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At Ivanhoe Girls’, we believe in fostering a culture of excellence and academic competitions play an important role in achieving this. These competitions not only challenge and inspire our students but also provide authentic opportunities to help equip them with essential 21st-century skills that extend beyond the classroom.

Academic competitions offer a platform for students to showcase their knowledge, creativity and problem-solving abilities. Whether it be science, mathematics, humanities or any other subject, participating in these competitions allows students to delve deeper into their areas of interest. By engaging in competition, students are motivated to explore different topics, expand their knowledge base and sharpen their critical thinking skills. One of the key advantages of academic competitions is that they encourage students to go above and beyond the curriculum, explore advanced concepts, engage in independent research and think outside the box. This exposure to challenging material not only enhances students' understanding of the subject but also helps nurture their intellectual curiosity and foster a lifelong love of learning.

Participating in academic competitions also cultivates invaluable skills that are highly sought after in the real world. Through teamwork, students learn to collaborate effectively, leverage each other’s strengths and develop strong interpersonal skills. They learn to manage their time efficiently, work strategically towards achieving an end goal as well as hone their communication skills. Academic competitions also provide opportunities for personal development and character building- students learn to face challenges and setbacks as well as experience triumphs throughout their journey in competitions. They learn resilience, perseverance and the importance of sportsmanship. These experiences build character and help shape students into well-rounded individuals, preparing them to navigate the complexities of life beyond the classroom.

At Ivanhoe Girls’, we are committed to nurturing the potential of every student. We actively encourage and support participation in a wide array of academic competitions spanning numerous subjects. Notable examples include the French Poetry competition, the Aurecon Bridge building competition, the University of Melbourne’s Amazing Spaghetti and Brain Bee competitions, the Australian Maths Competition and the Australian Geography Competition.

Our Years 7-10 students annually take part in the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians, a competition that spans several weeks and requires students to produce comprehensive solutions to a series of mathematical problems in the initial Challenge phase. Successful completion of this phase grants qualification for the subsequent Enrichment phase. The final stage, known as the Olympiad phase, plays a role in the selection process for the Australian team competing in the International Mathematics Olympiad. In 2022, we were delighted that three of our students qualified for this prestigious final phase of the competition.

This year, we have introduced the Science Talent Search for all our Year 7 students. The Science Talent Search is an annual school-based science competition open to all primary and secondary students in Victoria. This competition was founded in 1952, making it one of the oldest and longest-running programs of its kind worldwide. The primary objective of the Science Talent Search is to cultivate an enduring interest in the field of sciences among students. The competition aims to achieve this by promoting independent and self-motivated project work, providing students with the platform to share their accomplishments with a wider audience as well as recognising their efforts and achievements in scientific pursuits. Additionally, the Science Talent Search strives to engage students directly in the processes of science and its communication, while also showcasing the high quality of scientific work conducted in schools to the wider community.

This term, all Year 7 students have been busy creating posters for the Science Talent Search, focusing on the theme of “Innovation: Powering Future Industries”. Each student has developed a poster within specific guidelines, centered around one of the following subtopics:

  1. AI Innovations – Energy for future generations
  2. Robots saving lives
  3. Al in the workplace
  4. Innovations for a sustainable future

Our Year 7 students began their research in their science classes and then diligently completed their final posters at home. The student submissions that best align with the guidelines will be formally entered into the competition. Selected students will then have the opportunity to present their posters in person to the judges of the Science Talent Search on Saturday 5 August.

Dr Natalie Bunn
Director of Learning and Innovation

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