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Future Minds events

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Check out what Future Minds students have been up to below:

Nanogirl talk
Students from Marsden attended a talk by Nano girl (Dr Michelle Dickinson) about the wonders of Nano technology. The girls really enjoyed her presentation .If you are interested in seeing her in action, check out this wonderful TED talk which showcases her skills. 

Creative writing workshops
 Faith Wilson, who has completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters has completed the writing workshops with students who are interested in improving their creative writing skills. The workshops were a great success, the students commenting that, "Faith was very encouraging and made me feel like I could confidently share my writing. She was so positive and is a great role model who I look up to. She lead by example but was so open to everyone's passions and unique style." Their published work is on the new Marsden English department website.

Computing Workshops
Josh Bailey from Google has worked with students to teach them about using Big Data and distributed computing. The girls really enjoyed the sessions.

Carter Observatory visit
On the evening of the 11th November, a small group of Future Minds students, accompanied by Ms Radich attended a physics lecture at the Carter  Observatory. Over the evening there were two speakers, the first of which was David Anastasi who discussed the four laws of thermodynamics. He explained these laws through the demonstration of several experiments which exhibited how energy can be transferred between different objects and how it can be changed into different forms. The second speaker, Kent Hogan spoke to us about different ways in which we can view the universe and he explained Hubble’s law and how it can be applied in modern science. It was an intriguing trip which inspired us all and was a great experience.

Tournament of Minds
Three teams competed in the Regional Tournament of Minds on Saturday 5th August.  The students had a great day performing their challenges. Congratulations to the team who came second and gained honours. Read the report here.

TED Tuesdays
Future Minds students are meeting every Tuesday lunchtime in Room 19 to watch inspiring TED talks and have discussions about the ideas afterwards. So far the favourite has been the TED talk from Dr Ken Robinson about the relationship between schools and creativity.

Book Club
Future Minds students have started their very own book club. Meetings occur in the library every fortnight. The link to their Good Reads page is here

Mind Lab
Future Minds students were fortunate to attend a group outing to the Mind Lab to explore the use of technology. 
Bella explains her experience here.
Epro8 challenge
In conjunction with the Science Department, teams of students entered the Erpo8 challenge. Genevieve describes the experience here.
Lecture on Human evolution

On Tuesday the 15th of September, Miss Radich and seven girls from Marsden attended a lecture from the “Dinosaurs to DNA” series, which was titled "When Neanderthals and Modern Humans met". The lecture was organised by the Allan Wilson Centre and the featured speaker was Professor Tom Higham, a New Zealand scientist, currently working at the University of Oxford. The lecture covered aspects of human evolution from 60,000-30,000 years ago, when Anatomically Modern Humans, our ancestors, left Africa and started to live on different continents and he covered how DNA and genetics plays an important part in learning more about where we have come from. He looked at how Neanderthals and Modern Humans actually interbred and how we can see certain genes that come from Neanderthals; for example, the disease Lupus, comes from Neanderthals. He also looked at how humans were the only species of these creatures that survived and when and where different colonies of creatures died out around the world. The professor also shared information on the new discovery of Denisovans. Scientists in the Denisova Cave, Russia, were able to unearth a completely new species, all from a tiny section of a finger bone from an eight or nine year old female Denisovan. Overall, the lecture was a very interesting experience, with everybody taking away new knowledge and learning about the world of Genetics and its role in new scientific finds.
- Sarah Philip-Wright

Bird Evolution Lecture
Students attended a lecture on Bird Evolution which explained how the genomes of birds, comprised of over one billion DNA letters and thousands of genes, bear traces of their dinosaur ancestry. Professor Edwards who is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and curator of the ornithology collection in Harvard’s Museum of comparative Zoology, delivered the talk. Students enjoyed the lecture and had some interesting discussions afterwards.

Alan Turing Lecture
Future Minds students were given the opportunity to attend a public lecture on the works of Alan Turing, whose work has recently received large amounts of public attention due to the release of ‘The Imitation Game’.

The lecture was given by Rod Downing, a highly respected New Zealand mathematician and professor at Victoria University, and mostly covered the theory behind Turing Machines, as well as a brief history of ciphers and the Enigma Machine. Most of the group found the latter to be a more graspable topic, but the former was certainly interesting, and the questions that the lecture left us with were the sort that lead to new lines of inquiry and interest, and broaden our thinking.

In all, the trip was a wonderful success, and those of us who went found the experience enjoyable and thought-provoking, and definitely something we were glad to have done.       - Anna Featherstone-Wright