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Formidable! The Concours d'Art Oratoire National d'Ottawa brings together grade 11 and 12 students from across Canada, who qualify to attend via their success at the provincial level. UTS student, Kieran (third from left) won 1st place in the Core category with his speech on "L’islamophobie au Canada: une menace pour notre société et nos valeurs". His prize includes a scholarship from the University of Ottawa. Our students fared well at the Toronto Universities' French Contest, for grade 12. Based on the written part of the contest three students were selected to participate in the final French interview at York University. Clara (Immersion), Pema (who went on to win 1st in the Core Plus category) and Rebecca (who went on to win 1st in the Core French category).
Two UTS teams, The Roots and The Powers competed in the Ontario Math Olympics at the end of May and finished first and second respectively. This means that the OMO trophy will be at UTS for the fourth year in a row!
On June 1, six F1 and F2 students treated a UTS audience to the performance of a piece written by two of their peers.
Science teacher Anand Mahadevan receives the 2015 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence
The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence goes to outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines who, through the innovative use of information and communications technologies, help Canadian students to meet the challenges of a 21st century society and economy.
"Our students at UTS work so hard and are so creative that teaching here is an awesome challenge and inspiration every day,” says Mahadevan. “I'm so proud of everything our school community stands for and am grateful for the honour and recognition bestowed by the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.” Click here for the full press release.
National Debate Team Record
Three UTS students have made the Canadian national debate team. They begin training soon and will represent Canada at a variety of international events. This is the first time ever that three students from the same school have qualified for the team at the same time. It also means that UTS students will constitute more than 25% of team members!
Chris Alexander in World Issues
Diplomat and politician Chris Alexander '85 has tackled some weighty challenges in his career - as member of the Canadian Foreign Service, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada's first resident ambassador in Afghanistan. During the week of April 18 he was in school to talk to our World Issues class.
Michael Smith Challenge
Almost 1800 students across Canada took the Michael Smith Challenge - named for UBC's Nobel Laureate. Of the 117 UTS students who participated: one secured 1st place with a perfect score of 80; another finished in the top 1%; seven finished in the top 3%; and a further nine placed in the top 10.
Our Envirothoners had another great year at the regional competition, held at the Ontario Science Centre. Our Team A placed first and will have a chance to represent the region at the Provincial Envirothon and our B team placed second.
Our junior and senior teams were awarded first and second prize—respectively—at the annual Take Action in Global Health Conference and Case Competition hosted by the High School Partnership Program (HSPP) at the University of Toronto's International Health Program (UTHIP). Through initiatives like the annual case competition, HHSP aims to encourage students from various age groups, interests and disciplines to engage with the most current and pressing issues in the field of Global Health. Students who participated in this year's conference and competition explored the myriad challenges in providing healthcare to refugees.
On April 13, the Bantam Badminton Team took home the tournament championship and banner for the third season in a row! In early April, the Foundation Girls Volleyball played in the League's Championship tournament and came away with a banner and gold medals!! It was a great day of outstanding volleyball and the girls displayed talent, and more importantly teamwork and incredible sportsmanship.
A team of UTS students put in a proposal as part of the Beamline 4 Schools competition with the hope of winning the prize - time on the Beamline at CERN in Switzerland to conduct the experiment. The accompanying video can be found here.
All Kinds of Careers!
Our students were treated to some great insights on a wide range of careers during a presentation and discussion on March 31. Mark Reimers '74, Myran Faust P'18, P'21, Jill Copeland '85, Danielle Goldfarb '93, Hilary Masemann '95, Calum Tsang '95, Jeff Hall-Martin '97, Norman Farb '98, Monica Lavers '98, Andrew Roberts '99, Albert Tang '99, and Rian Dewji '08 talked about their paths post-high school that have taken them, variously, into the fields of engineering, actuarial science, pottery, neuroscience, banking, law, and government.
"Has Canada become a nation that we can proud of, in which all citizens and residents are treated justly, fairly, and with acceptance?" That's the question the history deptartment asked of M3 students when it hosted a panel event on April 4 that tied in with the Canada @ 150 project. Panel participants, Dr. Zulfikar Hirji, Jamelie Hassan, Arlene Chan, Keo Shibatani, Sharoni Sibony, and former UTS teacher David Gamble, representing a range of different cultural and ethnic groups, spoke about their respective experiences.
Mathematics in March
This year, two UTS students are among the 24 Canadian grade 8-10 students to have been invited to the U of T's Canada Math Camp – an intensive week-long program during which they will participate in math competition preparation and enjoy guest lectures from mathematics faculty. Two other UTS students have qualified for the Canadian Computing Olympiad –a week-long competition tests the mettle of the top 20 high school programmers in the country. The CCO is also part of the selection process for the International Olympiad in Informatics.
Proficient in German
Absolut fantastisch! Three students have passed the German DSD2 (Deutsches Sprachdiplom 2) proficiency exam – the German equivalent of the TOEFL exam – at the highest level. This means they have German proficiency high enough to take courses taught in German at German universities. They will be honoured at a ceremony at the German Consulate in May.
Fluttering in the Foyer
The front foyer was the setting for a beautiful and moving installation that coincided with International Women’s Day on March 8. Each butterfly represented one of the 1,017 Aboriginal women who were murdered between 1980 and 2012. This installation was inspired by a former UTS student who was responsible for a similar initiative at Balmoral High School in Winnipeg.
Senior Girls Volleyball
The senior girls volleyball team played with heart and fight to go 6-1 overall at OFSAA to capture the school’s first Consolation Championship.
It’s true – we have the plaque to prove it! At the Ontario Student Debating Union Junior Debate Provincial on Saturday, all three UTS teams placed in the top-5 and earned the Top School Award.
At the Sears Ontario Drama Festival in early March, UTS students gave a spirited and very well-received performance of an original play, “How We Killed Ezra (In the Process of Trying to Save Him)”, by Martine in S5 (Grade 11). The group came away from the awards ceremony, with a playwriting/directing award and an acting award.
Bowled Over by History
On February 29, our Regional History Bowl teams marched to victory - they all qualified for Nationals in April, which will be hosted right here at UTS.
On Friday February 26 our Blues went to the Mastercard Centre to take on Michael Power/St. Joseph High School for the Varsity Hockey Team championship game. After an early lead, the Blues fell behind in the 2nd period of the game, which ended 6-3. The UTS community is proud of our team finishing second overall in the league. Go Blues!
UTS athlete, Cindy, represented Canada with the Canadian Fencing Federation at the Cadet Pan-American Championships in Cancun – and she finished with a silver medal!
Math Olympiad Exam
Four UTS students (from grades 8, 9 and 12) have qualified to write The Canadian Mathematical Olympiad exam at the end of March. This is the highest achievement in competitive mathematics in Canada; fewer than 75 students from across the country will be invited.
UTSPA & Alumni Making a Difference
On February 24, the UTS Parents Association (UTSPA) made its presence felt! In a panel co-hosted by UTSPA and the Office of the Principal, a number of alumni and students shared their insights in a discussion on learning differences in high-achieving students. On stage were Dr. Kenny Handelman '89, Todd Cunningham, Clement Cheng '15, Dr. John Bohnen '69, student Martine Duffy and Robert Gordon '84.
That same morning, UTS staff members were treated to a delicious appreciation breakfast courtesy of UTSPA.
Welcome to UTS!
On February 25, we were thrilled to open our doors to "prospective" families - students who have received offers of admission to UTS for next school year, and their parents and guardians. They were treated to a typical UTS welcome! Principal Rosemary Evans was there along with Jim Fleck C.C. '49 P'72, and John Duffy '81 P'17. "The school has had a tremendous impact on my life. It's a place where you can be brilliant and creative," said Jim. "UTS is a family. Once you join, you never want to leave," observed John.
The John and Margaret Withrow Hall
UTS is thrilled to introduce The John and Margaret Withrow Hall, named in honour of the largest ever donation ($4.5 million) made to UTS (in support of music, bursary – and the auditorium!). Doug Davis ’58 – who helped facilitate the gift – was at UTS on February 18 for the unveiling of the plaque. Here he is, with Principal Rosemary Evans.
