Burnie High School

Solo student scientist in search of success


HAVING FUNGI:  Burnie High School grade 8 student Maeve Grieve is a finalist in the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.  Picture:  Grant Wells, The Advocate. 

A BUDDING young scientist from Burnie High has impressed judges with her science, investigation and research skills.

Maeve Grieve, a grade 8 student, has been named as a finalist for the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards.

Maeve said she entered the same project into the UTAS Science Investigation Awards and won the Best Environment prize and then decided to adjust her work to tailor it to suit the BHP awards.

She is no newcomer to science, having previously won other local and state science awards, the same project received an award at the Tasmanian Science Talent Search.

The grade 8 student said she conducted her own research in order to complete her investigation which involved using fungi isolates to remediate heavy metals from the environment. 

"What happens when the remediation happens is the organisms use contaminants as a food source.  When I looked at how they grew I could determine whether that process was ocurring - some didn't grow at all because the contamination level was too high and some thrived completely and grew from the edge of the petri dish," she said.

"I've always been really interested in the environment and these particular subjects are really important to the North-West Coast," she said. 

She said winning a trip to the US would be an amazing experience and one to add to her resume.  Burnie High Science Leader Simone Summers said she was thrilled to hear that Maeve had been named as a finalist but she would face tough competition, going up against more senior applicants. "Her investigation was really interesting," she said.  "It's not something we teach in school so she has gone off on her own bat and has been very proactive."

Story by Rachel Cocard, The Advocate.

Writing a path to battlefields


PLAQUE:  Amy Hicks of Burnie High wrote about how battles on the Western Front ought to be commemorated.  Picture:  Stuart Wilson, The Advocate.

Year 9 history students will reflect on the Western Front

The trials and horror of war were a serious eye-opener for two North-West students who have been awarded the Frank MacDonald Prize for 2015.

Caitlin Argent of Devonport High and Amy Hicks of Burnie High were among six winners of the annual prize announced this week by Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff.

The Frank MacDonald Prize was established to honour Tasmania's last surviving World War I veteran, who lived at Ulverstone before his death in 2003.

For Amy it was a chance to learn more about a period of history she knew little about.

"I learned a lot about how real it was and how tortuous it was for the soldiers," Miss Hicks said. 

"In one campaign 500 soldiers went into a battle and at roll call only 43 returned."

She said the opportunity to travel overseas  with five other young Tasmanians was fantastic.

"The trip can only help to get us further into World War I and I have probably only learned a third of what I might so far."

Caitlin Argent began writing the essay thinking that winning was really only a fantasy.

"It was something I didn't really think would happen, but it's such a privilege to be chosen," Miss Argent said.

She said she was amazed by the impact the war had on Tasmania and Australia, including the population and workforce and then the ongoing psychological problems for veterans.

"It was quite amazing to learn about the impact on Australia and I even discovered some family ties through great-great uncles who went to war."

Mr Rockliff said the Government was dedicated to preserving the memory of current and ex-service men and women who had fought to protect our freedom, values and way of life.

"The horror and tragedy of war is a difficult, but no less important  subject to fully understand the foundations of the society in which we currently live," Mr Rockliff said.

The prize is open to Tasmanian Year 9 students from government and non-government schools, as well as home-schooled students in the same year level.

The remaining winners for 2015 are from Ogilvie High, St Mary's College, Sacred Heart College and Taroona High.  They will be accompanied by teacher's Emma Jenkins from St Patrick's College and Karen Pape from Sacred Heart and Graham Deacon from the RSL.

Story by Luke Sayer, The Advocate.

A taste of things to come


POT LUCK:  Burnie High School students ham it up with chef Ben Milbourne after filming of an episode of his cooking show, Ben's Menu, at the school.  Picture:  Naomi Fenton, Produce to the People. 

Burnie High School students will become celebrities today as they fine-tune their culinary skills in front of half a million viewers. 

Former MasterChef contestant Ben Milbourne filmed an episode of Network Ten's Ben's Menu at the school in July.

