Vol. V No. 19 - Saturday May 6, - May 12, 2006
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ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

LIST’s Lanna chess championships popular

Family Fun Day Held at Grace

Earth Day at Prem

LIST’s Lanna chess championships popular

Elementary students Matthew French (GIS) and Joel Bay (GIS) contemplate their next move during the 3rd annual Lanna chess tournament.

By Lori Rowe
Checkmate! This cry rang out many times during the recent Lanna Invitational Chess Tournament. On Saturday, April 29, over 60 students from Lanna International School (LIST), Grace International School (GIS), Prem, and Nakorn Payap International School (NIS) as well as some students from local Thai schools participated in a double elimination chess tournament.
Hosted by LIST, this is the third year that the event has been held in Chiang Mai. Students were entered into age categories, and played others at that same age level. Every student had the opportunity to play at least two games, and winners kept advancing to the finals round.
Chess champions included 2-3rd grade: Ethan Wood (GIS) who went on to also win the elementary championship; 4-5th grade: J.T. Thweatt (GIS); 6-8th grade: Isarin Furitani (NIS); and 9-12th: Ki Hwan Lee (Prem). Consolation round winners were 2-3rd grade: Sufiyaan Wani, 4-5th grade: Man Seadsophankul (GIS); 6-8th grade: Seung Yup Yoo, and 9-12th: Jun Seok (Prem). Congratulations to all the chess players!


Family Fun Day Held at Grace

One of the favorite GIS Fun Day events is the “Pirates of the Caribbean” where opposing teams try to flip each other out of inner tubes.

Grace International School (GIS) was in the swim of things early this month when the school held its annual Family Fun Day on May 1st. Organizer Steve Milburn reported about 400 Grace students plus their families participated in the sports-day-like event. Grace has a large swimming pool on its premises, and used this venue to set up 16 stations for light-hearted competition. Another 4 stations were held on the tennis courts and lawn. Students were divided up into teams and competed to earn points by doing such activities diving for coins (and adding up the total weight collected), building a human pyramid in the water (receiving points for creativity), and rowing around buoys. Teachers and other GIS staff, key to the success of the day, ran the stations, and the rains of April departed to bright sunshine for the day of the festivities. One student summed up the general feeling of the day by commenting, “I don’t think spending a day at school could get any better than this!” After the winning team was announced, families continued the fun by enjoying the pool and other sports facilities for the reminder of the afternoon.


Earth Day at Prem

By Paul Rose
and Tara Colen

This year, Prem Tinsulanonda International School celebrated their fourth World Earth Day on Friday April 21. The day kicked off in the wee hours of the morning with a guided “Breakfast with the Birds” stroll along the northern section of the grounds. Approximately 20 species of birds were recorded in the hour’s observation period, including one new species for the campus list, taking the total to an impressive 122 species.

Students participating in the Earth Day scavenger hunt had to find various plants and write down their findings.

After a studious morning, students and staff raced through lunch, with some taking the time to view the tile display as part of last year’s Earth Day efforts – over 450 tiles decorated by students and staff now create an interpretation of “Our Beautiful World” by our own Prem community.
Then, the gathering of students of all ages began for the anticipated, yet somewhat mysterious, photo event on the soccer field. Staff members Luke Simon, Sam Ridley and Tara Colen put on their climbing boots to scale the library tower for that all important aerial perspective. Students from all grade levels were then directed to fill 4 meter high characters, which had been previously sketched out on a soccer field by our team of grounds staff.
At precisely 1:20 p.m. Tony Smallwood from the Chiang Mai Flying Club took some photos from the air of the spectacle on the ground – 500 staffs and students formed the phrase – “Prem Earth Day 2006”, with two Thai flags represented as part of the image.
After a quick refresher from the blazing sun, students engaged in a full range of activities. The Amazing Earth racers investigated some natural features, flora and fauna of the campus in an attempt to solve that all important final clue. Grade 8 student Gabriella Degen commented, “Trying to identify the science photos, which I had never seen before and trying to guess what they were, forced me to use my science skills, as well as other knowledge. This was the first time I got to experience Earth Day, and it was great fun!”
The eleven teams of students passed other groups making recycled paper from elephant dung, creating Haiku poetry, competing in the photography competition or exploring the newly created “Tree Trail”. Still, others were working very hard in tough conditions to help further diversify the flora on campus by planting an additional 46 native trees that were graciously donated by FORRU (The Forest Restoration Research Unit). These trees have been identified as succession species, growing to maturity within seven years and producing fruit which will attract birds and other wildlife, such as the Burmese Three-striped Squirrel and Short-tailed Fruit Bat.
Members of the FORRU education team also led a group of students and staff learning about seed germination and propagation down at the Prem plant nursery. It is hoped that in the future, a system of propagating seeds from trees that the campus already has, will be established. At present there are close to 150 trees identified by botanists from Chiang Mai University, some of which are categorized as locally endangered.
The school gymnasium was also the place to be, showing off information on the different types of snakes that are possible on Prem grounds. Learning which snakes are venomous and which are relatively harmless is very important. Nurse Felicity also gave students an introductory lesson on how to care for a person who has been bitten by a venomous snake until proper medical assistance is available.
Co organizer of the event Paul Rose commented, “As we strive to learn more about our local and global environments, I hope that each and every person involved was able to come away with an improved respect and better appreciation for the fantastic world in which we live.”



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