Thousands of students – including 95 from UTS – from around Ontario and Quebec participated in DECA Ontario’s provincial competition recently. UTS proved its excellence again and came away with a total of 38 top-10 finishes.
The Chess for Change - an integral part of UTS Charity Week - this year, two students facing off against 18 staff, at the same time, without breaking a sweat... despite having to work fast! Rumour has it, the staff earned a point this year. More importantly, everyone had a lot of fun, and the staff donated $350 to help Humanity First sponsor a Syrian refugee family.
On February 11, fourteen UTS students participated in the School Final of the Canadian Geographic Challenge. One perfect score resulted in the crowing of the School Champion who now goes on to the Provincial Final. More information about the Challenge.
The Blues have had a busy few weeks! The Varsity hockey team won a hard fought semi-final match to advance to the TDCAA Non-Contact Varsity Hockey Championship game. The Senior Girls volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 playoff win and advanced to the TDCAA Tier 1 quarter-final match. UTS also hosted the Downtown Winter Classic girls’ volleyball tourney on February 11 in which the UTS girls rode a wave of energy but lost to York Mills in the final. In the pool, the UTS girl’ placed 8th overall and the boys 3rd overall in the TDCAA championships; seven of our swimmers qualified for OFSAA. Four UTS students excelled on the snow and are heading to OFSAA: two in Nordic ski and two in snowboarding. Go Blues!
There Be Dragons
Geography of Asia students took a trip down Bloor Street recently to visit the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum. They (very carefully) examined 1000-year-old Chinese artifacts and then tried their hands sculpting Chinese dragons.
Last weekend, UTS sent eight delegates to compete in the University of Toronto Model United Nations Assembly at Hart House. The team finished in contention for the small delegation award with 1 Outstanding Delegate and 3 honourable mentions. Next up: the Chaminade Model UN in March and our very own UTS SOMA in April.
Alumni and Students and UCW
UTS Charity Week (UCW) begins on February 15. In this video, Student Outreach Coordinator, Kyra, talks to Principal Rosemary Evans and members and friends of the Class of 1970 about support of Humanity First. Check out the students' UCW Facebook page, too!
UTS was honoured to host an exciting week of “Kids’ Lit” competition. On February 1, our two UTS teams fought hard and had a great day striving for literary knowledge domination! Team A finished in 2nd place regionally and went on to the national finals two days later. They won, thereby qualifying to participate in the International Finals in Auckland, New Zealand, this summer.
Another “SHOW” extravaganza of dance, music, drama and more - all created, directed, and performed by students – dazzled audiences. Click here to see a slideshow of pics.
On February 3, the Blues Varsity hockey team played a determined and focused game to earn a win against Brefbeuf. With this win, the team secured 2nd place in the overall regular season league standings, and has qualified for a bye into the semi-finals of the playoffs. The senior girls volleyball team defeated Harbord Collegiate in a friendly match, 2-1, then beat Father Redmond in league play 25-15, improving their regular season league record to 3-4 in the always competitive Tier 1 TDCAA West division.
Branching Out Panel
On February 2, more than 60 students attended the Branching Out Alumni Mentoring Program panel on “Facing the Future: How to move forward when faced with physical and mental challenges”. Our alumni panelists were (L-R) filmmaker Daniel Yoon ’83, Senior Medical Advisor at CAMH David Goldbloom P’07, UTS Guidance Counsellor Sue Thompson, James Ting ’16, and Margaret Fei ’16, as well as graduate student Ariel Baker-Gibbs ’07 (on the screen behind them).
Debating at McGill
They look chilly, it's true, but our students had a great time in Montreal competing in the McGill Debating Union Winter Debating Bonanza!
Senior Reach for the Top team victorious!
The chilly Ottawa weather didn't slow down our Senior Reach for the Top team at the Lisgar tournament this past weekend. The team won the entire tournament. A great start to the new year and great practice as the local season starts up soon. Here they are with second-place finishers Kennebecasis Valley HS from New Brunswick (in their signature blue tracksuits).
UTS Chess staying strong
January 26 saw our A Team travel to Bloor C.I. and every member won their game, keeping the team's perfect record intact.On the same day, the B Team hosted Northern for its second-last league game of the year. claiming a 4-1 victory.
The play's the thing!
Louisa Zhu '08 and Rico Pfieffer led a stage combat workshop for an F2 (Grade 8) drama class. The students learned eight detailed stage combat moves which they will safely and theatrically incorporate into a short scene that they are creating themselves
Educating Through Hoops
Tribal Vision Dance performed a hoop dance called "Visions of Turtle Island" on January 20 at UTS to introduce this year's F1/grade 7 Problem-based Learning project. The company helped to teach students about the issues facing First Nations people in Canada, through arts education. Here's a video clip!
Lessons from the Holocaust
Holocaust survivor Hedy Bohm spoke to students in History and World Issues courses on January 20 about her experience in Auschwitz-Birkenau, about returning home to Romania to find herself orphaned, and about piecing together a new life that eventually led her to Canada. She also spoke about testifying at the recent trial of Oskar Groening, a guard at Auschwitz, and reminded us all to show courage in defending our values.
Spoken Word Artist
M4 (grade 10) English students had the opportunity to work with spoken word artist Patrick de Belen. Patrick is a youth educator, speaker, and an award-winning spoken word artist. Students wrote and then performed their own pieces for Patrick's "Open Mic" session.
Robots and Coffee Cups
On January 16, among a field of 40 teams from across the province, robotics team UTS FOREV3R was recognized for its efforts in all areas of competition (robot design, core values, project and robot games) at the FLL Robotics Ontario East Championship at University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The team received the Research Award for the depth and breadth of investigation conducted into developing a solution to the problem of non-recyclable coffee cups - and will go on to the Ontario Innovation Celebration on February 27.
Go Blues Wrestling
Two S6/grade 12 girls had an outstanding tournament in Guelph last week, beating high-level competition on their way to gold medal performances - one by defeating last year’s provincial champion in the semis, and the other dominating all the way to an easy 10-0 finals finish. Three other UTS wrestlers also posted solid wins. Go Blues!
UTS students fared very well in the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge: A National Silver Medal winner (for the 2nd highest grade 9 score nationally) qualified for the Canadian Mathematics Olympiad (CMO) - an honour reserved for students who finish in the top-50 of the Challenge; five other UTS students will write the Repechage - a second qualifying round for the CMO (an opportunity offered to the top 50-75 students who did not qualify for the CMO outright); among these is a grade 8 student who received National Honour Roll status and a Provincial Bronze medal for her 3rd-place finish among Ontario grade 8 students.
Wise About Asia
Here’s the UTS Asia-Wise Challenge winner! The Asia-Wise Challenge, a broad based introductory research program that consists of 50 multiple choice questions about various aspects of Asia, is open to students around the world. Two students scored in the top 1% internationally in the competition and three others earned Distinction for scores in the range of 90-95%.
Launching Chess in 2016
January 12 was a good day for UTS chess. Our B team travelled to UFA for its first game of 2016 and, after almost 2 hours of play, walked away with a 4-1 victory. Our A team, hosting Humberside, maintained its perfect record and played excellent chess to earn a 5-0 sweep.
The team results for the Canadian Intermediate and Senior Mathematics Contests (CIMC and CSMC) have been released. UTS finished first in the province on the CIMC, 3rd in the province on the CSMC, and first in our Zone - which includes all Ontario independent schools - in both. Our victory on the CIMC was assured on the strength of two perfect scores - of which there were only five in the entire province among nearly 9,000 competitors.
The senior girls volleyball team went undefeated all the way to the semi-finals of the prestigious Regiopolis-Notre Dame 16-team tourney in Kingston, Ontario in early January, beating some top teams in the province but running into a very strong, Samuel Genest team from Ottawa. It was a great "coming together" for this team as they look forward to the second half of their season , with TDCAA playoffs and OFSAA qualifiers in the near future.
In the Swim: Congratulations to the boys who swam for UTS at the U of T High School Meet on January 8 and pulled off an exciting 2nd place overall result. One UTS swimmer also broke two meet records: 100 freestyle (displacing the previous record holder - a UTS ‘07 grad) and 100m individual medley.
