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School Report News Day - 27th March 2014

School Report News Day - 27th March 2014

This page contains the stories written by the Maltings Academy School Reporters on the 27th March 2014, which is the national School Report news day. Below are two of the stories written by the students.  Links to the other reports produced on the day can be found on this page.
Out of this world

by James, Sophie and Lorna

The International Space Station (ISS) is an artificial satellite in low earth orbit that was launched on the 20th of November 1998. People live in the ISS to learn about the planets and to see if there is life on other planets. There are two sections to the International Space Station, Russia and America.

It carries out research that cannot be carried out in any other way. Although small unmanned spacecraft can provide platforms for zero gravity and are exposed to space, only the ISS can provide long term conditions. Crews of six astronauts fly out to the space station (via rocket) for several months, providing approximately 160 man hours of labour a week. The staff works 10 hours on a weekday and 5 hours on a Saturday, the rest of their time they can spend doing whatever they want. They wake up at 6:00am and go to bed at 9:30pm, so they are awake for 15.5 hours a day so they only get 8.5 hours of sleep a night. Astronauts do more than just sit there and exercise they have many jobs like:

·         Observing and photographing natural and manmade changes on Earth over time as well as short timescale events like storms so we can better understand our planet

·         Studying how humans behave in isolation and confinement

·         Leaving potential future spacecraft equipment outside to see how well it withstands being in space to improve materials used to build spacecraft

·         Studying magnetorheological fluids using the glove box to hopefully lead to construction of better brake systems, seat suspensions, and aeroplane landing gear on Earth

These are the jobs they practise, ready for the space station lifestyle.

The astronauts on board are experts in science and have spent 5-7 years learning the interior of the space station and spending time in the simulators preparing for different situations that could happen. They also learn how to control themselves in zero gravity conditions. This prepares them for the conditions of the space station    

We have interviewed pupils and teachers at our school and here are our varied results:

Year 8 student, Harry says:

“I want to know if there’s another planet or universe because they haven’t told me yet. I think the program is good as it takes you to the final frontier.”

Teacher, Mr Grant says:

“I like the way the lights are shown in each country, at different times. There are a lot of television programs about space I just think they need to be promoted, it’s just a case of putting them out there. I think the space program is good because we need to know new stuff about our own planet and others around us in space”

To summarise space station could be key to the future of the universe around us and our source of information that will lead us to other planets and eventually universes.



British sport - is there a legacy?

by Alfred and Harry

2012: the year that the world turned to London for the greatest sporting event in the world. The aim: to create a legacy that would last a lifetime and produce the next generation of sporting legends.

London 2012 was the year that the UK hosted the Olympics. The slogan, ‘Inspire a Generation’, was supposed to increase the popularity of sport around the country and provide fresh new athletes that may not have stepped up before.

The Olympics did just that and managed to inspire children and adults alike. Students from Essex school, Maltings Academy, have been inspired by sports they have seen. One student, James, said, “I love to do sport because it’s good exercise and it’s better than staying at home all day. I went to see MBA Basketball and that inspired me along with my icon, LeBron James, and my P.E teacher. Now I have Essex Basketball trials.”

Another student, Jade, gave her opinion on Basketball as well, “Loads of my friends joined the Basketball club before and after school, so I decided to join them. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Athletics in 2012 because it gave me a chance to cheer on my home country as well: Jamaica!”

However, the Olympics doesn't have to be what gets us interested in sport. Another student, Harry, gave this statement, “I don’t watch or do sports that much because I don’t really have any interest in physical activity; but I have begun to develop an interest for Formula 1 because I have always liked cars and racing. The racers don’t get too over reactive and the sport is just fun to watch.”

Sports like Formula 1 are quickly coming to the foreground, sports we may not have noticed before or may have always ignored; like Handball, Water Polo, Taekwondo and Judo are having their funding increased by as much as 300% in response to their rapid growth in popularity.

Mr Bias, P.E teacher at Maltings Academy, said, “In response to the Olympics we have made connections with Melbourne Athletics Park in Chelmsford and acquired funding to run extra-curricular clubs. Attendance rates to the clubs have rapidly increased and the Year 7 and 8 boys indoor athletics teams came first and second in the Essex championships.”

He also gave his personal opinion on his sport preferences, “I personally enjoyed Boxing before the Olympics and although my sporting interests have not changed, my love of Boxing has been strengthened. The Olympics has also managed to capture my interest in sports like: Volleyball and Rowing.”

So as you can see, the interest in minor sports has been very encouraging for the rest of the country and the future of British sport.

Even the Winter Olympic sports have been growing in popularity with the recent games in Sochi, Russia. The Men and Women’s Curling teams where the orchestrators of the Curling craze that swept the country in the lead up to the Bronze and Silver medals won by the two teams. Elizabeth Yarnold also got the nation into her sport, Skeleton. She too was inspired, by Britain’s only medal winner in Vancouver 2010: Amy Williams. This was what led her to a Gold medal in Sochi.

So overall, it seems that sport has gained a real boost and a legacy has been made, for the most part…

Recently however, it has come to the attention of the sporting committees that the traditional sports, like Football, have been losing popularity. New figures say that the number of people playing football has dropped by 100,000 to 1.83 million; making it less popular than Swimming and Cycling.

This new problem could make it harder for Britain to retain their sporting message, ‘Inspire a Generation’. But for the meantime, it seems to be doing fine.

London 2012 set a spark to British sport and the Winter Olympics set that spark aflame.  For now it’ll stay burning.