10 July, 2019 Academic - Extracurricular

Year 10 Immersion Projects – fostering independence and exploring areas of interest

Each year, during the final weeks of Term 2 all Year 10 St Michael’s students participate in an Immersion Project of their choice.

This year students participated in nine different Projects, all designed to foster independence and give students an opportunity to explore areas of interest over an extended period of time.

Discover each of the nine unique Projects below:



Over their two-week journey, students volunteered to help underprivileged children in Cambodia by teaching English and running sporting and art-based activities.

Through this Immersion students established connections with Cambodian communities and experienced a different culture, learning the Khmer language and participating in Khmer cooking classes. They also attended a dance workshop at Epic Arts, a Performing Arts based Non-Government Organisation (NGO) that uses the arts as a form of expression and empowerment to bring people with and without disabilities together.

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    Students participating in an Epic Arts dance workshop
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    Exploring Angkor Wat

Along with their volunteer experiences, the students also had the opportunity to visit important Cambodian landmarks including Angkor Wat, the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the Killing Fields.

This project is run in partnership with Projects Abroad, a UK founded NGO that facilitates volunteers around the world.

Bon Appetite

During this Project, students immersed themselves in a range of engaging food experiences to develop key culinary skills that can enable them to apply for hospitality-based jobs.

As part of the Project, the group spent a morning volunteering with FareShare in Abbotsford where they helped prepare 80kg of mushrooms and made 1200 quiches using rescued ingredients. Rescued ingredients is a term used to describe foods that are close to their use-by date, have been incorrectly packaged and fresh fruit and vegetables that don’t look attractive. FareShare save these quality foods from landfill and turn them into free, nutritious meals for vulnerable people.

The students also hosted Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea for St Michael’s staff where they put their knowledge and skills learnt during the Immersion Program to the test by putting on the Morning Tea to raise funds for the Cancer Council. Students practised their barista skills and served barista-made coffee, and made scones, sausage rolls, macaroons and many other delicious treats. Staff were also able to purchase jams and chutneys the students had made and bottled during the program.


Great Barrier Reef

The focus of the Great Barrier Reef Project is on developing an understanding of the Reef and gaining practical marine biology experience by spending a significant period of time working with a James Cook University (JCU) Marine Biologist at the JCU Research Station on Orpheus Island. A great outcome of this two-week program is the completion of Unit 1 Enhanced Biology VCE subject.

This year marks 20 years since St Michael’s commenced its annual trip to Orpheus Island in Far North Queensland. To commemorate the occasion the group had special rash vests made.

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    The group at the James Cook University Research Station
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    20-year anniversary commemorative rash vests

In their blog, Year 10 students Joshua, Sophie, Isis and Zac reflected on their experience from a day on Orpheus Island.

Our day started off bright and early, with a refreshing morning dive into the bay. It was really interesting to see and study all of the corals up close and to experience some of the underwater bay that we had only ever seen in pictures in the classroom. Afterwards, we retreated back to the rooms, to shower and have morning tea. The day continued and we were back to work by 10am for a morning lecture by Biologist, Dr Tory Chase, providing pivotal understandings of the scientific methods that would assist us in the upcoming reportable task on the reef. We are having a truly fantastic time here on Orpheus Island, and are all looking forward to the next few days which will be filled with curiosity and wonder.Year 10 students Joshua, Isis and Zac


Art and Design Master Class

The Art and Design Master Class has been developed to help students improve their skills and enable them to make more informed Art and Design subject choices as they progress into their VCE years at St Michael’s.

Over the two-week course, students worked with specialists including Archibald Prize-winning artist, Peter Wegner, to strengthen key drawing and design skills and learn how to apply new techniques.

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    Demonstration by Archibald Prize-winning artist Peter Wegner
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    Still life painting

Through this highly practical and hands-on course students learnt about still life drawing and balance and proportion using different materials, learnt the basics of ceramics including working on the pottery wheel and low firing processes, experienced printmaking using the intaglio technique, developed photography skills including working in a dark room and learnt the art of curating an exhibition.