On January 6, the Blues varsity hockey team moved to a 3-1 record with a well-deserved 8-4 victory over Chaminade. Despite trailing 2-1 after the first period, the team rebounded with gritty play, solid positioning, and excellent passing.
The holiday season has arrived!
The halls are decked, there's candycane-making scheduled for chemistry classes and, on the evening of December 10, the sounds of the annual holiday concert and Café Blanc, could be heard...
'Mazing Math Results - installment #1
Two UTS students achieved perfect scores on the Canadian Intermediate Mathematics Contest (CIMC), with two others close behind. Two S6 students and one M3 student were our Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest (CSMC) school winners.
'Mazing Math Results - installment #2
A UTS team won the the Math@Mac online contest nationally. In order to win, they posted a perfect score in a shorter time than any other team. Four other UTS teams received honorable mentions for perfect scores. For context: 28 out of 975 teams earned prizes or honorable mention; 5 were from UTS.
On December 9, UTS wrestlers were in Fergus and garnered a gold, a silver, a bronze and a 4th place. According to Coach Chuvalo, there were "great efforts put forth" by some other UTS athletes, too. Go Blues!
On December 10, UTS Blues varsity basketball team took on St. Basil's S.S. at home. Despite being a few men down with only 2 subs, the team battled with resolve and had a respectable 4th quarter - but it just wasn't enough to beat the visiting team. The Blues continue to grow and get better every game. On December 8, the team played their best game of the year so far against a bigger Bosco squad. The Blues were down only two points at the half but Bosco came back to pull away. Combined with a little bit of inconsistency and a few missed assignments on defense, UTS was unable to match our opponent and lost 71-39.
Mock Trial Success No Joke
The UTS Mock Trial team recently placed 6th in their first American tournament: the San Francisco Empire Mock Trial. They faced 22 teams from five countries, including regional, state, and national champions. Two members of the team and retired teacher Reg Hawes (who, along Ms Choi, accompanied the team to the US) stopped by Principal Rosemary Evans to show off the trophy!
Forests Ontario, the organization that funds and administers the Envirothon in Ontario - as well as other conservation projects - presented a massive Christmas tree to Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell last weekend. The UTS Envirothon team was there, too, to receive certificates for their accomplishments (For more on their Envirothon season, see p. 5 of The Root, fall 2015: http://bit.ly/1lsfvQD)
Learning By Design
How can design transform learning? What might UTS look like 10 years from now? Students in Interdisciplinary Art and Design have been working on some ideas. If you’re in the building during December, drop by room 103 and take a look at how they used research to guide their design solutions.
On December 8, a quartet of UTS music students travelled to Davenhill Retirement Residence (formerly Fellowship Towers) to perform for the residents. They played a wide selection of music that included Broadway tunes, Shostakovitch and Schubert.
Integrated Arts Day
Our A3+ Day (drama, music and visual arts, plus more...) gave our F2/gr.8 students the chance to learn from local interdisciplinary artists and work through an interdisciplinary creative process. Over the course of the morning, small teams of students were challenged to create an artwork that explored a theme (e.g., ritual, insiders/outsiders, making do, etc.) and to develop a response that combined sound, light and movement. It was hectic but exciting and when they students hit the stage in the afternoon, they had produced some striking and entertaining performances. See more photos here.
The UTS volleyball blues made it all the way to the semi-finals at OFSAA - a historic milestone - and finished with a bronze! Go Blues!
Kindness Advent Calendar
December 3 marked the start of the UTS Wellness KINDNESS Advent Calendar - because kindness strengthens community. DAY ONE encouraged the UTS community to exchange positive energy through "high-fives".
Through the second round of the Canadian National Math League competition – that included perfect scores from eight UTS students – UTS has 60 out of 60 points. This opens up a 4 point lead for the Blues in a field of more than 120 schools nationwide.
A UTS fencer won gold in the Under 20 event for the National Championships. Full details can be found here.
Royal Conservatory of Music Diplomas
Eight UTS musicians recently received either their Licentiate or Associate of The Royal Conservatory (ARCT) diplomas for their various musical instruments.
On November 17, both the A and B teams were victorious with 5-0 wins apiece - the A team against Malvern CI and the B team against Bloor CI. On December 1, the chess B team travelled to Malvern CI for the third league game of the season. UTS again secured a 5-0 victory to improve to 13-2. Second year players and promising rookies alike played stellar chess to lock up the win.
In November, visual arts students wrapped up their life drawing studies with some beautiful drawings.
Speech and Debate
In November, the UTS Speech & Debate Society sent two teams to the Fulford event and all four debaters claimed Fulford certificates of excellence, awarded to the six top-ranked debaters in the junior and senior divisions. Our junior team placed 1st, bringing home the Brian Jones Junior Trophy and our seniors placed 2nd overall. Individually, our debaters placed 1st and 3rd in the junior division and 3rd and 6th in the senior division. One of our teams qualified to represent UTS and Ontario at the Oxford Cup held in Calgary where they will go up against the most competitive debaters in Canada.
Two teachers honoured
UTS science teacher Jennifer Pitt-Lainsbury received the University of Chicago's Outstanding Educator Award. She was nominated by Andrew Longwell '15.
Jeff Kennedy, Director of Athletics, was awarded the prestigious Leadership in Sport Award at the OFSAA banquet.
UTS Hosts OFSAA
UTS is hosting the Senior Boys A Volleyball OFSAA Championships. Go Blues! For livestreaming of the games: http://sportscanada.tv/ofsaa/2015-a-boys-vb
Reach Team On Camera
Mock Trial Success
CTV featured a segment on the history of Reach for the Top in Canada. The UTS team was featured: http://bit.ly/1LBuQTx
The UTS Mock Trial team placed sixth in the San Francisco Empire Mock Trial Tournament. A UTS student was also chosen as the second best witness in the tournament.
The UTS Alumni Association distributed $4,260 to student clubs and organizations at their annual Don's Den. Seven student teams received funding.
SSUNS in Montreal
A UTS contigent attended the 4-day Secondary School United Nations Symposium in Montreal. Sitting on committees such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organizations, and Printemps Erable, they debated major issues facing the world today and managed to pass a number of resolutions furthering the cause of multilateral diplomacy.
UTS Math Team
On November 14, 12 students traveled to Cambridge, MA to compete in the prestigious Harvard-MIT Math Tournament. This was UTS's first appearance at this event, which brought together 148 teams from across North America (and from Beijing). Notable performances included 16th place overall for UTS A in the Team Round, and UTS B's 19th place finish in the grueling Guts Round.
UTS Hosts Conference for Geography and Environmental Educators
On November 13-14, UTS hosted 250 participants at the annual Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE) fall conference. Educators from all over the province participated in more than 40 workshops, including sessions facilitated by UTS teachers Josh Fullan and Christopher Federico, and UTS students. John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and co-author of "Franklin's Lost Ship", and Sonia Faruqi, author of "Project Animal Farm", delivered powerful keynote addresses. Teacher Mike Farley served as the conference lead coordinator, and teacher Richard Cook headed up the Student Volunteer Committee.
Trial-Bound to San Francisco
The UTS Mock Trial Team competes annually in the Ontario Bar Association Mock Trial but this is the first year they’ve been invited to attend the Empire Competition in the U.S. They have been training diligently over the past few months and set out for San Francisco on November 19 accompanied by Ms. Choi and retired teacher Reg Hawes.
More International Fencing
UTS fencer, Cindy, is tearing up the international circuit. She won gold in the Cadet Women's Epee, at the North American Cup (NAC) in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jack Rhind ’38 was the guest speaker at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony. Resident Elder, Cat Criger, also spoke, as did Principal Rosemary Evans. The program included student presentations and musical performances – including the world premiere of an orchestral piece by one of our students. View photographs of the event.
This season, the senior boys volleyball team advanced to the TDCAA Tier 1 semi-final game for the first time. It was a tough match and the boys gave it their all but lost to a very good Francis Liberman CHS team, 0-3 (13-25, 21-25, 20-25). The Blues will be the host team for the upcoming OFSAA Single A provincial championships in late-November at Ryerson University. Go Blues!
