Rock Challenge

by Lara Beale and Keely Burton

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Rock Challenge is a national event inviting schools to experience the adrenaline of performance by creating an 8 minute piece of dance and drama based on a theme which they can perform in a professional theatre. Schools are judged on elements including their set design, costume, soundtrack, hair and make-up designs along with the choreography and performance of the piece.

One great thing about Durrington school is that everyone that auditions gets a part, no matter what standard you are, we even won the award for inclusion in the competition. Some schools are picky on who they choose, but not Durrington, everyone has a chance to shine in the show.

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More than 80 of Durrington’s students participated in this annual event with many more students helping out with things like stage crew, costumes, hair & make up and much more! The whole school were very supportive and each and every person involved (including teachers) gave 110% into this fantastic rock challenge piece to make it the best it can possibly be.

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Overall, Durrington High School earned an impressive fifth place in the 2017 Rock Challenge Southern Premier Final at Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday.

Students performed Barnbow Canaries, about an explosion at a munitions factory in 1916 that caused one of the UK’s largest loss of female life in World War One. They won the coveted award for positive inclusion plus an astonishing eight awards for excellence in choreography, performance skill, stage use, set design, costuming character, visual enhancement, entertainment and even lighting!

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Crack The Code Challenge – STEM

Stephanie Muggeridge

On Friday 28th April 2017, some of us Year 9 students found ourselves at Worthing College for a Crack The Code challenge with STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). The day was put on by Chichester University and STEM. We started the day with a presentation from a woman who was a Nuclear Fusion Scientist. She told us how she got to the position she is at now and went into a lot of detail on how Nuclear Fusion works and how it could help with the World’s need for sustainable energy. She said she really enjoyed what she did and the fact that she was helping out the world with its energy problem for the future.

There were about 100 students at the event, the schools were put into groups and we went to our first task of the day. We were lead out to a large white dome shaped tent that was being held up by air being blown into it.

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Inside we had tasks we had to do to get the code to crack the safe. We were put into teams of 4 and then told we could do the tasks in any order but we could only do one task at a time. Every time we completed a task, we were given a number. First we had to build a tower made out of spaghetti and marshmallows around 1 metre high, then we had to sit back to back in pairs and create a Lego car, 2 students said the instructions, 2 had to build, and finally, we had to do a task that involves using a periodic table. Our team almost won this section but at least we tried our best, the winners though, were the other Durrington team 🙂

The next task was programing in the computer room, we used a piece of software called Game Maker Studio 2. We had tasks we had to do to create a character that could move around the screen with keyboard commands and then your mouse dictated which way the character would face. It looks difficult on the screen, but once it is explained how it works, it was actually quite easy. Everyone managed to create a moving character and add a background. I loved this session as the programming was very easy to understand and we also created a background for our character to move about in. It was fantastic by the way that Python (the programing type we used) was easy to understand and I felt I learned something new.

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After the computing session we then went to the science section where we learned about DNA and how different problems in health can be passed down from generation to generation. We looked into how they tested DNA and then got to do some testing ourselves. We were shown what do first by the students from the College and University and then got to try it ourselves. I like the way how we were able to do hands on activities in this session as it helps me understand how certain illnesses can be tested through the technique.

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During lunch we had a chance to walk around the college and see how college life looked for the students. We went into 2 different cafes that had some very nice hot food and even had a small shop in there as well, a bit like a mini express Tesco. There was a lot of classrooms that were open planned and had no walls, as we walked down the long corridors, you could actually hear the lessons. The students seemed to be enjoying the lessons which did not really have many people in each class. I found that that was a brilliant idea to have an open spaced classroom as you can still move about freely around the area without feeling trapped.

After lunch we had the Math session. We looked into codes that were used from as far back as Roman times and had a go at breaking the codes. We then looked at the enigma code from the world war and created our own machine with the aid of some printed numbers and lines on a paper and a Pringles tube. The code is actually easy to follow but very effective as not knowing which line went where would make it almost impossible to work out. I felt this was challenging as it was hard to put all the letters in line with the colored lines and to follow them as well.

Finally, at the end of the day we were given our prizes for winning the crack the code challenge and had that chance to grab ourselves some freebies to remind us of the day we had. It wasn’t just water bottles, there were lots of goodies inside the bottles as well. We also got to meet 2 MPs who were there for the day as well and would answer any questions people had. My favourite part of the day was when we did the computing session with the Game Maker app because not only was I finding it interesting on how the programming worked, but we were given the chance to do it ourselves and I found quite interesting as it helps people to understand more if they did the programming themselves.

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Computing Y7

Skye and Chloe

In computing this term we have been learning about the process to make a game. We started off by planning our game and learning about target audience and what made a game a good game. We then started to learn about flow charts and how they help a programmer plan what they need to do and how they’re going to do it. We used a piece of software called Flowol.