Several lucky students were selected to take part in the full day of filming.

Budding young hospitality workers and cameramen received first hand experience of their dream careers.

Louis Groves, 15, aspires to work behind a camera. 

"It was such a cool experience.  We normally use $400 worth of equipment and we were working with a $280,000 camera," Mr Groves said. 

The year nine students picked a selection of produce from their farm at the school and then prepared it in the school's kitchen.

Mr Milbourne provided each student with one-on-one support during their cooking lesson.

Fifteen-year-old Jaz Bragg said the vegetables she picked, cooked and prepared tasted delicious. 

"It was a very nerve-wracking experience," she said.

"I will be really cool to see how a full day of filming comes together in a 30 minute episode."

Burnie High works in conjunction with Produce to the People (PTTP) on two acres of land behind the school.

PTTP founder Penelope Dodd said the program ensured the most vulnerable people had access to fresh produce.

"The more produce we can get our hands on, the better it is for the community," Ms Dodd said.

Mr Milbourne said the relationship between the school and Produce to the People was an example of the strong community spirit.

"Burnie High School has a great kitchen, so once we had our produce we held a cooking class.  The students put together dishes they had come up with which showcases the produce from the farm," Mr Milbourne said.

"It's also great coverage for the school and the program; it reaffirms the idea of charity and community solutions solving community problems."

Story by Rachel Cocard, The Advocate.

Oliver outshines all in state English test

TOP AWARD:  Burnie High School student Oliver Fryett leads the state in the UNSW-administered ICAS English test.  Picture:  Grant Wells, The Advocate. 

Burnie High School student Oliver Fryett had a big surprise when he arrived at school yesterday.

An academic all-rounder, Oliver went to school to the news that he was the top performing student in Tasmania for the UNSW-administered ICAS English test. 

Read the full story on The Advocate website

Story by Baz Ruddick, The Advocate.


Outdoor Movie Night

Students' studies come alive


SCIENCE STUDIES:  Burnie High School students Laura Smith (grade 8) and Riley Kirkland (grade 9) will be taking part in BioBlitz in the Tarkine Forest with Paul O'Halloran.  Picture:  Grant Wells, The Advocate.

Working with nationally recognised scientists, 30 students from Burnie High School will get a chance to participate in citizen science in the Tarkine forest next week.

The students from grade 7-10, were selected for their excellence in the Scientific Investigation Awards earlier this year, senior science teacher Simone Summers said.

The "BioBlitz" will provide students the chance to use the latest scientific technology to assist scientists find and classify species at Dempster Plains in the Tarkine.

The students will rotate through three groups and find animal tracks, spot bats and mammals with camera traps and identify footprints and tracks of invertebrates and birds.

"It is a great opportunity for school and kids," former Greens member for Braddon and teacher Paul O'Halloran, who organised the school participation, said. 

"We are really lucky to have so much natural history in such a small area," Mr O'Halloran said.

"And kids flourish in the outdoor learning environment."

The whole day would help students improve their scientific literacy and open students to the job opportunities in the scientific field.

Laura Smith is a grade eight student and is passionate about biology.

Tracking animals in the wild will be an "eye-opener," she said.

The excursion would be her first opportunity to visit the Tarkine and she looks forward to enjoying the scenery of the Tarkine and learning all about it she said.  Riley Kirkland, a grade nine student, has dissected a heart and an eye in science class, but never had the chance to track animals.

He likes anything to do with science and maths and he said he will be fascinated to use the trap technology and to find out about animals in the Tarkine.

The Tarkine is home to a number of endemic species - flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world but Tasmania.

The four-day Bio Blitz is funded by the Bob Brown Foundation and aims to deepen the scientific data on the Tarkine.

  • Tarkine BioBlitz will run from Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22.  For more information on the BioBlitz or to sign up to get involved contact Jenny Weber, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Story by Lucy Swinnen, The Advocate.


Ruth Forrest MLC Speech - Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves


Read the full speech click here.  

To view the video click on the tab in the menu above. 