On the International Fencing
UTS fencer, Cindy, competed with Team Canada - which came 8th out of 27 teams - at the Klagenfurt Cadet European Circuit in Austria. Individually, she finished 26th out of 204 competitors. In the Junior (U20) World Cup in Helsinki, she finished 53rd in individuals and team Canada came 11th.
The Wellness team provided UTS with another lovely, healthy and nutritious breakfast on November 11. It’s great to start the day on a fresh fruit smoothie!
This Week in Math
On November 2, Math Club opened its doors to mathematician and author Richard Hoshino '96 (left) who kept the students engaged with challenging problems. Also, after one round of competition in the Canadian National Mathematics League, UTS was the only school in the country with 30 out of a possible 30 points. There are a total of 6 rounds of play, so stay tuned for updates.
Motors Humming and Ink Flying!
The ARTomaton project is underway in F1 (Gr. 7) visual art! Students are sharing ideas and experimenting with a variety of tools and materials in a problem-based learning exercise in which they come to understand the stages of the creative process by experience. The problem: How do you create a robot that will draw or paint all by itself using a motor, batteries, wires and the contents of the family blue box? Resilience is acquired as students respond to challenges and exploit unforeseen opportunities. They must analyze their design failures, respond with refinements and revisions and try again with another drawing or painting trial.
The M3 (Gr. 9) visual art classes participated in a full-day photography and design workshop on October 29. They worked with photographer Jason Krygier-Baum learning about studio lighting, digital photography and his experience working with a unique set of models: animals!
Almost 50 students from the GTA - including four from UTS - participated in the Toronto Secondary School Chess Individual Championship hosted by UTS on October 30. Of the four-person UTS contingent, one student won and another tied for 4th. Two F1 (gr. 7) students also had a chance to get some tournament experience in, playing 5 games each.
Last week, the UTS Varsity cross country team ran in the TDCAA finals and five UTS athletes advanced to the upcoming OFSAA tournament!
Exciting University of Toronto Announcement
U of T released an exciting, important and historic statement on October 23 about the future of UTS. The next day, visitors to our Admissions Open House, as well as UTS grads reuniting at the Annual Alumni Dinner, had a chance to note the news and celebrate along with the rest of the UTS community! Coverage also appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and U of T's The Varsity.
Three UTS students have been recognized for their exceptional work in the Government of Canada History Award of 2015. Read their essays here:
Unprecedented Speech and Debate
Representatives from 150 public speakers from 45 schools in 10 countries participated in the 2015 International Independent Schools' Public Speaking Championship, hosted by York School. The UTS team achieved outstanding results claiming, for the first time ever, trophies for the Top School over-all, the Top Canadian School, and the Top Under-16 Competitor. Our students also garnered five individual awards: 2nd and 3rd in Parliamentary Debating, 3rd in Persuasive Speaking, and 2nd and 3rd ranking overall; one of them also qualified join the 6-person team that will represent Canada at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship, in the U.S.A. this spring.
The girls volley team fought hard on October 27 against a tough opponent in Bond Academy. UTS didn't take the win, but the girls displayed grit, determination, sportsmanship and even learned a new defense on the fly!
Uptown (well, Bloor & Spadina, so mid-town?) Funk and Wellness
Courtesy of Stage Band and Mrs. Kay, the school uptown funk'd their way into a special wellness assembly on October 28. Here's a snippet. Once the bopping in seats subsided, visiting nutrition expert, Trionne Moore, spoke about nutrition and the effects of food on brain functioning.
Company Corpus Flies In
Our F1 and F2 (gr. 7 and 8) students were treated to a hilarious and technically impressive physical theatre performance on October 28 when Company Corpus performed "A Flock of Flyers" in the gym. This was a great learning experience for F1s who are currently preparing their own physical theatre performances adapting Charlie Chaplin scenes for the stage. F2 students will participate in an interdisciplinary workshop with Corpus in November in advance of our A+3 Interdisciplinary Arts Day.
Pompeii - and dinosaurs - at the ROM
The UTS geography, history and visual arts programs joined forces on October 15 to take the entire F1 (gr. 7) cohort to the ROM. The students spent the day exploring the amazing Pompeii exhibit, as well as galleries dedicated to dinosaurs, earth’s treasures, and First Peoples.
UTS Amnesty International
The UTS Amnesty International Club has mounted "Invisible Scars," an exhibit that aims to raise awareness of the fact that torture is widely practiced in numerous countries around the world. The students also organized an opportunity to sign a petition calling on the Canadian Government to support a UN protocol bolstering an international effort to put an end to torture.
After winning against St. Mary's CSS 12-0 in the final game of the regular season, our junior boys soccer team is off to the playoffs. The senior boys volleyball team improved to 4-2 in league play with two convincing straight set wins, 3-0, over Father Redmond CSS and Michael Power St. Joseph School.
Alumna Guest Artist
Alumna guest artist Skye Louis '02, (currently exhibiting in the UTS Keys Gallery) worked with S5 (gr. 11) visual arts students. Skye included the students in her creative process with some fascinating results.
The foundation girls basketball team played an excellent first game. Great play-making and bench cheering resulted in a win: UTS 20, opponents 8. The boys soccer team played their 4th game on October 13 and came up with a 0-0 draw - a result that may have placed the team in a play-off position. Stay tuned!
UTS at Nuit Blanche
The UTS installation for this year's Nuit Blanche festival was "Remembering the Future."
Kick-starting a Year of Debate
To kick-start the year, the UTS Speech & Debate Society competed at the St. Clement’s Impromptu tournament on September 26. Two UTS debaters took part in the "show debate" on the pros and cons of rapper Kanye West as a candidate for the US presidency. The combined efforts of our three teams resulted in an overall 2nd place finish; individually, the UTS teams finished 2nd, 8th and 9th.
Starting to Play
On October 6, our F1s (grades 7s) made a start on playing their musical instruments of choice - with the help of OISE students who were on hand to offer guidance and instruction.
M4 (grade 10) biology students visited the lovely Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington on October 5 for a scenic day taking biodiversity measurements.
Congratulations to the varsity boys volleyball team - winners of the Etobicoke Collegiate tourney, held on October 3. The team came from behind to beat York Mills Collegiate 2-1 in the final. The UTS tennis team played well on October 2 with convincing wins in the senior boys doubles, junior boys singles, senior mixed doubles and junior girls doubles. All of these players will be on court later this month, hoping to qualify for OFSAA, scheduled for June. The girls varsity field hockey team is having a great season. The girls won their first three games, but lost on October 7, 1-0, to St. Joseph's College Wellesley. They play the final two games of the regular season next week.
A Roster of Visitors
The week of September 27 featured an exciting roster of visitors to two assemblies! The first featured our new elder-in-residence, Cat Criger (who is also elder-in-residence at U of T). In the second, we welcomed Dr. Greg Wells (left) to launch a new initiative of the UTS wellness program.
Club-o-Rama came to the gym in late-September and featured all the many, varied offerings available to UTS students. Perennial classics – like Classics! – were there as were the following clubs: Anime, Tea, Wellness, Brain Bee, Art, Math, Science, Dino, Doctor Who, Internet Culture, Animal Welfare, to name just a few.
F1 and S6 (grades 7 and 12) buddies enjoyed a movie evening one late-September Friday and, appropriately enough, watched "Freaky Friday". Naturally, the UTS popcorn machine was brought into service!
On the Fencing
Cindy competed nationally in the Canada Cup fencing tournament held in Vancouver in September and won gold in the Cadet Women’s épée.
From Coach Hall: On September 25, the tennis team played in a high school invitational tournament at the U of T's Scarborough campus. UTS players claimed 2nd and 4th in junior girls doubles and 2nd in senior boys doubles.
From Coach Pitt-Lainsbury: Nineteen F1 and F2s (Gr. 7 and 8) played in an all-day Ultimate Frisbee tournament on September 28 at Sheppard's Bush in Aurora. The team was undefeated in the round-robin, scoring 36 points with only 5 points, in total, against them. However, back-to-back games got the better of them and they lost 9-7 in the quarter finals.
