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About Our School
Sans Souci Campus
Why Choose a Christian School?
Student Life & Learning
Workshops & Seminars
Forms & Publications
Cafe 12 / Lunch Orders
News & Events
Terms & Vacations
All News, Music News / April 8, 2022
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All News, Home Page, Music News, Senior School News / June 16, 2022
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Object: Handmade cards
At SGCS, we encourage our community to live a life of thanks, reflecting on God’s faithfulness, living a life of godly obedience and giving thanks in all circumstances.
Thankfulness may be demonstrated through prayer, worship, acts of service, gifts and words.
Throughout the year, SGCS staff often receive words of encouragement and thankfulness expressed in person or via the written word, or through gifts like home baked treats.
This beautiful handmade card, featuring both a blessing and thanks were gifted to Mr Honor, Principal, in 2018. They are representative of the thankfulness which is an integral part of the SGCS community.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The SGCS Robotics Program commenced in 2008 under the leadership of Mrs Karen Binns, IT Teacher/Integrator.
The Robotics Club for Middle School led the way followed by a lunchtime Design Lab/Studio for Junior School. Coding and computational thinking is now embedded across the curriculum for Kindergarten to Year 6 students. Higher grades have the opportunity to pursue their interests through speciality subjects.
SGCS has a strong track record of performing well in robotics competitions. Murray Mellor, Alumni Class of 2015 won the Australian National RoboCup Championship for Open Rescue. Murray along with his brother Ben, represented Australia at the RoboCup Junior International Competition in Germany in 2016.
Peter Tyas, Alumni Class of 2019, also won the Australian National RoboCup Championship for Open Rescue in 2016 before pairing with Tommy Ramsey and winning the Teams event.
In 2019, 17 of our robotics students qualified for the RoboCup Junior Australian National Championships in Melbourne. Two of our teams took 2nd and 3rd place in the Championships qualifying them to apply to represent Australia at the RoboCup International Championship in Bordeaux, France in 2020. However due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, competitions were rescheduled.
During 2020 and 2021competitions moved online. Our students continue to perform well, with Eveleigh Cassell winning her division (Stages 1 and 2) with her helper robot entry in the RoboCup Junior NSW Virtual Competition. In the same competition a Team made up of 5 Year 5 students won their division (Stages 3 and 4) for designing a digital scarecrow called “Rob”.
In the 2019-2020 Wonder League Robotics Competition, Elektra Joseph and Iris Qin from Year 4 were announced as Top 5 in the world in the 9-11 years age group.
Object: A work from Oil Trauma: Series of 8 works, bitumen and oil paint on paper painted with pelican feathers by Louise Lisle, Class of 2011.
This work is representative of the support SGCS offers to all its students. In the words of former long-time staff member Mrs Elizabeth Hughes, “our students will find advocacy, encouragement and facilitation. SGCS aims to equip students to work towards their potential..… Most students shine in some area of skill or learning and they learn to build on these strengths while focusing on improving areas of weakness.”
Louise Lisle, Class of 2011, produced these incredible, large scale works for her HSC Major Work. Louise went on to study at TAFE NSW Design Centre, Enmore, fulfilling her dream to become an illustrator. Louise’s works are displayed at our Café12 and in several offices throughout SGCS.
VISION AND VALUES
St George Christian School was established in 1981 with nine students and one teacher, Mrs Hazel Burns. The first parents had a vision to offer an education that was firmly based on Biblical principles, perspectives and values.
St George Christian School continues to hold firmly to Christ. Essential Christian doctrines underpin the education on offer and the operations of the School. The following statements are an expression of the School’s ongoing Christian and educational commitment.
VISION AND VALUES
Our vision is that each person in the school community will:
• know Christ, growing in relationship with God and with one another
• gain wisdom, learning how to live in the world
• develop their spiritual, academic, social and physical gifts
• establish a lifestyle that honours God and serves others
Our values as a Christian School are we:
• acknowledge the absolute authority of God as our Creator Father
• trust Jesus Christ as our Saviour and serve Him as our Lord
• depend on God’s indwelling Spirit as our enabler
• hold on to God’s Word as our standard
• value all people as created in God’s image
Our mission is to develop each person’s character and gifts, for serving God and His people by promoting:
• joy in learning
• excellence in teaching
• personal Christian faith and growth towards maturity.
Object: Adventure Land
Adventure Land is a key feature of the Sans Souci Campus. This beloved playground equipment is a joyous springboard to creative play. Countless children have slid down its slide, climbed its ladder, walked the bridge, and rested in its bow. It has been a prop for film and photo shoots, a wayfaring device, and a wonderful introduction to Infants for new students.
It came to SGCS second-hand c.2002. At the time SGCS parent, Mr Steve Payne, collected it from its former owner and installed it on site.
During the redevelopment of the San Souci Campus in 2017, it was decided that the playground equipment would be refurbished rather than replaced, due to popular sentiment, and the evident educational and physical benefits of Adventure Land. Adventure Land was taken apart and sent to a contractor for refurbishment, then reinstalled on site, looking brand new.
Adventure Land has played a key role in the creation of childhood memories for so many. Our hope is that it will continue to do so for future generations of our Infants students.
Object: Skipping Rope
Jump Rope is synonymous with SGCS. It is a sport that has little restriction to where it can be practised. It is a feature of the Junior School and Middle School Sports Program.
Mrs Karen Binns, SGCS Jump Rope Coordinator, started a SGCS Demonstration Jump Rope Team for the Heart Foundation in 1999, but her personal involvement with the Heart Foundation dates to 1983.
The SGCS Jump Rope Team entered their first competition in 2009 and within 5 years they were competing on the world stage. Members of our Jump Rope Team represented Australia in the 2014 World Rope Skipping Championships in Hong Kong, the 2016 World Rope Skipping Championships in Malmo, Sweden and the 2018 World Rope Skipping Championships in Shanghai, China. The Team have consistently placed in the Top 10.
In 2020, our skippers were on track to compete in the World Championships in Ottawa, Canada before the global COVD-19 pandemic delayed the competition for a year, and then forced it online. Members of the Jump Rope Team continued to train individually and prepare team routines via Zoom. Unfortunately, the Sydney lockdown of July - August 2021, prevented our teams from meeting together and filming their routines for submission and judging.
