A look at BETA over the month of November…

BETA Bits 

On November the 6th the AEIC group came to BETA to teach us a bit about Virtual Reality, the main highlight of the month.  

They gave us a presentation showing us what virtual, augmented, and mixed reality was, a quick introduction into what they were. The presentation included some examples of augmented and virtual reality in movies, the definitions of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, some of the uses of virtual and augmented reality such as for surgeons, games, etc., and images of the equipment that is and will be used in virtual reality.  

After that short introduction we went into one of two stations, one teaching people about some basic knowledge of Unity, and another letting us try out VR games through headsets and controllers. 

In the unity station, we learned how to implement a basic texture pack folder through a shop in Unity. This allowed us to have grass and mountain textures. We learned how create mountains with a tool that sort of painted material onto a surface. It was very basic, and the designs did not look very professional. The tool that was used to create mountains could also “paint” trees on the mountainous terrain that we created. It was a simple introduction into Unity, but it did teach us a bit on what the Unity interface felt like and what could be created. 

After the first station, each group went into the other station. 

In the virtual reality station, I personally thought that Beat Saber looked much more interesting and basically played only that for the entire time. The games were immersive and exciting, the noise cancelling headphones and headset modifying both your hearing and seeing senses creating an immersive gaming experience. It was exhilarating to play and an intriguing way to show the true capabilities of virtual reality.   

In other BETA bits, 

We were assigned an industrial revolution project. In this project, we would have to create a presentation about an invention that was created in the industrial revolution, give a bit of background knowledge on it, and attempt to sell it to people in our class. The person who got the most money won. On the day of the presentations, we each were handed 6 Murray bucks and told to purchase items from the people. Many people did not purchase based on usefulness of a project but based on how good the advertising was.  

Albeit this was not based in real life, some of the purchases were also based on “I pay for yours, you pay for mine, so we can both say that we got purchases” still, I noticed a consistency, the better the advertising in a presentation, the more the purchases. 

Right after this project, we were assigned another relatively difficult project in which you had to design your own product, do sketches on it, create a colored model, explain the cost of production and its use, finishing it in 2 weeks. It is a project requiring creative thinking and logical planning. 

The IDS check ins will be happening from December 5 to December 7. This year we will be marked more on how much we have followed our IDS plan, and the focus will be shifted away from hours. This is the result of some people using their hours more productively while some people doze off and count it as hours.

Wifi: What does it do for student learning?

Here’s before: 

Here’s after: 

As you can very clearly see, the amount of work being done isn’t exactly the same, is it? Why, you ask? Oh, most probably because there isn’t any Wifi around. And a lack of Wifi means no laptops or iPads, because they are connected to school servers and we can’t even log in to the laptops to do simple tasks like typing, let alone doing things like sending emails and documents back and forth or looking things up. 

And why is Wifi so important, you ask? I mean you were kids once without technology and yet you still live. Pen and paper worked just as fine as Microsoft Word, and there used to be dictionaries and encyclopedias before Google. This new generation of students is so used to the comfort and efficiency of Googling information or having AutoCorrect fix our every mistake and suggest synonyms that sometimes we forget all the things that are still possible without electronic devices. 

But at the end of the day, we need Wifi, to perform our tasks, just like you needed dictionaries. 

Visiting Ikea

As you guys know at the beginning of October our class had a drafting project were we had to furnish a really small Bachelors apartment. Part of our project was to add things that Ikea sold and draft them to scale on a piece of paper.

The Ikea trip was only for half the day and we took public transit to get there. That only left us about an hour and fifteen minutes to walk around and look at the many furnishings they offered and list them in our excel sheet. We had to put down the price (with tax) and write down the dimensions so we could properly put it on our draft.

Since we left as soon as we could after second block, we did not have time to eat so a good amount of our class bought food there including Ikeas famous meatballs. I tried the meatballs and I can confirm that they are very good. I love being able to be places and learn about topics in person rather than online so this was a great experience.

Reminder about Monday, October 22nd: Japanese Students Visiting

I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend. Grade 9’s who see this, please let your classmates know about the P1 timeline! Thank you in advance. 

On Monday, October 22nd, Minischool students will be student ambassadors to our incoming visiting Japanese Students. Here is the timeline: 

8:40: Check in with your Period 1 class. All grade 9 students should do attendance then go directly to the Learning Commons. Only designated grade 8 students will go to the learning commons on Monday. Ms. Neumann will inform which grade 8 students will be going. 

10:12: Take your student to your block 2 class. The teachers have all been contacted. Be sure to encourage them and help them with any barriers, such as seating and language. 

11:34: Return your buddy to the Learning Commons. 

12:35 – 1:10: Grade 9’s will be attending the cultural fair in the Learning Commons. 


Thank you for all of your help and support welcoming in the Japanese Students to Alpha Secondary School. 

Colonizing Outer Space Due Date

Hello Minischool 9,

I hope everyone has been working hard on their Colonizing Outer Space projects and you have all your logs well on their way. As we discussed in class, we will review progress on Wednesday October 17th with the proposed due date of Monday October 22nd. Please make sure you have any filming done soon so you have time to edit and also, be ready to present that morning (no later). If you have any concerns please see me. Thank you and best of luck! 


Mr. Murray