From Coach Kollins: The senior boys volleyball team opened their season with a 3rd-place finish in a very competitive Agincourt CI tournament, losing in three sets in the semi-finals to Francis Lieberman CHS after defeating Monarch Park Collegiate in the quarter-finals. On September 28, in league play, the boys bounced back to win a 5 set thriller at home, 3-2 over Michael Power/St. Joseph High School.
From Coach Dannetta: The junior boys soccer team had their first regular season soccer game on September 30 – in teeming rain from start to finish – losing 2-0.
From Coach Audet: The girls varsity field hockey team had a great first game on September 30 against Mary Ward CSS, coming out on top with only 1 minute to go in the last half and a final score of 1-0.
Sax and Percussion
The Newfoundland band, Ouroboros, played for M3 students – and anyone else who wanted to listen! – on October 22, and rocked the auditorium.
UTS at the Inaugural History Olympiad
Last year, UTS teachers worked with students interested in competing in the inaugural Canadian History Bee and Bowl Competition. Following the Toronto tournament, some students organized participation in the national tournament where they qualified for the first International History Olympiad in Williamsburg, VA, this past summer. Team Canada placed 9th overall with UTS students, Gareth, Helen and Andrea, garnering collectively two 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes.
Meeting Yo-Yo Ma
On September 17, our S5 (grade 11) music students experienced a once-in-a-lifetime field trip - hearing Yo-Yo Ma play with the Silk Road ensemble at the Aga Khan Museum. The concert was a blend of instruments with origins in Japan, China, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe, and "highlighted how cultures along the Silk Road are connected by music - a perfect tie-in to our S5 Music course," says UTS music teacher Alex Eddington '98. And there's nothing better than a selfie with a world-class musician!
UTS in The Globe and Mail
On October 23, UTS was featured prominently in an article in the Globe and Mail that spoke to the positive influence of alumni on current students, and the fantastic contributions alumni can make to the life of schools.
Poetry Slam In German
At the 2015 Ontario High School German Contest, UTS student, Stephen, won attendance at a 3-week course that was held in Frankfurt, Germany. The course was sponsored by the Goethe-Institut which assembles young learners of German from Frankfurt's "twin" cities all around the world. On the final evening, Stephen wrote and performed this slam poem.
Student Services Party
The UTS Department of Student Services held its first lunchtime party of the year… because, well, it’s always a good time to have a good time with friends!
The S6 (gr. 12) music class spent September 15 with Opera Atelier at the Elgin Theatre. As part of the "Making of an Opera" program, the students learned about all aspects of Baroque opera production. They sang and danced and re-created the entire 5-act opera, Armide, through tableaux within a 10 minute time-frame! They have been invited by Opera Atelier to attend opening night of the production next month.
Chess in Mongolia and Greece
Joey readied himself for the UTS Chess season by competing in the World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad in Mongolia, in August, and helped Canada to an 8th place finish. He will also compete in the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) in Greece this November.
Massive Open Online Course
This summer, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for teachers was launched. The MOOC covered STEAM+ topics - science, technology engineering, arts, math and more. It was co-designed and presented by OISE, UTS, and Encore Lab and many UTS teachers and administrators took part. More than 2,000 teachers from around the world participated! http://mooc.encorelab.org/
oUTShine Summer Experiences
The UTS building hummed with activity this summer! Our innovative oUTShine program offerings – led in large part by UTS teachers – hosted almost 200 middle and high school students! In brief:
Maximum City, organized by Josh Fullan, this year focused on Toronto as a “newcomer city”; Anand Mahadevan oversaw two concurrent sessions of Bright Lights in the Lab (junior camp pictured above) run in conjunction with the Firefly Foundation and Professor Feng of the U of T Physiology Department, and taught with OISE interns and graduate students; the I-Think Summer Institute, directed by Christopher Federico, assisted by three OISE interns, delivered programs in partnership with U of T’s Rotman School of Management and focused on having students redesign the High Park Zoo; incoming UTS teacher, Deirdre Casey, organized the first UTS Speech and Debate Camp; and Adam Gregson worked with the University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics on a program for high-achieving math students.
UTS Olympiad Action
Current students and new grads generated exciting Olympiad news: Gloria Wu '15 placed 34th overall and won a silver medal at the International Biology Olympiad in Aarhus, Denmark (pictured). Jacob Jackson '15, earned gold for the second year in a row, and finished 9th overall, at the International Olympiad in Informatics in Almaty, Kazakhstan; and at the International Chemistry Olympiad (where three of the four team members were from UTS!), Alexander Cui won silver, and Spencer Zhao and Jeff An, bronze.
Students on the UTS Envirothon team went to steamy Missouri for the international competition where they finished 13th out of 52, and the top Canadian entrant – especially noteworthy since the UTS contingent was a young one, and identifying the local Missouri species and habitats (VERY different from those in Ontario) was a real challenge. Next year's internationals are closer to home at Trent University.
World Youth Chess
UTS chess player Janet placed 3rd in the under-16 girls section of the Canadian Youth Chess Championship in July. This achievement qualified her to represent Canada at the World Youth Chess Championship to be held in Greece in November. This is the third time she has qualified for the national team.
Educators’ Admissions Conference
UTS Director of Admissions, Garth Chalmers (front, 4th from R.), attended the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB) Character Skills Assessment Summit in Princeton, NJ. UTS is one of 32 SSATB member independent schools assisting in the development of a ground-breaking non-cognitive assessment to complement the cognitive measures currently evaluated in admissions processes.
Keep on Drumming
As usual, many OISE Additional Qualification courses were held at UTS. In one, three of our just-graduated taiko drummers taught a taiko basics workshop to OISE AQ music teachers. Our student-instructors quoted their mentor, UTS taiko instructor, Anthony Lee '86, from time to time: "You have to be sweating by the end!". "Check", said one of the participants!
2014-15 School Year
Top Marks in Chem 13 News Exam
Out of 2203 students who wrote the Chem 13 News Exam, 18 UTSers came in the top 200 in Canada! UTS student Alex placed 1st in the entire country, and Jeff and Kay tied for 3rd place.
North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
Twenty UTS students competed in the 2015 North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad hosted by UofT. They attempted linguistic problems in phonetics, syntax, morphology, derivatives and other challenges dealing with a variety of languages. Five of our students made it to the Invitational Round this March, facing problems in Old English, Navajo, Maxakali, and Hmong, among other languages. UTS student Zhenglin qualified for the International Linguistic Olympiad in Sofia, Bulgaria this summer.
UTS Earns Gold EcoSchools Certification
On May 27, Ontario EcoSchools visited UTS for our 3rd year of certification. Thanks to the leadership of the USEAC team, the assessor was impressed by our achievements and granted us gold certification! Go green!
Great Results for UTS Jr. Public Speakers
At the Jr. Public Speaking National Championship in Vancouver in May, four UTS students - selected at the Ontario qualifying tournament in March - competed against 42 of their most accomplished peers. All four performed in the finals and they brought home a combined 11 individual awards! Katherine: overall champion (following in the footsteps of Martine last year), 2nd in debating; Gautam (one of the youngest participants): 3rd over-all, 1st in persuasive speaking and interpretive reading; Rachel (who competed in all four finals): 4th over-all, 3rd in persuasive speaking, interpretive reading and impromptu speaking; Jocelyn: 9th over-all, 3rd in persuasive speaking.
UTS Heads Into Space!
The experiment “Levels of Sphingomyelinase (ASM2) in Caenorhabditis elegans in Microgravity”, designed by Annabel, Amy, Michael, Bridget, Alice, and Catherine, has been chosen as the official UTS experiment to be sent to the International Space Station - probably in a fall 2015, and the winning team will go to Cape Canaveral to watch the launch! The caliber of all the experiments submitted by UTS was so high that the school underwent an investigation to validate that the work was actually done by our students! As the director of the SSEP said once everything was cleared up: "The issue from our side was that... these proposals was so good that it raised questions."