Our Jump Rope Team undertake an annual tour of regional New South Wales in collaboration with the Heart Foundation’s Jump Rope for Heart Program. The Jump Rope Team also perform at School events like Open Day, Junior School Heart for Heart Day, Mother’s Day events, V-Day, as well as performing at external events like football games.
Object: Terracotta Warrior Statues (2000h x 700w x 450d)
Two life-sized Terracotta Warrior statues stand guard at the entrance of our Languages Rooms. They are representative of our School’s commitment to languages. The statues also symbolise the diversity of cultures represented within our school community. In 2021, more than 25 languages were recorded in the School’s census including: Arabic, Cantonese, Creole French, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Indonesian, Kannada, Korean, Macedonian, Mandarin, Marathi, Nepalese, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swiss German, Thai, Vietnamese and Yoruba.
Over the years, St George Christian School has offered French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. Other languages have been available to students through distance education.
Some of the languages our students have undertaken for the HSC include: Chinese Beginners, Chinese in Context, Chinese Continuers Extension, French Continuers, Heritage Korean, Indonesian Beginners, Japanese Beginners, Modern Greek Beginners, and Spanish Beginners. Our Year 12 students have been represented in the New South Wales Education Standards Authority HSC Distinguished Achievers Lists in all of these language subjects.
The Terracotta Warrior statues were purchased in Xián by Mr Honor, Principal, during the Year 9 and Year 10 language excursion to China in 2012.
SRA READING LABORATORY KIT
Object: SRA Reading Laboratory Kit
The SRA Reading Laboratory Kit was first published in 1957. This resource, with enhanced content, is still published today, both in print and digitally. The resource was widely used in schools across the world from the 1960s onwards.
The SRA Reading Laboratory Kit was a large box filled with colour-coded cardboard sheets. Each sheet featured a reading exercise for students. The students would read the passage or story and then answer multiple choice questions. Upon answering correctly and completing all the colour reading activities in that section, the student would move to the next level, which was more difficult than the last.
Donald Henry Parker invented the colour-coded reading program and took his idea to SRA in 1957. As a teacher, he noticed that the slower learners fell further behind their classmates when he taught them all from the same textbook. The Kit was an alternative to whole class instructions. Students would work though reading activities at their own level and pace.
Science Research Associates Inc. (SRA) was founded in 1938 in Chicago. It was a publisher of educational materials and school reading comprehension products. The company was acquired by IBM in 1964, before being sold to Maxwell Communications Company in 1988. In 1989 it became part of McGraw-Hill.
SGCS holds a 1990 reprint of the 1973 SRA Reading Laboratory Kit. However, the box containing the reading resources has been damaged through use and is now covered in coloured contact. A more modern version of The SRA Reading Laboratory Kit is also held by the School and continues to be in use.
Holloway, L. Donald H. Parker, 88, Inventor of Self-Paced Reading Program. New York Times 1 July 2000.
Watters, A. SRA card: A history of programmed instruction and personalization. Hack Education: The history of the future of education Technology, 19 March 2015.
Object: Infants Bell
In the playground of our Sans Souci Campus, a bell marks the beginning and end of recess and lunch and rings out to signal the start and finish of activities.
The Infants’ bell became synonymous with former Head of Infants, Mrs Megan Powys.
Mrs Megan Powys commenced at SGCS in 1992 and was promoted to Head of Infants in 1997. Under her stewardship, she inspired a generation of children and their families.
Mrs Powys was instrumental in many foundational SGCS activities and events including fundraising.
This bell was auctioned at every opportunity to the highest bidder, and the next day the bell would be returned for use on campus until the next fundraiser.
Object: The Chapel photo
A Church sits on the site of our Hurstville Campus. It holds special significance to the community as it is one of the few examples of Gothic Revival church architecture still standing in the local area. In addition to its architectural significance, the Mayoress of Kogarah, Mrs Ada McPherson laid the foundation stone in 1901. Her husband, Hunter McPherson served as Mayor throughout the late 1800s until 1904. During his term of office, he established the Woronora Cemetery.
The Church was established in 1901 as the Woids Avenue Congregational Church. It has been known by several names including the Bellevue Congregational Church and the Allawah Uniting Church, but since its acquisition by St George Christian School, it has been known simply as “The Chapel”.
This much-loved historic building has served the community and SGCS in various ways including as a Church, school assembly hall, classroom, offices, library and out-of-hours school care. Church services ceased in the building in 1995, when the building was decommissioned as a Church and St George Christian School acquired the property.
In 2021, work will commence on restoring The Chapel to its original state, as a stand-alone building, acknowledging our foundations and symbolising Christ and the “Church” is at the heart of our School.
DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S INTERNATIONAL AWARD
Since 2007, SGCS has offered its students the opportunity to undertake The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a voluntary program for people aged between 14 -25 years. The Award is one of personal challenge and development of leadership skills for students. Students have the opportunity to learn new skills, participate in regular activity, serve the community and develop a sense of adventure, resilience and teamwork.
Over the years, our students have hiked The Coastal Walk and explored a range of trails in the Royal National Park, Blue Mountains National Park, Brisbane Water National Park, Dharug National Park, the Morton National Park and the Yengo National Park.
Recipients of the Gold Award are invited to a special ceremony hosted by the Governor of New South Wales. The ceremony is usually held at Government House.
Mr Grahame Binns, Head of Science, led The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at SGCS during 2007-2015. Mrs Michelle Wise, Sports Teacher, led the program between 2016-2019, after which time Mr Binns took on the role again.
“In life we are all on a journey, and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award provides an opportunity for God to speak to us through his creation and the trails on which we walk.”
Mr Grahame Binns 2021
GALLIPOLI CENTENARY TOUR UNIFORM
Object: Gallipoli Centenary Tour Uniform
SGCS has been involved in many community events during its 40-year history. One of the more prominent events was the Gallipoli Centenary Tour.
In 2015, four SGCS students along with SGCS History Teacher, Mr Scott Wimble, formed part of the Gallipoli Centenary Tour Team. Mr Wimble and our students, travelled to Gallipoli, Turkey, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli.
