This week at Alpha…

After a nice holidays, students and teachers are back in action, students working hard at combatting the homework and teachers working hard at replenishing it… people happy to catch up with friends after the break, the school is buzzing with talk of what everyone did on their holidays, with everything from going skiing, to going to Hawai’i, and everyone has something to share.

Alpha’s 2018 Open House is here, with displays, presentations, and information sessions. Open to both current and future Alpha-ites along with their parents, the open house takes place on Wednesday, January 24th, from 6 to 8 pm, where Robotics and Home Economics displays will showcase our some of school’s best electives. Information sessions for incoming grade 8’s, current grade 8 to 11 students, and for advanced placement (AP) will also be present. Plus, small group presentations for incoming grade 8’s, including Mini-School, Learning Support Services, and the French Immersion program, will be held to show grade 7’s what Alpha is like.

Star Search: the talent show where you can blow people’s minds with your awesome hidden talent. Get ready Alpha, because Star Search is coming! Auditions were held last Thursday, but it’s not too late to send in a video if you couldn’t make it. Good luck to those who auditioned, you’ll make us proud!

From Beta

Japan Launches the 4th Michibiki satellite

On October 10, Japan has launched its 4th Michibiki satellite as part of the QZSS (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System). The satellites loop over Japan and Australia, allowing uninterrupted coverage of the area, and engineers plan to switch to this system in April. The new Japanese GPS can locate devices with a very high accuracy (within a few centimeters), while the commonly used U.S. GPS has an accuracy of a few metres.


The QZSS project uses multiple satellites placed around the zenith of Japan, allowing them to pinpoint location much more accurately in urban or mountainous areas. Four GPS satellites are needed to determine a position, and because of skyscrapers and mountains, the signals can receive some interference. This causes some issues with the navigation system, which is not only used for cars, but also air traffic, monitoring, weather forecasting and earthquake detection (very necessary in Japan). This will also improve the range of GPS tracking and navigation.


The satellites will orbit in a figure-8 pattern, and upon the project’s completion, it is estimated that 8 satellites will be available at any time when combining the new satellites with the previous GPS system. Now with 4 Michibiki satellites operational, the QZSS “constellation” will have reached its operating capacity, and will become operational in 2018. In the future, further plans will include a total of 7 satellites being placed by 2023.