UTS Mission Patch
For each launch, SSEP flies a Mission Patch — an emblem designed by the students of each participating community — along with the community’s flight experiment. A total of 128 designs for the UTS Patch were received. A panel of art teachers narrowed the field to 10 designs and a panel of science teachers selected the winner - by F1/grade 7 student Adrian. (The TELUS logo is included as part of the agreement for their generous donation to help UTS participate in this program.)
Second and Fourth in the OAPT Grade 11 Physics Contest
More than 900 grade 11 Ontario physics students wrote the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers contest in May. Two UTS M4 (grade 10) students earned the 2nd and 4th highest scores in the province.
Fourth in OFSAA Girls Soccer
The girls soccer team had an oUTStanding performance at OFSAA from June 4-6. For the first time since 2006, the girls advanced past the quarter final with 4 straight wins, scoring 12 goals and giving up only 2. On June 6, the girls played against some strong teams and lost both the semi-final and bronze medal game. Nonetheless, they came home with a well deserved 4th place. Go Blues!
UTS Chess Finished 2014-15 Season With Great Results
The UTS Chess Team closed out the 2014-2015 season by taking the Ontario-Quebec Team Challenge in Kingston on June 6. After five matches, UTS narrowly edged out Notre Dame 18 points to 16.5.
UTS students Jackie and Janet also had a busy chess schedule to close out the year. Jackie recently competed in the All-Girls National (U.S.) Chess Championships in Chicago, finishing second in the Under-18 category. Janet also showed that the future of the UTS chess team is bright by competing in the North American Youth Chess Festival in Mexico. Janet finished in 11th place in the Under-16 Female category.
2nd in Canada in the 2015 Physics Bowl
UTS finished 2nd overall in Canada in the team category of the 2015 Physics Bowl contest. This contest is administered by the American Association of Physics Teachers and is written by more than 7,500 students around the world.
House Island Day
Although the weather was a bit cloudy in the morning, that did not dampen the spirits of all the students attending the annual House Island Day trip on June 5. Fortunately, the weather cleared up and everyone had a great time on the island.
UTS is Heading to the International Chemistry Olympiad
During the week of May 24, five UTS students attended the week-long Chemistry Olympiad national selection camp for team Canada. Three of the four national team members selected are from UTS! Jeff, Alex, and Spencer will be heading to Azerbaijan in July to represent Canada in the International Chemistry Olympiad. Pictured are the students in action during the camp.
Guest Speakers Help AP Bio Students
AP biology students are currently working on a final paper for their course and picking a topic related to either HIV treatment or the effect of pesticides on Bee populations - as a way for them to apply their learning to a real world-wide problem. To help with this, on June 2, the Science department helped organize visits from experts in these fields:
Dr. Darrell Tan ’94 and lead researcher on PreP therapy at St. Michaels Hospital discussed current HIV treatments.
Dr. Amro Zayed of York University discussed the effect of neonicotinoid pesticides on the bee population in Canada.
Dr. Josefin Wiklund, Advisor to the Director and Executive Office at UNAIDS, New York, brought a global public health perspective to help inform students’ papers.
Ms. Hannon’s F1 drama classes performed their two character, three scene mini-plays for classmates during the weeks of May 25 and June 1. Students were given 10 lines of dialogue and were asked to build an original play around them, including writing, rehearsing, and producing the mini-plays. In addition six students delivered a great performance of Mouse by Sonja Mills at the June 3 assembly. These dedicated actors, and their student director, had been meeting at lunch for the last 2 months to rehearse the Junior Play.
Undefeated at the Rexall
UTS placed 4th overall in the high school division of girls' doubles at OFSAA tennis. A highlight was the girls playing and winning one of their matches on centre court of the Rexall Centre. Even professional tennis players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can’t say they were undefeated on centre court at the Rexall!
Triple Jumpers Head to OFSSA
On May 28, a UTS student finished 1st in triple jump and another placed 3rd in Midget Girls triple jump at the Metros track & field meet, qualifying them both for OFSAA at UofT Varsity Stadium.
Dogs As Stress Relievers
Therapeutic Paws of Canada paid a visit to UTS on the morning of June 3. Therapy dog Ivy, a Portuguese Water Dog, was on hand to help ease exam-time stress.
UTS Qualifies for the Interprovincial Chess Team Tournament
On May 31, eight students ventured to Marshall McLuhan CSS for the 2015 Ontario Schools Chess Team Championships. Armed with only their wits, the students achieved incredible results. The A team placed 5th overall and the B team finished in 2nd place, slimly losing the tiebreaker to the first place team. The B team qualified for the Interprovincial Team Tournament being held in Kingston in June.
Bronze for UTS in OFSAA Badminton
One of our senior mixed doubles teams for varsity badminton earned a bronze medal in "C Flight" at this year's OFSAA - a great accomplishment since this is the first time for the both of them at OFSAA!
On May 21, UTS held its third annual TEDxYouth@UTS conference. This year’s theme was “Kaleidoscope” and featured Professor Dilip Soman, acclaimed violinist Conrad Chow '99, UTS parents Chia Chia Sun and Dr. Rajiv Singal, and a number of UTS students as guest speakers. Topics discussed included self-control, how doctors must play the role of a fully engaged citizen, women and innovation, buzz words/language/meaning, and the complexity and local dimension of global issues.
MPPS Congratulate World Debating Champs
On May 28, in the Ontario Legislature, MPPs Chris Ballard and Glen Murray welcomed the three girls who made up Team Canada (UTS student, Martine, as well as students from Country Day School and St. Clements School), to offer congratulations on their accomplishments in the 28th World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSC) held in Hong Kong in April. WIDPSC is an annual international English-language debating and public speaking tournament for high school students with representatives attending from all over the world. Martine finished 3rd overall!
SSAF Foundation Boys Soccer Champions
On May 22, the foundation boys soccer team became repeat SSAF champions! Coach Guerra stated “they played wonderful soccer on their way to their second championship in as many years.” Go Blues!
Blues Baseball End Season in First Round of Playoffs
The UTS Blues baseball team's season came to a close on May 26 as they battled an experienced Cardinal Newman CSS team in the first round of playoffs. The game went into extra innings but unfortunately things just weren't meant to be. Cardinal Newman took the lead in the top of the 8th and did not relenquish their lead despite UTS getting into scoring position. As Coach Didier puts it “It was a great season and I'm very proud of the effort put forth by the boys. They improved a lot and the team looks to continue to build as the players gain experience.”
UTS To Represent ON at the N.A. Envirothon
From May 20-23, the UTS Envirothon A-Team represented the Toronto region at the provincial championships in Lindsay, ON. They competed in practical assessments of their environmental knowledge and skills, and presented a plan for urban forestry in the fictional town of Cloverdale. They finished in 1st place and go on to represent the province at the North American Envirothon in Missouri in July.
UTS Students To Go On Trade Mission to China
UTS students, Max and Corinna, were selected to be a part of Junior Team Canada (JTC) and will go on a trade mission to China this summer. 20-30 JTC Ambassadors were selected from a nationwide competition of 2,000 participants. They will be working with the Embassy of Canada, which will guide the team to promote the Government of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan in China, and with Global Vision, a national not-for-profit charitable organization that engages young Canadians to develop as leaders to make a difference in their communities, to Canada and the world.
Gold and Silver in Canadian Computing Olympiad
In the Canadian Computing Olympiad, Jeffrey earned silver and Jacob tied for gold with a perfect score – and will represent Canada in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in Kazakhstan. This is Jacob’s second first place finish in the CCO - he earned a gold medal at last year's IOI.
UTS Hosts the Reach for the Top Nationals
UTS hosted the Reach for the Top Nationals from May 23-25. UTS handily won its quarter-final game against Montreal's Dawson College (550-230) but was knocked out in the semi-final round by Lisgar Collegiate, who went on to win the National Championship. All the players finished off the tournament with a final banquet to celebrate an exciting, challenging, and hard-fought Reach season.
UTS To Represent Canada at the International Biology Olympiad
A UTS student will again represent Canada at the International Biology Olympiad this year! Gloria will head to Aarhus, Denmark in July.