Engineering – Exploration and Drone 

Did you know that the commercial drone market is predicted to grow to $17 Billion by 2024? This immersion is designed to give students the skills to safely pilot a commercial-grade drone for aerial photography purposes and also provided students with the opportunity to build their very own drones.

On the final day of the program, the students presented their work to staff and students, showcasing the images and videos they had captured and edited, and also talked through the process of building and piloting their own drones. Our younger students were particularly interested to see the drones and learn about how the students had built them.

Here are the students showcasing their work along with some of their incredible images of the School and our surrounds.


Work Experience

As part of our Year 10 Immersion Program students have the opportunity to complete work experience in an area that interests them.

Work experience is a great way for students to gain hands-on experience in the workplace and help them to become more informed about that particular career.

Students chose to explore a range of different areas including media, interior design, marketing and communications, agriculture, healthcare, sports and more.

Alexander learnt what it’s like to work in media spending one week at Network Ten and another week at Fuji Television in Japan, Zara experienced working in marketing at OfficeWorks where she participated in a photoshoot for a catalogue, and Noah and Emmanuel both spent a week learning what it’s like to work as a journalist at The Age.

Read Emmanuel’s reflection on his experience at The Age below.

For the first week of our Year 10 Work Experience, Noah and I were fortunate to intern at The Age newspaper in Docklands. We were hosted by Deputy Editor and Head of Print Publications Mark Fuller (pictured with Noah and Emmanuel), who graciously took time out of his busy week to give us an insight into the lives of employees who produce a daily newspaper. Throughout the week, we had opportunities to write our own articles about sports and current events, attend meetings, listen to podcasts being recorded, attend a press conference at the Western Bulldogs Football Club, and attend a photoshoot at the North Melbourne Football Club. Our week at The Age gave us a real perspective of the life of a journalist, and how complex the inner workings of a newspaper are. Noah and I are both very grateful for the opportunity that Mark provided us, motivating us to take a further interest in the career path of journalism.Year 10 student, Emmanuel



Brand new this year, the Jabiru Project is run in partnership with Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, The Outdoor Education Group and St Michael’s.

During the Project, students spent two weeks in the Northern Territory where they explored the beautiful Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks and engaged with local students, Elders and Kakadu Indigenous Rangers.

Students also participated in the Djenj Fish Project, which is based around two-way knowledge sharing and learning about fish and fishing in west Arnhem Land. Through their participation, the St Michael’s group learnt how the local Indigenous people use specific bones of the Barramundi fish.

The group returned to Melbourne with some amazing memories and stories which we look forward to sharing further with the School community soon.


Guitar Building

A highlight for students who are passionate about music-making and instrument building, this project gives students the opportunity to learn numerous woodworking and metalworking skills and explore how these are applied in the field of guitar building.

Students used their newfound skills to build their very own steel-string acoustic guitar or Fender style electric guitar using the best of Australian and imported timbers.

It was a large undertaking to build their own guitars and the students were worried they may not complete their projects in time, but it all came together in the final days of the Project, and all students successfully finished their guitars and the results are fantastic.

Congratulations to the group of dedicated students and our passionate Design and Technology staff.


Professional Sports Experience

Newly introduced this year, the Professional Sports Experience Project in Queensland focussed on giving students an insight into the daily life of elite athletes, coaches and other sports professionals.

Students spent 10 days participating in training sessions and workshops at elite sporting facilities including the Super Sports Complex on the Gold Coast, Metricon Stadium home of the Gold Coast Suns and the State Netball Centre in Brisbane.

In the video below the students are completing a challenging workout at the Sports Super Centre.

Students also had opportunity to attend a Rugby match where they watched the New Zealand Warriors defeat the Gold Coast Titans, visited local attractions including MovieWorld, SkyPoint Tower Observation Deck and Springbrook National Park, and even battled it out during a friendly game of mini-golf!

It was a fantastic end to the term for all our Year 10 students and we would like to thank all our wonderful staff members who were involved in developing and running these engaging programs. Without their support, guidance and expertise, these unique learning experiences would not be possible.