Speech courtesy of Hon Ruth Forrest MLC, Independent Member for Murchison, Parliament of Tasmania



Students master chef tasks

A Burnie High School student cooks with celebrity chef, Ben Milbourne. 

Excited Burnie High School students have enjoyed a fascinating and fun insight into TV food show production.

In conjuntion with local food charity organisation Produce to the People, the Tasmanian students have assisted in producing an episode of popular Network Ten show Ben's Menu, starring former MasterChef Australia favourite, Ben Milbourne. 

Read the full story from Australian Teacher, November 2015 issue, click here.

Story and image courtesy of Australian Teacher, November 2015 issue.

Students steal show in Ali Baba musical

CUTTING EDGE:  Kaisey Maclaine-Cross, left, with Brianna Clarke and Rebekah Diprose at a rehearsal for the Burnie High School production of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.  Picture:  Grant Wells, The Advocate.

Burnie High School's musical comedy, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, is a hit and a hoot.

Literally, hundreds of students, staff, parents and friends were involved in Ali Baba - on and off stage - and they have every reason to be proud of the high quality of their work.  There was a well-deserved buzz of excitement and appreciation at Saturday evening's performance of this terrific musical.

Read the full story on The Advocate website.

Review by Sid Sidebottom

Careers expo opens up dairy industry


FUTURE PLANNING:  Charlotte Austin-Lund and Connor Bracken consider a future in the dairy industry. Picture:  Rachel Cocard, The Advocate.

Burnie High School student Charlotte Austin-Lund said she was surprised to hear that there was more to the dairy industry than just milking cows.

The year nine student will be one of 400 students to attend a DairyTas careers expo in Burnie today.

The 15-year-old said she was thinking about a future in sales or adminstration.

Year nine Team Leader Mathew Smart said the expo would provide pathways to students who were unsure about what they would do with their future.

"They often have a preconceived notion about the dairy industry, so it's great for them to see all of the options that the dairy industry can provide," Mr Smart said.

Year nine student Connor Bracken said he was interested to see the variety of careers available.

"It will be good to have a taste of what is out there," Connor said.

He said he didn't like cows and would prefer to work in the administration side of farming.

Twenty-five companies and organisations will showcase opportunities and careers in the dairy industries.

The expo will have a focus on schools but will be open to the general public later in the afternoon.

DairyTas executive officer Mark Smith said the expo was about providing the community and young people with information and a range of opportunities available within the dairy industry from farm through to market.

"The North-West region is the engine room of the state's dairy industry and we want more people to understand the wealth of training, job and career options that it presents," Mr Smith said. 

Story by Rachel Cocard, The Advocate.


Science Investigation Awards 2015

Best Investigation Award (grades 9 and 10) Amy Hicks.

YOUNG scientists from across the Coast have again amazed judges at the University of Tasmania's Science Investigation Awards.

The best young minds from 14 schools across the region converged on the Cradle Coast campus yesterday to show off months of work, which chief judge Anna Paice said was again of very high quality.

"What I am noticing is it is becoming more responsive to real-life applications for their science," Ms Paice said.

"They are starting to think about the problems they see in the media and responding rather than just finding a problem in a science textbook and reproducing it."

This was reflected in the winners of the two major awards at the event, which boasted prizes valued at $13,000 this year.

Read the full story on The Advocate website

Story courtesy of The Advocate

Pictures by Stuart Wilson, The Advocate

 Best Investigation Award (grades 7 and 8) Maeve Grieve.

 Arnaka Bourn, Sharalyn Walter and Georgie Blake.

 Rayne McCreadie, of Direct Edge Manufacturing, and Liam Grieve.

 Cheryl Wells, of the Emu Bay Lions Club, Isabella Kidd, Apryl Radford, Avalon Starick and Riley Kirkland.


Leonie Hiscutt, Taylor Rand and Laura Smith.

Taylah Williams, Zoe Dallas and Rachael Stitz.

Ashley Cumming, Amber Hodgetts and Katie Saltmarsh.

Zac Ollington and Mathew Kemp.