Troisième Place Finish in the Provincial Concours d’Art Oratoire
Bonjour! Four UTS students qualified for various categories in the Provincial Concours d'Art Oratoire: one came away with 3rd in Extended French for a speech on the benefits of sport and how it has enriched her life.
UTS at the International Space Development Conference
On May 23, UTS student SSEP teams were invited to the International Space Development Conference in Toronto. Two of the teams presented their work, while their fellow students cheered them on!
UTS Placed 1st in National Biology Competition
74 UTS students wrote the National Biology Competition last month. The outcome? UTS again finished as the #1 school (out of 243) nationally in this competition. The breakdown: 5 National Biology Scholars with Distinction (ranked in the top 20), another 5 students in the top 20-50, and another 4 in the top 51-100.
Great Results at the TDCAA Track & Field Meet
At the TDCAA Track & Field meet, held on May 21-22, UTS students placed 2nd in Midget girls long jump and triple jump, 2nd in Junior girls javelin, 1st in Junior girls triple jump, 4th in Junior boys triple jump, and 4th in Senior girls triple jump. Based on their results, a few students advanced to the next stage of the competition.
UTS Placed 1st in Fryer and 2nd in Hypatia Math Contests
UTS placed first in Canada on the Fryer math contest this year. UTS also placed second nationally in the Hypatia contest. See the full results here.
Keep Calm & Summative On
On May 21, Student Services hosted a lunchtime party to help everyone “Keep Calm and Summative On!” On hand were some tasty snacks, live music, and even boxing gloves to relieve some stress.
1st and 2nd in Canadian Chemistry Contest
The Canadian Chemistry Contest (CCC) is a national contest that is rated by a combination of a test in chemistry and essay question. UTS students place first and second both nationally and regionally, as well as third regionally. As previously reported, the first and second place students are also 2 of the 5 UTS students heading to the National Chemistry Camp.
On May 15, UTS held its annual fajita lunch. Students and staff enjoyed the fun and the event was capped off with a relay race, featuring a 3-legged race, water balloon toss, egg walk, and Oreo search in whipped cream.
New Parent Evening
On the evening of May 14, UTS hosted the incoming 2015-16 F1 (grade 7) students and their parents. The evening included breakout sessions with teachers, staff, current F1 students and parents, and a reception during which parents, students, and staff had the chance to mingle and ask/answer questions before the start of the new school year.
Indigenous Solidarity Workshop
The Indigenous Solidarity Committee organized a Q&A workshop for all F2’s (grade 8) with author and activist Professor Lee Maracle on May 14. The goal was to help raise awareness about indigenous and non-indigenous relations.
A Visit From a Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 Scientist
Ph.D. candidate Christine Le from UofT, Department of Chemistry spoke at UTS on May 20 on what led her to study organic chemistry, her Ph.D. research, and how she became a Forbes' Top 30 Under 30 Scientist for 2015.
Children's Aid Foundation is UTS YPI Beneficiary
On May 13, M3 (grade 9) geography students competed in the UTS final of the Toskan Casale Foundation Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) for which students create a 10 minute pitch about a charity of their choice, with the hopes of winning a $5,000 donation for that charity. The team representing the Children's Aid Foundation won the $5,000 donation. Children’s Aid Foundation supports and delivers high-impact programs and services that serve vulnerable children and youth across Canada.
Varsity Soccer Play on BMO Field
On May 14, the varsity boys soccer team travelled to BMO field to play against a formidable St. Mary's CSS team. Although the game ended with a 2-1 loss, the boys left smiling and appreciative of being able to play on the same field as the TFC! Go Blues!
A Loss for Junior Boys Volleyball
The junior boys volleyball team played Chaminade College School on May 4. Despite a second set 27-25 win, momentum flagged and UTS lost the third and fourth sets, 5-25 and 15-25 respectively. Even with the loss there was excellent sportsmanship all around! Go Blues!
One Win & One Loss for Blues Baseball
On May 14, at Christie Pits, the baseball team lost to a hot hitting squad from TanenbaumCHAT. However the team rebounded, and on May 19 they came back against Pope John Paul II CSS with a win of 8-1. Go Blues!
Fencing for Gold
On May 17 UTS fencer, Cindy, won gold in the Cadet Women's Épeé at the 2015 Canadian Fencing Federation National competition in Vancouver!
Student Wins “Ag” in Canada-Wide Science Fair
Over the weekend of May 16-17 in Fredericton, a UTS student earned an “Ag” (silver) medal in the national leg of the Canada-Wide Science Fair, in which almost 470 students competed.
Tanzanian and Sri Lankan Writers Visit UTS
On May 15, visiting writers from Tanzania and Sri Lanka, (who were in Canada as part of the Toronto Festival of Literature and the Arts 2015 conference) shared their voices, stories and experiences with UTS English students. In the photo, from left to right: translator Gita, poet Anar (Issath Rehana Azeem) and writer, Tololwa M. Mollel.
Our 20th Consecutive Victory at the Classics Conference
Seventeen schools competed in more than 100 academic, artistic, and athletic contests at this year’s Ontario Student Classics Conference held on May 7-10. In the face of vigorous and impressive competition, the UTS contingent secured our 20th consecutive overall victory taking 1st in academic, 2nd in creative and 5th in athletic events!
UTS at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Sixty M4 (Gr. 10) bio students went to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton on May 6 and learned to measure wetlands biodiveristy. They also saw how the Cootes Paradise fishway operates to keep out invasive species and allow native species to flourish. They measured water quality, counted invertebrates, saw snakes, turtles, frogs and handled different types of fish.
Raising the Bar
On May 7, in the finals of the Ontario Bar Association Toronto Mock Trial Competition, UTS scored clear victories over Kipling CI and Blessed Cardinal Newman CHS. UTS also garnered a win in a hotly-contested final round against TanenbaumCHAT. However, due to a procedural anomaly, both teams were awarded a 1st place finish.
Middleton Public Speaking
There were many engaging speeches on a variety of topics delivered with a range of presentation styles at the Middleton Competition, held on May 6, showcasing the public speaking talents of our Foundation Levels. The F1 (grade 7) winner spoke about "the ability of music to change the world"; the F2 (grade 8) winner spoke to how "the world needs feminism".
Reach Team Heading to Nationals
The UTS Reach for the Top team placed 3rd in Ontario on May 11 and heads to Nationals in late May, hosted here at UTS. For some background on Coach Fraser Simpson, last season, and UTS Reach history, here's a good (re)-read from last year.
Which UTS Experiment Will End Up in Space?
The top 4 experiments in the UTS SSEP project have been submitted to the NCESSE. One of them will end up on the International Space Station! Which one will it be?
Option 1: Levels of Sphingomyelinase (ASM-2) in Caenorhabditis elegans in microgravity aka what can those little nematodes tell us about our muscles?
Option 2: How will Microgravity Affect the Functions and Development of Stem Cells in the S. Mediterranea Flatworm aka those cool plenaria have stem cells! How will micro-gravity affect them?
Option 3: Bioremediation of simulated wastewater by Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms under conditions of gravity and microgravity aka can that goo that bacteria leave behind help get rid of toxins?
Option 4: Microgravity growth and toxin biodegradation by the mixotrophic algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for use in biological life support and water/air purification systems as well as the co-production of useful chemicals AKA algae can remove toxins from the air and water in complete darkness!
Blues Baseball Team Start Their Season
The Blues baseball team season is up and, er, running. This year's team is a young one, and about half the players are playing their first baseball games ever! In the opening game, the Blues battled hard against Brebeuf CS, ending with a 13 - 7 loss.
Debate Teamwork & Success
Two UTS debating pairs joined other members of the Ontario contingent (teams from UCC, Northern SS, and St. Clement’s School) at the 2015 Junior Debate National Championship in Winnipeg from May 8-10. After six rounds of challenging debates – and many opportunities for developing new friendships –Team Ontario collectively claimed the Linda Martin Award for Top Province. In addition, UTS debaters were awarded the John Robinson Award for Top Individual Debater, two top-10 individual finishes (out of 96 debaters), and a quarter-final appearance. UCC claimed the CSDF Trophy for Top Team.