The Gallipoli Centenary Tour Team, funded by the NSW Government, enabled 100 students and 28 supervising teachers to attend the official Anzac Day commemorative services at Gallipoli in 2015. The SGCS party was joined by students, across Australia, descendants of those who served at Gallipoli, Australian First World War widows and people who were successful in the national ballot.
The Gallipoli Centenary Tour had a lasting impact on our students and staff.
Ben Meller said of the Tour:
“The emotions you feel standing there, where the ANZACs stood 100 years ago; with the beach 20 meters behind and the cliffs 200 meters in front; imaging the gunfire and devastation; was an indescribable experience”.
The SGCS Gallipoli Centenary Tour Team included:
Mr Scott Wimble, SGCS History Head of Department
Josephine Anugerah (Year 11, 2015)
Lucinda Benn (Year 12, 2015)
Peter Binns (Year 12, 2015)
Ben Meller (Year 10, 2015)
The polo shirt is the official uniform for the Gallipoli Centenary Tour Team. Every teacher and student received a uniform of two polo shirts and two pairs of pants. The polo shirt features the NSW Government Logo alongside the official Australian Gallipoli Centenary logo. The latter sees a male digger forming the number 100.
Mr Wimble said:
"This uniform was to wear ‘only on certain days when there was going to be a media presence’. This was to ensure that the group looked homogenous and on particularly busy days, so that students who became lost in the crowd could be easily spotted by anyone looking for them. We ended up wearing the uniform much more than expected. There were many nights involving frantic washing in the hotel bathroom and drying overnight”.
Mr Wimble outlined the lasting impact of the Gallipoli Centenary Tour on his teaching:
“The trip really opened my eyes to the need for Geography to be emphasised in teaching History. After teaching about Gallipoli for over a decade, the ability to go there, and see and experience the landscape myself, made everything seem so much more real. The mind is only able to imagine so much. Since the Gallipoli Centenary Tour, I’ve made sure that when I’m teaching about Gallipoli, I spend more time immersing the students in the world that they are learning about.”
Object: Café12 Coffee Cup
Café12 reflects the essence of hospitality, a quality integral to our School. Café12 offer so much more than food and refreshments. A warm welcome is ready for anyone taking a seat or just passing through. Café12 has become a community hub, a place where staff can meet socially or for work, where parents may gather, and students and educators can meet in a relaxed setting.
Café12 opened for service in 2012. The name of the Café represents the year it opened as well as its role as a designated Year 12 student space during recess and lunch.
Object: Photo of Monroe
Monroe, a Border Collie, belonged to Mr Kevin Godfrey during his time in the role of SGCS Property and Maintenance Manager. Monroe became a beloved fixture at our School, faithfully following Mr Godfrey wherever he went.
Monroe started accompanying Mr Godfrey to School around 2007. His gentle nature ensured he was relatively comfortable around the noise and bustle of school life. He liked sitting under things like desks and pianos or would sit against a wall in a position to see Mr Godfrey at work. Monroe knew what the bell meant and at times would walk up to a spot where he knew he would get a bit of attention from the students as they moved to and from their classes. Over the years, his presence has been a source of reassurance and comfort for many students and staff.
Monroe was born in 2005 as the runt of the litter on a farm at Badgerys Creek, New South Wales. Despite coming from Black and White Border Collie parents, Monroe was described as a Wheaten Border Collie. Mr Godfrey later determined that Monroe had an EE mutation, a rare mutation which often presents in unusual pigment characteristics.
Monroe was named after the lead character in the movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ about the New Zealand motorcycle enthusiast, Bert Munro. Mr Godfey had watched the movie on the weekend of acquiring Monroe.
“The vet needed a name to be attached to the chip. As the registered owner, I hadn’t paid much attention to the credits following the movie, so although Monroe's name came from the movie character Bert Munro it ended up being spelt in the ‘Marilyn’ way”.
Monroe’s presence extended far beyond the work of the Property and Maintenance Department. He played a starring role in the 2019 SGCS promotional film ‘A Good Day’, featured on a postcard of The Chapel and regularly appeared in the SGCS annual Yearbook.
After 11 years of service, he retired from the Property and Maintenance Team, along with Mr Godfrey.
Although Monroe passed away in 2020, he is remembered with great fondness by the SGCS community.
As Mr Godfrey has said, “he will always be more than just a dog”.
Object: Wood, J. G. Rev., Boy's own book of natural history. Melbourne : George Robertson & Co., [189-?] vi, 378 p.,  leaf of plate : ill. (some col.); 20 cm.
Our Library is at the very heart of SGCS, providing a wealth of information and reading resources, literacy classes, a space for study, meetings and time for fun. The Library also serves as an important place of sanctuary for students and staff. The welcoming Library staff are always willing to give their time to others.
Over the past 40 years, under the leadership of five Teacher-Librarians, and with the support of several Library Assistants and a dedicated team of volunteers, the SGCS Library has embraced technologies moving from card catalogue and microfiche to digital technologies for Library management and learning. There have been several long-standing Library Staff members including Mrs Jennifer Fryer, Library Assistant (1988-2014), Alison Brown, Infants Teacher-Librarian (2001-2015), Mrs Barbara Wilson, Teacher-Librarian (1994-2012), and Mrs Barbara Orrock, Teacher Librarian (2013- present).
The SGCS Library was originally housed in a timber structure that extended from the rear of the Chapel. In 1988, the Library moved into a small demountable located adjacent to the Chapel, on the Church Lane side. In 1992, the Library relocated to its permanent home as part of the Stage III Building program. 2011 saw the Library refurbished and extended with additional rooms and spaces, like the Bay Room which has grown to be a much-loved place for students and the wider SGCS community.
Our Infants School maintained a dedicated Library, linking to the main SGCS Library. Prior to the development of the Sans Souci Campus in 2017 and the construction of a new Infants Library, the Library was situated in the former church manse.
This book, Boy’s Own Book of Natural History, is the oldest book in the SGCS Library. The book was donated to the SGCS Library by Frank Grayhurst on 8 August, 1986. Frank originally received it as a gift for Christmas in 1915. In the early days of the School, the Library was reliant on donations for building its collection. The SGCS Library presently holds more than 33, 466 books and print and digital resources.
