A chess tutor on your board
It’s a chessboard and rules book in one. Thanks to Chess Learner Board, more students will learn to play and enjoy chess than ever before. Many world chess champions started playing when they were six years of age. 

Schools around the country have found that playing chess increases students’ abilities to learn strategies, understand spatial relationships, abstract planning and manoeuvres, applied concentration and all manner of logical thinking.

Some schools bring in chess tutors – one firm advertises a charge of $750 per day. With Chess Learner Board, raw beginners can learn the basic rules without professional help and tutors can be brought in later to instruct on strategy and subtleties, if required.  Schools with more restricted budgets may rely on Chess Learner Board and their class teachers.

Due to quantity discounts, prices are sufficiently low to enable schools or auxiliaries to use Chess Learner Sets for fund raising at school fairs and other special events.
The chessboard is made in Australia.
Contact www.lanceross.com.au

Olympic Park venue for meetings with bounce
Courtside Function and Event Centre located within Sydney Olympic Park, has five function rooms with additional breakout and lawn areas and the internationally recognised Centre Court.

With plenty of onsite parking and public transport close by, the centre is easily accessible for local, interstate and international visitors.

The function rooms and surrounding grounds can cater for corporate through to cocktail parties, school formals, gala dinners and weddings.

Yasmin Barnes, function and event consultant says that no event is too small or too big for Courtside, which can cater for small meetings and lunches, all day events and even weeklong conferences.
Business meetings in the morning, followed by lunch and then team-building activities in the surrounding grounds in the afternoon is a sure fire way to motivate participants, she says.

Contact Yasmin Barnes tel (02) 9024 7640, email courtside@gema.com.au or visit www.gema.com.au

Fed Ed! Throw a Light education workshop

This winter, Melbourne’s Federation Square plays host to a new light-based festival Light In Winter that brings together artists, designers and multicultural communities to explore their ideas of light, enlightenment and hope.

The Throw a Light workshop is the education component of the festival. It comprises an onsite workshop in which students make magnetised lights ‘throwies’. A LED ‘throwie’ is a small LED attached to a coin battery and a rare earth magnet, used for the purpose of creating non-destructive graffiti and light displays. The outside surface of the workshop space doubles as an interactive public light-based artwork which participants enlighten using their handmade lights.

The Throw a Light workshop is a boutique event limited to two weeks on site. Students have the opportunity to be part of highly visible and memorable public art installation at Fed Square.
The festival is on from 16th–29th June. There are workshops for Primary Years 3–6, Secondary Years 7–9. Duration is 60 minutes. Maximum number of student numbers per session is 25. Cost is $4 per student.

Contact cameron.stevens@fedsquare.com tel (03) 9655 1910 or mob 0413 267 252 or visit www.feded.com.au to book your school’s workshop

Eureka Skydeck 88 celebrates first birthday
A visit to Eureka Skydeck 88 is a popular venue on school excursions to Melbourne’s CBO. Billed as ‘Education with Attitude’, school visits start at the ground level where the children discover the city’s what, when and where, as they explore the interactive 6 m Serendipity Table.

The 300 m 40-second elevator ride is an experience in itself, but the real impact is experienced when the doors open and the children realise that they are on the top of the world.

As they walk around, students are challenged to identify landmarks and the sounds of the city by using the many viewfinders and scrolling LED floor and wall displays. On the open air ‘Terrace’, they witness up close the drama as the ‘Edge’ slides out of the building and the floors and walls become transparent… scary fun.

An experienced educator is on hand to facilitate school visits and will work with teachers to provide an authentic curriculum based tour.

Contact For bookings: Skydeck 88 Education Coordinator tel (03) 9693 8810 email schools@eurekaskydeck.com.au www.eurekaskydeck.com.au

Purchasing made easier
School Market Place, a free procurement service for busy school staff, has been launched to link schools with suppliers of consumables and equipment.

To start using the service, schools first create an account at http://schoolmarketplace.com.au and list the products they wish to purchase.

On receipt of the school’s request, School Market Place emails all registered suppliers of the product the school needs to purchase. In turn, the suppliers make direct contact with the school and submit their prices.

School Market Place says that using the new service to obtain competitive quotes saves time and takes the guesswork out of sourcing supplies and equipment.
During May, schools can win a digital camera by visiting the website to check out how School Market Place works.

Contact http://schoolmarketplace.com.au

Fun and fitness with LiteFlite cubes and balls
Electronic entertainment has reduced physical activity and increased the incidence of obesity in children and adults; the www, sms and email has also reduced human to human interaction – family, friends, students and even work colleagues often forget how to meet and play together face to face.

The Yardgames philosophy is to cooperate, learn, build relationships and understanding. With the appropriate tools from Yardgames teachers can achieve these outcomes.

A selection of new LiteFlite cubes and balls suitable for indoor and outdoor use has been introduced. These ultra lightweight air filled nylon shapes are designed for short periods of co-ordinated activities. They behave much like a giant balloon would with extended ‘hold’ in the air, perfect for activities with children of mixed levels of ability and mobility.

Other recent additions to the catalogue include giant A4 sized playing cards, a 40 cm high chess set to fit in with the 30 cm and 60 cm versions already available and an extended range of Feber products including the very popular FeberGus Activity Tunnel.

Yardgames is experiencing growing demand from teachers and students who love the variety and variation in their educationally beneficial giant and team games.

It is no longer just volleyball, it is Giant volleyball; it isn’t just Connect Four it is Mega 4; team walkers are available in two to six-person sizes; there are parachutes from as small as 1.8 m up to a massive 13.6 m suitable for 32+ participants; and tug-o-war has gone four-ways.

Contact Eco Imports tel 1300 767 521 www.ecoimports.com.au

1000 Hour Day expedition website
iiNet in conjunction with the Education Network Australia (EDNA) has launched of a new educational resource for teachers. 

The website has been developed by iiNet with the help of award winning West Australian teacher Emidio Boto and provides lessons that can be downloaded by teachers to explain the science, geography, culture and mathematics behind the 1000 Hour Day expedition to Victoria Island in the Artic Circle.

The expedition leaves in May and is the brainchild of two intrepid young Australians, Chris Bray and Clark Carter. This is their second attempt to do what no person has done before and travel unsupported across Victoria Island, facing extreme temperatures, wolves and polar bears and testing the limits of human endurance.

The advantage of the 1000 Hour Day teacher resource website is it will be live before the expedition commences, enabling classrooms to follow Bray and Carter as they attempt their crossing.
Teachers will find 37 lessons on the website, falling into the eight key learning areas relevant to current state curricula around the country.

Contact www.iinet.net.au/1000hourday