists, participants developed their performance skills and gained confidence over the duration of the program.

Learning through immersion

On the final day of the Immersion Program, students were able to hit the stage and showcase their performance to family and friends. It was fantastic to see the rehearsals in full swing, where students encouraged one another along the way until they got the theatre fundamentals just right. This was certainly testament to the incredible performance they displayed at the end of the program.

Rube Goldberg Challenge

A Rube Goldberg machine is designed to perform a simple task in a rather over complicated string of steps. Over the course of three days, Year 7 students worked in teams to design and manufacture their own Rube Goldberg machine. This involved meticulous planning, highly creative thinking and continuous trial and error.

Learning through immersion

Students used materials such as string, paper, building blocks, dominoes, weights and more, to construct the machines and create a mechanical system that would aid the process of a task. A great deal of patience and curiosity was necessary to enjoy this competitive challenge and by the third day, the machines had certainly come to life!

Woodworking Experience

Using hands-on, practical experience, the woodworking program offered students an opportunity to combine traditional and contemporary construction methods to manufacture products. Working with a combination of hand tools and modern machinery, the students planned out their designs and crafted timber cheese boards, salad servers and tongs.

Learning through immersion

Many students mentioned that they had no previous woodworking skills and for some it was the first time using various tools such as planes and saws. A highlight for the class was designing and drawing a logo which was then computerised into a cutting path via a CNC (computer numerical control) router that etched the design onto their cheese board.

The end result was highly impressive, particularly over a short period of time. Many students were excited to gift their designs to parents or friends, whilst others were keen to keep their creations.

Learning through immersion

The Immersion Days Program was a fantastic way for Year 7 students to engage in new learning while enjoying the final days of Term 3 together.