The book was written by Rev. John George Wood, an English priest with a keen interest in natural history. His books were for the amateur enthusiast, and he wrote in a popular rather than scientific style. Boy’s Own Book of Natural History features profiles of a range of animals, in a chatty, observational style. (Much like you would expect from an elderly Uncle regaling you with tale of his adventures). Delightful pen and ink drawings and several colour illustrations are featured. The book was first published in 1898, and interestingly refers to Australia as New Holland.
The British Museum; Wikipedia; National Library of Australia, SGCS Yearbooks.
Object: Cuisenaire Rod
No School history collection would be complete without the inclusion of Cuisenaire Rods.
This set of Cuisenaire Rods belongs to Mrs Karen Binns, SGCS IT Teacher. She recalls using Cuisenaire Rods when teaching mathematics at Infants and Junior School during the 1980s.
Cuisenaire Rods were invented by Emile-Georges Cuisenaire (1891-1976), a Belgium, music and mathematics teacher. He developed the resource so that children could have a sensory experience with mathematics in a similar way in which students learn music through an instrument. He created the first set of rods out of wood, in the basement of his home.
The 74-piece collection contained rectangular rods of 10 lengths in 10 colours. Each colour corresponded to a different length. The smallest rod is a white 1cm cube and the longest rod is 10cm long x 1cm wide. Colours include white, red, light green, purple, yellow, dark green, black, brown, blue and orange. The original sets were stored in a cloth bag but eventually marketed in a wooden case. Cuisenaire Rods are still available today but are now produced in plastic.
Cuisenaire Rods were in use as early as 1931, but it wasn’t until 1953 that their use became widespread. Dr Caleb Gattegno, a mathematics professor at the University of London, became acquainted with Emile-Georges Cuisenaire, and after recognising the potential of the Cuisenaire Rods to teach mathematics, set about to champion their use in schooling worldwide.
Association of Teachers in Mathematics: Cuisenaire Rods: Gattegno and other films.
Gandhi, S. History of Cuisenaire Rod. 15 January 2019, https://www.calebgattegno.org/
Smithsonian. National Museum of American History. Collections: Cuisenaire Rods. https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_694608
Object: Costumes from Beauty and the Beast
These costumes represent the many Musicals that have been performed by students and staff at SGCS. Lumiere and Cogsworth are supporting characters from the Disney Musical, Beauty and the Beast. SGCS staged the lavish production in 2013 at Marana Hall, Hurstville.
The Creative Arts have always played an integral role in education at SGCS. Middle School and Senior School students have the opportunity to be involved in a biennial musical production. One of the first School Musicals was The Witness preformed in 1991. Over the years, SGCS has produced and performed the following musicals:
2017: Joseph and the Technicolored Dreamcoat
2015: High School Musical
2013: Beauty and the Beast
2011: Back to the 80s
2008: Singin’ in the Rain
2006: Seussical (based on the works of Dr Seuss)
2002: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
2000: Bow Down
Junior School also produces a biennial musical production in alternate years to the Middle School and Senior School production. These productions are often composed by our talented team of teaching staff, including the musical score and lyrics. Junior School Musical Productions include:
2020: Wherever I Go
2018: Stand Strong
2016: Giants Will Fall
2014: My Lighthouse
2012: The Parable of Sheepy
2010: Robin Good and the Mr Men
2006: The Magical Bus Trip
2005: The Untold Story of Peter Pan
2002: A Celebration of Laughter
The Middle School and Senior School Musical production for 2019 was postponed due to building works on the Hurstville Campus. Whilst in final preparations for the 2020 musical, Footloose, the production was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions on gatherings and performances.
The Junior School Musical for 2020, Wherever I Go, was also impacted by the pandemic and was unable to be performed to an audience. However, as the production was composed by teaching staff, the School was able to film the performance in the SGCS Hall, and make it available for viewing.
Object: Junior School Hockey Barrel
The SGCS hockey program for Infants and Junior School students was launched in 1997 by Mrs Megan Powys, Head of Infants (1997-2013), and Mr Rob Archer, Sports Teacher K-6.
In 2000, SGCS fielded a team to compete in the local hockey competition, now known as the Sutherland Summer Hockey Competition. As our student involvement with hockey has grown, so has the summer competition. The 2019 season saw 62 teams take part from schools across the Sutherland Shire and the St George region. During this season, two of our teams made it into the final in their respective divisions, with one team winning the match to take Gold and the other securing Bronze in the play-offs.
Over the years, several SGCS students who have continued with the sport of hockey have gone on to be selected for State and National Teams.
Key to our teams’ success has been the support of dedicated parents including the significant coaching contributions of Mr Wark, who comes with his own impressive credentials as a three times Olympian.
Object: Painting of St George North Anglican Church by Sandy Mitchell c1981
This painting depicts some of our very first students playing on the grounds of the St George North Anglican Church. St George Christian School commenced operations at the Sutherland Reformed Church in February 1981.
St George Christian School moved to Bexley during its first year of operations. The School operated out of St George North Anglican Church, now known as Christ Church Anglican Church from Term 3, 1981 to Term 3, 1983. During this time, classes were also established at Sans Souci Baptist Church and in the first term of 1983, classes also commenced at Allawah Uniting Church on Woids Avenue. During 1983, SGCS students were in Bexley, Hurstville and Sans Souci locations.
The painting is attributed to Mr Sandy Mitchell who was a volunteer Art Teacher at both St George Christian School and Shire Christian School during the 1980s. Mr Rob Archer, in his 1993 farewell speech for Mr Mitchell said:
“Hundreds of students have experienced his enthusiasm and during any lesson he would pass on his knowledge and wisdom. He would never miss an opportunity to share his faith and tell the children something about the Lord’s blessings in his life”.
Mr Paul Curtinsmith, Middle School Teacher said
“Mr Mitchell would come to School and teach us once a week. I remember he carried a tangible sense of peace about him. In addition to the art classes, he would always sketch a lead pencil portrait of a student every time he came to School too, at recess or lunchtime, and the student could take the portrait home”.
Former student, Jarro P., shared a similar recollection of his School days:
“My memories of Mr Mitchell were that he was a great art teacher – he always had plenty of time for us kids and he loved art”
Object: Admissions Book
Before the School computerised its enrolment procedures, enrolments were recorded by hand in the ‘Register of Admissions’ book.