In this program you can program traffic lights, a baby mobile, a zebra crossing, a light house and the big wheel.

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For our last assessment we had to program a train set, by using flow charts. The test was actually good fun as you had to make the train start and stop, turn on lights in a tunnel, make red lights flash when train came near and drop the barrier when going over the crossing.

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This half term we are using Kodu, where you can create your own world and make your own game. You can make different worlds and levels (you can have more than one level which is cool).

We have had to plan and design it, program it and decorate it however we like. Some of us have done a pick up a coin or apple game and some of us a racing game. To make the game harder we have added enemies into the game and a timer. If the timer gets to 0 the game is over. There are so many different objects in Kodu that nobodies Kodu game looks the same. All of these games have been created by programming building up different blocks as a process to create an end product or output.

Next lesson we will be getting the chance to test each other’s games, we are really looking forward to seeing how well people manage to play our game and get feedback for what we could do to improve our game and appeal to a wider target audience.

Kodu is free, so if you want to try it out go to https://www.kodugamelab.com/ to download a copy.

Computing

By Beth Humphrey and Saffron Foley

This term we have been working on ‘The Show’, as part of this we have had to make a logo, a banner and a website and now we are currently making a seat booking system for a theatre production or show.  We used Photoshop to create our logo and banner. This allowed us to review and improve as the file could be changed if it needed to be, when completed we then saved the files as a jpg or gif file.  If we saved it as a gif file it was because the image was animated and this is the way you save an animated file to ensure it moves when you want it to.

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Here is an animated banner we made, the letters come up on the banner as it goes through the scenes and some of the stars grow bigger and smaller

The booking system is where customers can choose what seats they want to purchase. In the beginning we were confused about the basics of booking systems, but now we understand some of the more complicated uses and we had to think about different pricing strategies for different aged customers.

Scratch is known best for playing games but we have used it for business like reasons. We have used scratch because it is a very good program to use when you want to show something visual on the screen. Below is the finished program for a booking system.

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You basically drop blocks onto the screen which are colour coded depending on what the command does, our favorite is the character at the beginning who asks how many tickets do you want to buy.

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Our teacher Mr Paul, mentioned to us in the lesson that when we leave the school and start our own business, we will be able to use these skills to help with our business. I can see that knowing how to make logos and websites will be great as we will not have to pay someone to do it meaning more money for pizza for us!

Science in STEM week

Lara BEALE and Keely BURTON

This week we are blogging about our science class with Mr. Canavan. Due to it being STEM week (science technology engineering and maths) we have been having a week of building a little car in groups.

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In science we have all been working hard to build unique and moving mini cars. The objective of this was to see which car could go farthest down the court with a Barbie doll in it.

In our class we had a wide range of ideas for cars, some being a watering can for the build, a corn flakes box and one group even decided to try using a coke and mentos for the power!

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By the end of the week we had a competition to test out our cars and, as a matter of fact, ours won! We were very proud and really enjoyed STEM week as a whole as we did things like this in other subjects like, maths, computing and geography. We can’t wait for it to come around again next year.

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However, in a normal science lesson we love both practical and academic work as our teacher makes it interesting as we have massive class discussions, which is where Sir answers all the questions we have. We feel that science is a very difficult and challenging subject which really tests us to our limits, but we also think it is a quite creative subject where you can explore different things to an extent where only your imagination can take you. 

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In our overall opinion science is an interesting class which we really enjoy leaning about and we both can’t wait to study it over the next few years!

Computing – Stem Week

blog1This week in computing we got to use the micro:bit computers. These are tiny little computers that have 2 buttons on them and some LED lights that light up. Our first task was to create a program that could make the micro:bit make a smiley face when button a was pressed and a sad face when button b was pressed. Once we created the program, it could then be down loaded to the micro:bit that was attached to our computers.

Blog 2The next task was to create a compass, the micro:bit has a compass built in and was able to work out which way was north. We had to make the code that told the micro:bit what angle was north, east south and west. Some of us, also managed to make it show North East, South East, South West and North West.

 

Once we did this, we were allowed to go online to the micro:bit website and choose our own program to code. Some of us chose to make a rock paper scissors game where you shake the micro:bit and it chose your shape to show at random, a few students also made a score system that let you know how many points you had.

On Thursday we got to show parents and guests to the school what we had been doing in the STEM classes. One of the stands was about our computing lessons, we had pictures showing students working, there were students programming and we had a table full of working micro:bits that were attached to battery packs which students had programmed.

Most people liked the “rock paper scissor” game, the compass feature and finally the love meter where you got to see how much two people loved each other, this gave a random answer, but was still good fun.

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We can’t wait to this again, it has been a really good fun week.