Month: September 2015

A Robot Fashion Show, Circuits, & Carrot Pianos – Open Night Showcase

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Last week, we launched our new Makerspace program as part of the 2015 Open Night celebrations. Well over a hundred students, parents, and community members visited our pop-up space, learning how to program Beebot robots, explore iPad coding apps, tinker with LittleBits™ circuits, and play with the MakeyMakey™ carrot pianos. The highlight of the night was undoubtably the Robot Fashion Show, featuring one of the first Dash™ robots in Western Australian schools, hosted by Desert and Jacqui, Iona’s first Year 6 Digital Captains.

The establishment of our makerspace is in response to the introduction of the new WA Technologies Curriculum (over the next two years), and national and international movements to empower students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). Many of our new maker tools, including our robots and greenscreen, were purchased with the generous support of the Iona Parents and Friends Association. 

We look forward to formally opening our new makerspace in the library at the start of Term 4. It promises to become a hub of creativity, imagination, and wonder as our students explore their emerging interests in robotics, design, and engineering projects.

Tinker, Code, Invent, Learn – Introducing our new Makerspace

As part of our Open Night 2015 celebrations, we will be unveiling our plans & resources for the new Iona Primary Makerspace, which will be based in the library from Term 4.

As the name suggests, a makerspace is a place where our students can ‘make’ things – with code, cardboard, craft materials, robots, and much more! It will host design challenges and hands-on creative projects, helping to foster and develop our students’ interests in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts.

On Thursday, September 10th, we will be hosting a pop-up maker event in the Blue Room (between the Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms) from 4-6PM.

Parents, students, and community members are invited to come in to tinker, code, invent, and learn. Explore coding with Beebots and iPads, tinker with LittleBits, build something with K’Nex, and play the MakeyMakey piano with fruit and vegetables! In addition, our Year 6 Digital Captains are looking forward to hosting a very special event, which is best described as “Robot Fashion Week”!

We would like to thank the Iona P&F for their generous support for this project. With their help, we were able to purchase our new greenscreen, Beebots, several MakeyMakey invention kits, and one of the first Dash robots in Western Australia.

If you’d like a sneak preview of what will be on show on Open Night, please explore the photos and videos below!



MakeyMakey kits & our Bee-Bots!

Dash Robot



Open Night


Schools are busy places (as I particularly discovered this week). Today, for the first time, I had a calendar that was not chock full of meetings. Relief, I thought! Time to catch up on some of that paperwork that has been slowly accumulating on my desk (my inexperience is definitely showing). Then the dreaded phone call – some Year One students would like to show me their work. After looking at the growing pile of papers on my desk, I reluctantly said I was available. Within 5 minutes, my quiet office (still with the pile of papers on my desk) was transformed into a vibrant hub of activity as excited ‘little people’ showed me their spelling words and beautiful handwriting. The excitement and pride in their work was so evident that I felt guilty about even thinking that this was just another interruption to my day.

There are lots of sayings that beautifully encapsulate this ‘busyness’ that takes over our lives – ‘take time to smell the roses’ or ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ are just two.   Sometimes, I think you need to take a step backward to see clearly what is important so that you can move forward. Thank you Year One, for enlightening me on what is really important.

As a community, we have a busy week ahead. In particular, I’d like to invite parents to become involved in the Strategic Planning Meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening from 6.30 – 8.00pm. This is an opportunity for parents to tell us what they value about Iona and assist us in looking at new directions. Even if you have not responded that you are coming, everyone is most welcome to turn up on the night.

Our Open Night is on this Thursday. We have lots happening around the school on this night – from concerts, to Book Fairs, to technology displays, to a sausage sizzle (and we haven’t even mentioned your child’s classroom yet). Please see the website/Facebook page for more details.

We have a special whole school Mass organised for Tuesday 8th September – a celebration of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Parents are most welcome to join us in celebrating this Liturgy of the Eucharist as a faith-filled community.

Lastly (but definitely not the least important), congratulations to the girls who participated in the Future Problem Solving competition earlier in the term. We have just been notified that they have gone through to the Nationals and will be off to Brisbane to compete in October. Well done, girls!

Mrs Jennifer Anderson