For 20 years, student information was carefully handwritten into the columns which include details like: Surname, given name, gender, date of birth, religion, grade entered, previous school, grade left, destination and parent details.
In 2001, SGCS switched to an online school administration software, SchoolPRO, for its enrolment procedures. The last recorded handwritten entry is dated January 2001. The ‘Register of Admissions’ book is now safely locked away.
Object: Maglite Torch
School camps are always a memorable experience for students. They provide opportunities for developing independence, team building and social skills, as well as providing new experiences.
Over the years, our students have camped in the Royal National Park, the Blue Mountains, the Shoalhaven, Birrigai in the ACT, and in many other locations. In the early days of SGCS, school camps were exactly as the name suggests, camping in tents in all weather, with staff and volunteer parents undertaking the cooking and activities, and often the transport.
In 1993, our School was small enough for the entire Senior School/Secondary School to go on a school camp together. The Camp saw the students travel on a non-air conditioned bus, with no seat belts to Canberra and the Snowy Mountains. The students named this trip “Binnsy’s Beaut Bus Trip” as it was led by Mr Grahame Binns, SGCS Science Teacher.
Mrs Patricia Allum, SGCS Mathematics Teacher, recalls a memorable school camp experience in 1997:
“Sixty-nine Year 9 and Year 10 students along with teachers and volunteers camped in tents beside the Shoalhaven River. There were fire pits for cooking, pit toilets and no showers. It rained for the entire 5 days of the school camp.
Ever resourceful, the teachers cooked dinner on a burner in a derelict bus. On the second day, every item of clothing and bedding was wet, so the teachers drove to the local town and spent $500 at the laundromat to dry clothing and bedding. An incredible expense at the time but very thoughtful.
After their second night in tents, the camp owner allowed the SGCS cohort to relocate into the cabins, as another school group had cut their trip short due to the rain.
Despite the adverse conditions, they bushwalked, canoed, created a huge mudslide into the river and learnt how to have fun in any situation. The unforgettable experience was the making of these students.”
School camps in this century have been much more civilised affairs with students accommodated in permanent dwellings.
This Maglite torch is more than 25 years old. It was manufactured by Mag Instrument. Inc. in Ontario, California. The light is powered by D batteries. First manufactured in 1979, this model is still in production today.
Object: Plant Cell Model
Science has been taught at SGCS since the commencement of the School as the subject has been compulsory for all students in Years 7-10 since the 1980s.
The SGCS Science Department has been led by several teachers, most notably Mr Grahame Binns and Mrs Rosemary Ioannidis (the latter is present Science Coordinator).
Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Senior Science have been offered to Senior School students along with the subject Investigating Science which was introduced to the curriculum in 2018.
Our Year 12 students have been represented in the New South Wales Education Standards Authority HSC Distinguished Achievers Lists in various Science subjects every year in the past decade. The Science Department is known for its passionate approach to teaching and learning, with our teachers dedicated to providing a rich and engaging Science program.
Heart dissections, zoo visits, experiments and excursions have made for memorable learning. Over the years, teachers have also coordinated co-curricular activities like Science Club and the Solar Boat Group.
General classrooms were used before purpose build science laboratories were constructed as part of the Stage 1, 1986 building works. These Science labs served the School until 2021 when they were demolished as part of the Hurstville Campus Development Project.
An additional ground floor Science laboratory was opened in 2003 in a new building that housed Science on the ground floor and Drama on the 1stfloor.
As part of the Hurstville Campus Development Project, the Drama rooms were demolished and overlaid with two floors above. The Science laboratory on the ground floor continued to be in use during the construction works (testament to the hardiness of both our teachers and students).
The Hurstville Campus Development Project featured the construction of two new Science laboratories, the refurbishment of the 2003 Science laboratory and new Science preparation Rooms.
The plant cell model is used across all Year 7-10 Science classes, especially in Year 11 and 12 Biology classes. The plant cell model features the internal complexity of a general plant cell and shows the different organelles within the cell. This is one of several models used to teach Science to our students. It is helpful to show a 3-D structure, one that students can touch and take apart.
Object: SGCS Crest
The original SGCS crest featured an open Bible with a cross in the centre and a descending dove in the corner.
In 1991, a new SGCS crest was designed by the Year 12 Visual Art students to mark the 10th Anniversary of the School. This SGCS crest continues to be used today.
The crest features a shield which represents faith. The shield incorporates the Trinity, with a descending dove to represent the Holy Spirit, a cross representing Christ, and the motto Mature in God, flowing from the cross and around the shield.
“The SGCS Crest represents what the School stands for and what can be achieved by every individual entering its portals. The instruction Mature in God is a present tense imperative as well as a statement of what can be achieved through what Christ has done in death and resurrection, through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the Sovereignty of God.”
Yearbook 1991 [p.77]
Object: Apple Macintosh LC III 
This Apple Macintosh LC III was purchased for SGCS in 1993. It features a 25 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, and an 80 MB hard drive in a compact, easy-to-upgrade "pizza box" case. It presently resides in the Junior School computer laboratory.
SGCS commenced in the era of the personal computer. Computers were first introduced to Infants and Primary in 1987. Senior School classrooms received their first computers, the Intel 80486 microprocessor, in 1989.
In 1998, SGCS acquired Apple’s brightly coloured, translucent iMacs in Dalmation Blue.
The design of these iMacs was heavily influenced by the 60s hippie culture and are credited with turning around the fortunes of Apple.
Connected digital technologies made an appearance in the mid-1990s and by 2002, our Primary and Secondary Schools were digitally connected to each other.
Around 2008, SGCS underwent an enormous change in digital technologies with new servers, data storage, remote access, email and internet. More than 150 new computers were purchased, with 99 funded by the Federal Government’s National Secondary School Computer Fund. In 2009 network storage was doubled and much faster Internet access was installed. At the time, the School network serviced more than 400 computers for both students and staff.
SGCS continues to harness digital technologies for learning. Laptops were introduced to Science classes in 2009 followed by iPads in late 2010. The student’s personal laptop program commenced in 2011. In the same year, Wi-Fi was implemented to support the extended use of technologies in all classrooms. Interactive whiteboards were first introduced to Junior School in 2011, with interactive projectors for all classrooms rolled out from 2015.
