KES Results for the Grade 9 Pascal Contest:
1 st – Cameron Stephens – received a Certificate of Distinction and the school medal
Grade 12 student, Kin Heng Ivan Seit, wrote a wonderful and thought-provoking piece on greed for my Grade 12 English writing assignment in preparation for our speech unit. It was very well written and I felt it should be shared. Happy reading!
Greed, as we all perceive, is one of the Seven Sins of Christianity. For centuries in literature, people ridicule desire itself as an act of superficiality. You might have heard of Buddhists saying to free yourself from desires. You might have heard of people saying greed causes destruction in ourselves. Businessmen are often ridiculed as “selfish, bloodsucking suckers” for earning their profit. However, is it absolutely immoral to have desires? Does it really only bring disaster to us?
Humans struggle in their desire of leading a better life or a brighter future. There is a constant desire for something; “People live to satisfy their own desires no matter what they do”. Think about this for yourself: Why do businesses exist? It is because people see something worthy to derive from. Even when we volunteer to help, do we not feel satisfied over helping somebody else?
Does this mean we are all greedy, selfish, and good-for-nothing? Of course not! Think about how humanity has evolved into what we have today. Do we strive for excellence? To quote from our school’s motto, do we strive to be more? Even though we all work for our benefits, we, without a doubt, have contributed without us noticing. Take Microsoft as an example. Bill Gates makes billions of dollars every year out of computer software and systems. Does that make him a selfish person? Of course not. Do you think we would have such excellent computers without him? Probably eventually, but several years later. As you see, humanity evolves with a formidable force named Greed.
In the end, I would like to use a quote from the movie Wall Street to conclude this, “Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms - greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind”. Written by Kin Heng Ivan Seit
Last week, six KES students took their science fair projects to the next level and competed in the Regional Science Fair. Mitchel Larkin, Cameron Stephens, Hannah Bryant, Justin Day, Greg Otto and Henry Mulherin were all chosen by the judges at the KES Science Fair to go on to the regional competition at the NSCC campus in Kentville. All the students had excellent presentations and did a great job sharing their ideas and discoveries with the judges, other students and the public.
The students merited many medals and awards during the closing of the competition. Cameron won a Shad Valley Scholarship. Hannah won a SILVER medal, admission to the Acadia University Huggins High School Seminar and a Shad Valley Scholarship. Mitchel won a GOLD medal, admission to the Acadia University Huggins High School Seminar and a Shad Valley Scholarship. Henry won a GOLD medal and the Canadian Federation of University Women: merit ward.
Topics: Academics at KES
Poetry limbers up the imagination and is a true art form that packs emotional punch. We saw first-hand the power of poetry in our Junior School Assembly last Wednesday, January 30th, when eight finalists from Grades 7 through 9 stepped forward to recite their chosen poems.
Congratulations are extended to William Ahern, Hannah Bryant, Taylor Cole, Harrison Klein, Emily Norton, Sachaa Rudrum-Bhimji, Jessica Ugwoke and Sabine Wellard; they can each be proud of their efforts to stand before the entire Junior School and confidently present their poem. The range of styles and deliveries kept things interesting. You could hear a pin drop as students recited their chosen poems, making us think carefully about the power of the words and the messages conveyed. The judges did not have an easy task to select the winners; however, they did single out the top three performances for the 2019 Junior School Poetry Competition (3rd, 2nd, 1st, respectively): Harrison Klein, Taylor Cole and Emily Norton. The entire School was entertained at this week’s Full School Assembly as Harrison presented “Jabberwocky”, Taylor, “Social Media” and Emily, “A Million Pieces”. I congratulate and thank these students for sharing their passion with us and starting our day off in such a creative and thought-provoking way.
This past Thursday, our KES Robotics Club had its annual in-house Robofest tournament. Teams of 2 or 3 students have been preparing robots since November to compete in a game called "Binary Blocks". The game consists of autonomous robots having two minutes to build a four bit binary number out of black and white colored blocks. Details of the game can be found on the Robofest website.
Our first trip of 2019 to Dalhousie University Math Circles was last Wednesday, January 16th. We had two vans filled with students eager to explore the “Counting” workshop that was presented by Dr. Peter Selinger, a Dalhousie University professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He posed counting problems that seemed easy enough at first, like how many ways could you colour a 2 by 2 square using only two colours? Immediately, everyone started drawing squares, first shading top left, then a different square shading top right, another shading bottom left, and then one shading bottom right. Then the colouring shifted to 2 squares, first on the top, then one side, the bottom, other side, etc. I am sure you get the picture. While it was interesting to try to find all possibilities, a mathematical discussion revealed an easy formulaic way to figure it out. In the case of the 2 by 2 grid, there turned out to be 16 possibilities or simply 2x2x2x2. The 3 by 3 square proved more difficult to draw all possibilities, but a quick calculation (29) indicated there were 512 different ways. Of course the challenge did not stop there. The counting became more challenging when symmetries were considered. In other words, how many ways could you tile the 3x3 square with black and white tiles, if two tilings that differ by a rotation were considered equal? And then, moving into three dimensions, how many ways are there of coloring the 6 sides of a 3x3 cube with 3 colours, up to a rotation of the cube? (answer=24) The evening became a true counting challenge, and at the end of the seminar Dr. Selinger’s explanation of Pólya's counting method provided a quick and accurate way to do so (answer to the final challenge is 24). Our counting was interrupted when the variety of pizzas arrived.
As always, it was an evening of collaborative problem solving, pizza and fun. I commend David Helyer, Luke Mainwaring, Athena Cox, Silas Fillmore, Yifan (Doreen) Xing, Aden O’Callaghan, Holden Hoover, Zhi (Angel) Li, Jiahuan (Edward) He, Yi (Edward) Chang, and Haichuan (River) Qi for their ongoing interest in Math Circles. It was also terrific to meet up with alumna Mona Mohamed (2015-18) and former student Matvey Semenenko at the event.
We look forward to the next Dalhousie Math Circles event: Linear Inequalities and Economic Problems on Wednesday, February 13th. Interested students can sign up on the whiteboard in my Math classroom. Special thanks to Mr. Glen Faucher for driving the second van.
Topics: Academics at KES