At SGCS all students entering Year 9, and again at the start of Year 11, are required to purchase a new laptop for use in Senior School. The current model of laptop issued by the School, and required to be used by the students, is the Apple MacBook Pro 13” with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage.
Digital technologies were not just for the classroom. The School’s Learning Management System, Sentral was introduced in 2010.
Mr Wayne Zong was the first appointed Manager of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in 2006. Prior to that time, digital technology integration was overseen by Technologies Teachers like Mr Andrew Green and staff with a passionate interest like Mrs Karen Binns.
2010 saw the appointment of Mr Wilson Cheng, ICT Manager/Director and Mrs Karen Binns to the position of ICT Integrator.
In 2020, Mr Cheng and the ICT team faced one of their most challenging times, the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Cheng rightly predicted the impact of the global pandemic and made preparations for making remote learning possible by implementing remote management software, Zoom conferencing, and moving services to a private cloud.
During Term 2 in 2020, and in Term 3 2021, learning at SGCS was conducted almost exclusively through digital technologies due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney.
Object: Grand Piano
This K Kawai Ebony Polish Grand Piano was purchased in 2013. It represents the integral role of music in the life of SGCS. This beautiful Grand Piano resides in the SGCS Hall at our Hurstville Campus and has featured in a myriad of performances.
In unguarded moments, it is possible to find a student or staff member playing the piano during their break. But perhaps some of the most poignant times are observing a child, as they develop their musical skills, and their journey from playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to mastering Beethoven.
Music is featured in Assemblies, Chapel and at times Roll Call. Whole Staff meetings regularly feature singing and praise. Music as a subject is offered across all stages. SGCS also offers specialist music tuition programs presented by experienced music tutors. Students also have the opportunity to join our range of Bands, Ensembles and Choirs.
Whilst our youngest students benefit musically from a dedicated Specialist Music Teacher, our Junior School students also have the opportunity to join the Peripatetic Music Program.
Over the years our students have taken part in performances both on and off campus. Our Junior School Choir performed for many years in the mid2000s as part of the Easter Festival in Martin Place. The Junior School Band also competed in the Engadine Bandfest Competition since 2008.
Senior School students performed in Ovation, an evening of performances and works from CAPA and TAS students and Synergy, a collaboration of students and staff of the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). From 2014, the annual music program included Live and Unplugged, Twilight Instrumentals, HSC Showcase and the long-running, highly regarded Evening of Fine Music.
Music 1 and Music 2 are offered for the HSC. Music Extension is available to students who have already reached a high level of musical sophistication and desire to specialise in Performance, Composition or Musicology.
Our Year 12 students have been represented in the New South Wales Education Standards Authority HSC Distinguished Achievers Lists for Music 1 or Music 2, every year since 2013.
THE GOLDEN TAPESTRY
Object: The Golden Tapestry
St George Christian School was one of only 36 schools selected from across New South Wales to take part in the Golden Tapestry project. The project saw 1800 schools from across the Commonwealth creating a modular textural embroidery to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee in 2002. The project involved exhibitions across the Commonwealth, from 2003 - 2006, culminating in a final show during the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Each school contributed to a story covering a year in the life of the Commonwealth, describing different aspects of their lives, and what the children would most like to show Her Majesty the Queen, if she were to visit them.
The SGCS Golden Tapestry canvas depicted springtime, and featured self-portraits of each Infants student amidst a golden cross made of fabric. Each of the student’s heads were modelled on the actual student.
A team of diligent parents spent countless hours working on the project. Upon completion, the SGCS section of the Golden Tapestry was displayed during the Infants Christmas Concert in the foyer of the Sutherland Civic Centre.
Mrs Kerry Leech who headed up the team, said:
“This project founded many life-long friendships. We worked together, shared our lives and our love of Christ. Long after the project was completed, we continued to regularly meet together”.
Image: The Leader 7 September 2004
Object: Rusty Gate
This rusty gate belonged to one of the five houses, along Woids Avenue on the eastern side of the Chapel. The School purchased these houses during 1980-2000.
Nobody can recall which house the gate belonged to, but Mr Honor, Principal, kept the gate as a reminder that once families lived on this street and before that the Biddegal people dwelled in this area and remain the traditional custodians of the land.
Object: School Uniform
The commencement of Middle School in 2008, also saw a restructuring of Junior School and Senior School. Reflecting critical stages in the life of a child, the School created distinct communities of learning, relationship and care, with Infants (K-Year 2), Junior School (Year 3 to Year 5), Middle School (Year 6 to Year 8), and Senior School (Year 9 to Year 12).
The school uniform was changed in 2008 to reflect the restructuring. Prior to this time, the SGCS uniform was mainly blue. Young boys wore a blue shirt with navy shorts and tie; girls wore a checked blue tunic with a white Peter Pan collar and the sports uniform was a light blue polo shirt with navy shorts. In winter, girls wore a checked pinafore with a long sleeve white shirt and navy ribbon tie. Secondary female students wore a white shirt over a navy skirt. Secondary Boys wore a blue shirt and navy pants. In their senior years of schooling, the girls wore blue shirts, and the boys wore white.
The new uniform featured a summer and winter option, and the addition of a cardinal red to reflect the new structure of SGCS.
checked red and blue tunic with red piping on the Peter Pan collar.
Blue short-sleeve shirt with charcoal pants.
Year 6 -10 girls:
checked red and blue tunic with red piping and a red panel on the notched collar.
Year 6 -10 boys:
white tuck-in shirt with fine red and blue stripes and charcoal shorts.
Year 11- 12 girls:
short sleeve, white, sit-out shirt and charcoal skirt.
Year 11- 12 boys
: short sleeve, white, tuck-in shirt with fine read and blue stripe and charcoal shorts.
Charcoal tunic, white, tuck-in shirt with fine red and blue checks, with microfibre blue jacket or polar fleece vest.
long sleeve, white, tuck-in shirt with fine red and blue checks and charcoal long pants, with microfibre blue jacket or polar fleece vest. Striped blue and red tie.
Years 6-10 girls:
charcoal pinafore with a long sleeve, white shirt with fine red and blue stripes and striped school blazer.
Years 6-10 boys:
long sleeve, white, tuck-in shirt with fine red and blue stripes and charcoal shorts/long pants, and striped school blazer or woollen jumper with blue tie.
Year 11- 12 girls:
long sleeve, white, sit-out shirt and charcoal skirt with school blazer or woollen jumper (introduction of long charcoal pants in 2019).
Year 11- 12 boys:
long sleeve, white tuck-in shirt, charcoal long pants, and striped school blazer or woollen jumper with cardinal red tie.
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS SHED
Object: Junior School Sports Shed
It is a long time since this shed belonged to a homeowner. It once was part of the property of 66 Bellevue Parade, before it was leased to the School and finally purchased in 1998. The shed once served as the Wood Technology Room, but for as long as most people can recall, it has been the Junior School’s Sports Shed.
This little brick building, with its tin roof, has serviced the School well. Providing shade for students during recess and lunch, a wall to kick a ball against, a meeting place, and of course as a storage for sports equipment. The Sports Shed once displayed a mural, on its exterior side wall, with a fruits of the spirit theme. This mural was replaced in 2012 with a mural created by Year 10 Visual Arts students.
As part of the Hurstville Campus Development Project, the Sports Shed will be demolished to make way for new playground areas, and the new entrance to the Atrium Building.
Object: Yearbook photo
The first SGCS Yearbook was published in 1989. Whilst the black and white photocopied publication focused predominantly on Year 12 students, it also included a Principal’s Report, teacher quotes, drawings, student profiles and interestingly the home address of Year 12 students.
Over the years, the Yearbook has grown from a small student-led, black and white publication of under 45 pages to a colour production of 200 pages, produced professionally by a team of staff members.
From 2009, the Yearbook was produced in colour, documenting a year in the life of the SGCS. The Yearbooks featured reports and photographs of activities, events, and learning, as well as student profiles, executive reports, sporting fixtures and team photos.
The Yearbooks are not only a treasured reminder of the year in profile, they are an important record of the history of our School.
INFANTS BOOK PARADE
Object: Millie the Dinosaur Costume
The Children’s Book Council of Australia has presented Book Week since 1945.
One of SGCS’s early Yearbooks published in 1992, features the annual Infants Book Parade with students dressed as pirates, clowns, ballerinas and cowboys, and superheros whilst the teachers are dressed as large-scale books.
Over the years, the costumes have become more elaborate as children (and their parents) vie for the awards. For many years, the Book Parade featured memorable large costumes including giant lamingtons, huge carrots, colossal crayons, oversized pigeons, chickens and unicorns, and a child enclosed in a portable bed.
In 2017, the Infants Book Parade followed the opening of the new Infants Campus Building. The guest judge for the Book Parade was Mrs Linda Hurley, a former teacher at SGCS Infants and wife of the then Governor of New South Wales. Mrs Hurley also opened the new Infants Campus Building.
Due to the global pandemic, the 2020 Infants Book Parade was reimagined as a Book Character Day as COVID-19 restrictions prevented parents on campus. In keeping with the traditional Book Parade, it too was a day of celebration, colour, creativity and books.
This 2019 costume is based on the character, Millie the dinosaur in the children’s book, Millie's Special Something by Tania Cox and David Miller. The costume was created by the Chen family and worn by Jonathan Chen when he was in Year 1. The mix of colour, creativity and whimsy perfectly represents the many years of our annual Infants Book Parade.
INFANTS BUILDING PLAQUE
Object: Infants Building Plaque
This plaque represents a very special moment in the history of St George Christian School.
There have been several large-scale building developments in the history of St George Christian School. Most have been acknowledged with a plaque dedicated to the building and acknowledging financial contribution from the Australian Government as part of their Investing in our Schools Programme (2005) or the Building the Education Revolution (BER) Programme.
However, the plaque on our Infants Campus Building bears no acknowledgement, as the entire project was funded within the SGCS community.
Mrs Linda Hurley, a former teacher at SGCS Infants, was invited to open the new campus building. She just so happened to be the wife of the New South Wales Governor. In the lead up to the opening, the School received word that His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, would also be in attendance.
It made for a very special day.
The plaque features a waratah, the official floral emblem of New South Wales, and bears the following notice.
In the presence of
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d)
Governor of New South Wales
St George Christian School Infants Campus Building
Officially opened by Mrs Linda Hurley
A former teacher of this School
Tuesday 22 August 2017
The plaque was manufactured in stainless steel with the waratah design laser cut by Urban Design Systems. The text was engraved by Jordan Signs Sydney.
ONE DOLLAR NOTE
Object: Framed one dollar note
This framed $1 note is a record of the first donation to the SGCS Building Fund. It has been stored in our archives. Although we are unsure who the note belonged to, we are ever thankful for the many expressions of support we receive from parents, grandparents, friends, staff and alumni.
In 1984, the $1 coin replaced the $1 note, three years after our School commenced.
The Bible verse at the base of the frame is from Today's English Version (TEV). This translation of the Bible was first published in 1976 by the American Bible Society and was eventually renamed as the Good News Translation (GNT). Source: BibleGateway.
If you are eager to give, God will accept your gift on the basis of what you have to give, not on what you haven’t.
2 Corinthians 8:12 (TEV)
Object: First Aid Kit
This first aid kit represents the SGCS staff who are not involved in teaching yet play an essential role in School life. Counsellors, Registrar, Office Manager, Receptionists, Teacher’s Aides, Café Assistant, Purchasing Officer, Property Manager, ICT Support and Careers Adviser are just some of the roles which ensure the smooth operation of SGCS. Some work alongside teachers whilst others work behind the scenes.
The metal box containing the first aid kit belongs to our Junior School. It served the School community for many years before being replaced with a modern version.
INFANTS TIMBER BRIDGE
Object: Infants Timber Bridge
For close to 20 years, a timber bridge sat in the playground of the Sans Souci Campus, on the corner of Rocky Point Road and Hillview Street.
Constructed of timber poles with a deck, handrails, and stairs either side, it didn’t lead anywhere except to the children’s imagination.
The bridge was a platform for children to create all kinds of imaginary games like Billy Goat Gruff. They pretended the bridge was a boat that they could fish off or be a pirate ruling the seas. Sometimes the bridge served as a pathway to a magical kingdom.
It was often the first thing they rushed to play on in the morning and during lunchtime. The height of the bridge gave the students a different perspective of their playground.
The bridge was installed in the early 2000s by Mr Lindsay Campbell, (former SGCS Property Manager 1998-2001). It was decommissioned with the redevelopment of the Sans Souci Campus in 2017. It remains a special memory to those who attended Infants during this time.
SGCS SCHOOL CAPTAINS
Object: School Captain Badges
SGCS Students have many opportunities to gain and develop leadership skills. From 1981-2007 student leadership roles were undertaken by elected Prefects. Over the years, the Prefects have served the community through leading prayers and devotions, mentoring, fundraising, and assisting with sports and School operations like Open Day.
2007 saw the introduction of School Captains, the Student Representative Council and House Leaders for Sport.
From 2020, our Year 12 School Captains and Prefects are each assigned a Portfolio to focus on during their time in office. The Portfolios include: Arts, Christian Growth, Community, Sports and Study and Learning.
Year 11 students self-nominate for the role and then undergo a rigorous selection process to be considered for School Captain.
Only 28 students have been awarded the honour of School Captain. Upon their induction they receive a badge. The 28 SGCS School Captains are listed below.
Year Male Female
2007-2008 Luke Murray Lisa Fogarty
2009 Nathan Zhao Renee Meller
2010 Jonathan Flick Bekky Keong
2011 Joshua Lee Jaala Kinmond
2012 Matthew Fleming Danielle Connon
2013 Timothy Geldard Joanna Axiotis
2014 Alexander Benn Suzannah Zhao
2015 James Douglas Charlotte Wrench
2016 Jacob Madden Carise Ong
2017 Benjamin Meller Caroline Edwards
2018 Joshua Madden Isabella Pfahlert
2019 Bill Scott Imogen Croucher
2020 Daniel Tait Beth Jacobs
2021 Jacob Clark Ain Lustre
Object: Kerryn Wilson’s Year 10 Student 2000 Diary
This lovely piece of personal memorabilia captures a year in the life of student Kerryn Wilson. She decorated her Student Diary with quirky pictures cut from magazines and bar codes from CD purchases of bands like Jebediah, Grinspoon and Hole. The SGCS crest in gold is just visible beneath the decorations.
Like any diary, it is full of notable personal occasions like birthdays, a Grinspoon concert, a trip to America, as well as School events like sporting carnivals, work experience, information nights, exams, and the date for the former School Certificate.
It also shows the timetable for odd and even weeks when SGCS operated on a 5-Period day plus a Period 0 before the commencement of school.
The sleeve pocket at the back contains a unique snapshot of the personal preference of a 16-year-old; a Homebake flier, a favourite Psalm, a Dukes of Hazzard’s card, a guitar pic, birthday craft from a niece and photos of friends. Littered between the pages are memorable quotes, Bible verses, and notes to self to make music tapes or bring cake.
The diary reflects a joyous portrait of student life.
Object: Middle School Uniforms
In 2008, SGCS launched their new School structure with the commencement of Middle School. Middle School was designed to specifically meet the developmental needs of students in Years 6, 7, and 8 and offer a new learning environment for this age group.
Year 6 to Year 8 students are allocated a Home Room Teacher who ensures that they are known and nurtured. Specialist subject teachers, co-curricular programs, and excellence and support programs were, and continue to be, hallmarks of Middle School.
A dedicated Middle School building was constructed in 2008 and opened during Term 3. 2009 saw the complete implementation of Middle School with the inclusion of Year 8.
The introduction of Middle School saw the restructuring of Junior School and Senior School. Junior School focuses on Year 3 to Year 5 and Senior School on Year 9 to Year 12.
Mrs Jeannie Donsworth has been the Head of Middle School since its inception. In 2021, as part of the Hurstville Campus Development Project, Middle School relocated to a new campus building.
Object: Outrigger Canoe (35cmL x 20cmW)
This model outrigger canoe represents the 10 years of SGCS mission to Vanuatu. The model was gifted from the Ban Ban School to Mr Rob Archer, SGCS Sports Teacher K-6. Mr Archer participated in three Mission Trips to Vanuatu in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
When asked about the object, Mr Archer replied, “This little outrigger is special as it was a gift but also because Ban Ban school was the original school SGCS partnered with in Santo and we saw amazing growth in that school over the years. It was a privilege to visit Vanuatu and meet the people and work along-side them for the benefit of their local community. Building relationships was rewarding and sharing a common relationship in Christ built the bond between us.
Between 2009 to 2019, SGCS sent teams of students, staff and parents, led by Mr Matthew Tomlin and Mr Paul Curtinsmith, on annual mission trips to Vanuatu where participants had the opportunity to actively engage and assist those with physical and spiritual needs. The 11 day mission consisted of ministry, programs and practical help to local primary and high schools as well as children with disabilities.
The annual mission trip was a formative experience for students, with many students expressing that “the mission trip was life-changing”. The Vanuatu Mission enjoyed generous support from the SGCS community, through parental initiatives and events like the biennial Vanuatu Community Fundraising Dinner and the annual V-Day celebrations across the two campuses.
LEARNING TO LEARN
Object: Memory and the Brain
The Learning to Learn (L2L) commenced in 2009 with our inaugural Middle School Year 8 class. It is a learning program that is foundational to Middle School and sees students explicitly taught about the demands of learning and how our beliefs about learning and our capability to manage the emotions involved, impact the learning process.
Students learn about the “Habits of Mind” of effective learners, practising these habits in the classroom across all Key Learning Areas. The second stage of L2L sees Year 8 students work on an independent research task in their chosen area of interest. It is comprised of three key elements: a written folio, a keynote presentation, and a product. The L2L program culminates in students presenting their work to a panel of parents and peers in a special event known as Platform8.
Platform8 showcases an immersive depth of research into a diverse range of issues that are of interest to Year 8. For example in 2019 topics included the evolution of Hip Hop, overpopulation, anxiety, coeliac disease, artificial intelligence, road rules, driverless cars, and colonising Mars.
This image of a model of a brain represents the Middle School Learning to Learn program (L2L). It was created by Nicholas Toskas in 2020. For his L2L independent research task, Nicholas investigated how the brain stores memory.