Onward to the Chemistry National Camp!
Eight students are chosen from across the province to attend the Chemistry National Camp in an effort to qualify for Team Canada at the International Olympiad (this year in Azerbaijan). Of the eight heading to this year's camp which will begin later this month, five are UTS students!
Great Results in the OSSSC
Six UTS students participated in the Ontario Secondary School Spanish Contest (OSSSC) on May 7. Due to the categories of competition, most of our students were competing in a higher level than the one they are currently enrolled in. Still, they embraced the challenge and returned to UTS with 1st and 4th places in the intermediate level, 4th place in the advanced level, and two Honorable Mentions.
Cheque Presentation to YWS
During assembly on May 12, the UTS Social Outreach Committee presented a cheque for more than $6,000 to Youth Without Shelter - the organization selected by students to be the beneficiary of proceeds raised during UTS Charity Week earlier this year.
Silver in the ECOO Contest
Four UTS students earned silver at the final (provincial) round of the ECOO Team Computing Contest on May 9 at York University. The team was in first place for most of the three-hour competition, but were edged out in the last 20 minutes by a strong Don Mills CI team. In the pic: three of our four competitors - and Mr. Gregson!
Annual Art Exhibition
The Annual Art Exhibition took place from May 1-6. The entire UTS Gym was filled with a variety of work from our visual arts students, and the exhibition was capped with both an opening and closing reception. Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the art that was on display.
UTS Takes Top 4 Spots at Sanofi BioGENEius Competition
Six UTS student-teams – mentored by esteemed scientists from esteemed institutions! - presented their research at the Sanofi BioGENEius competition on April 28 and achieved the following results:
1st (and a spot in the national competition): “Anti-cancerous and radio-protective effects of phytochemicals from ocimum sanctum.” Mentors: Dr. Marianne Koritzinsky & Dr. ManTek Yeung (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre).
2nd: “Valproic acid as a histone deacetylase inhibitor in Parkinson's Disease.” Mentors: Dr. Suneil Kalia & Hien Chiu (Toronto Western Research Inst.).
3rd (and the commercialization award): “Synthesis of a novel alpha-pinene for the use of turpentine as a bioplastic feedstock.” Mentors: Dr. Mohini Sain (Chair, Forestry Dept, UofT) & Dr. Samir Konar.
4th: “DNA methylation effects on Altzheimer's pathogenesis.” Mentors: Dr. O. Glucsenova (Sick Kids) & Dr. K. Sepp (UofT Impact Centre).
Other UTS projects included: “Investigation of physical and psychological stress on the immune response in humans - impact of high intensity exercise and PTSD on inflammatory cytokines”. Mentors: Dr. Shawn Rhind (Defence Research Development Canada); and “Analysis of Phages Isolated from Streptomyces.”: Mentors: Dr. Alan Davidson & Zhuang Duan (UofT Dept. of Microbiology).
For more photos from the event take a look at our Facebook page.
Can You Use That In a Sentence?
In recent Spelling Bee of Canada regional competitions, two UTS students qualified for the national championship held on May 3 with 32 regional winners from ON, BC, and AB. One of the UTS finalists placed second and the other had the misfortune to be one of 8 competitors wiped out by the word ‘leucine'.
SSAF Elementary Badminton Champions
The foundation badminton team competed in the SSAF Elementary Badminton Tournament on April 29. The girls’ singles ended up being a battle between UTS vs. UTS in the finals, and the entire team was overall 1st place at the tournament.
2nd and 3rd place in It's Chemistry Eh? Contest
Ants bites and how to distill drinking water from urine were the subjects of the two UTS entries to the final of The Chemical Institute of Canada’s (CIC) fourth annual “It’s Chemistry, Eh?!” YouTube contest for high school students. The videos finished 2nd and tied for 3rd respectively. This year's winning entry focused on baking.
Keeping Up With One Man Down
Although playing one man short, the boys varsity soccer team made their coaches proud by keeping up with Étienne-Brûlé on April 29. The opposing coach was so confident that he decided to play with one man short as well, however he underestimated the will and resolve of our boys. Eventually the opposing side added their extra player back in and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Great Results for Michael Smith Science Challenge
On February 24, all M3/grade 9 science classes participated in the Michael Smith Science Challenge – a national competition written by students in grade 10 science or lower. One UTS student placed 2nd nationally, one placed in the top 1%, 4 placed in the top 3%, and 7 placed in the top 10%.
2015 International Championship of Young Debaters Champions
Martine and Owen were declared winners of the 2015 International Championship of Young Debaters on May 2, in the prestigious Cambridge Union Society - the oldest continuously running debating society in the world, celebrating its bicentenary this year.
1st Victory of the Season for Junior Boys Varsity Volleyball
On April 27, the junior boys varsity volleyball team scored their first win of the entire season. Playing well through all three sets against Monsignor Percy Johnson CHS, the boys ended with a 3-0 score. Go Blues!
Success at 2015 DECA ICDC
This year's DECA International Career Development Conference was held in Orlando at the end of April. In their various events (with between 70 and 150 participants in each event), UTS students garnered two first, four second, one third, three top-10, and ten top-20 finishes!
Team “May the Fourth Be With You” a Force to Be Reckoned With
Four teams of F1 and F2 (grade 7 and 8) students competed in the Let’s Talk Science All Science Challenge held at UofT on May 4. All teams had a great day with strong showings in the knowledge portion of the competition. The design challenge proved to be a challenge indeed, but UTS team “May the Fourth Be With You” prevailed and earned 1st place overall out of 30+ teams from around Toronto!
Malhaar Meets Alex Trebek at CanGeo Challenge
F2 student Malhaar placed 3rd nationally in the final round of the Canadian Geographic Challenge, held on May 4 at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa! Here are the finalists (Malhaar is in the front row second from the left) with Alex Trebek, who donated funds in order to help make the event possible.
F1 (Grade 7) Students Visit High Park
On April 30, all F1 students made their way to High Park to learn about interactions in the environment. Students participated in EcoGames, a scavenger hunt/nature hike, tested water samples, explored terrestrial transects and creative writing/poetry, and learned about and analyzed the impact that people have on the park.
UTS Hosts Canadian Senior National Debating Championships
Over the last weekend in April, UTS hosted the Canadian Senior National Debating Championships, where Canada’s top debaters fiercely take on a host of topics ranging from compulsory voting to aboriginal education. Among the teams were three UTS pairs of debaters. After six rounds, one UTS team (top) made it to the quarter-finals. In addition, one of those debaters finished 6th individually at the tournament, and two UTS teams finished in the top three in Ontario!
Great Results at the Nora McRae Public Speaking Tournament
UTS competed in the Nora McRae Public Speaking Tournament at Branksome Hall on April 25. UTS was represented by 9 student debaters, with two junior teams placing 1st and 2nd respectively, and the senior team coming 2nd as well. In individual performance, UTS nabbed 1st and 3rd in the junior category and 2nd overall in the senior category.
Boys Varsity Soccer Pre-Season Experience
On April 22, the boys varsity soccer team travelled to Welland for the Niagara Cup, hosted by Notre Dame HS. It was the team's first outdoor tourney and first set of games on a full field with 11 aside. The boys went 0-4 but fought hard losing 2-0, 1-0, 2-0. Despite the results this was a great showing. Go Blues!
Varsity Badminton Team TDCAA Finalists
On April 22, in a terrific end to the season, our varsity badminton team played in a round-robin final between the top three league schools – Brebeuf College School, Mary Ward CSS, and UTS. Many close matches made this final a real nail-biter and UTS ended up finalists. (Don't be deceived by the banner - the "finalist" version wasn't on-site for the pic - so the team posed with the championship version instead!) Go Blues!
ECOO Regional Computing Competition
On April 25, three teams of UTS students traveled to Sheridan College in Oakville to participate in the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) Regional Computing Competition. UTS team 1 completed the contest in half the allotted time, finished first and advances to the Provincial finals. UTS team 2 finished within the top-20, and our team 3 missed making it to the final by just a few points.
Chemistry Olympiad Training Camp
On the strength of their performances in the Canadian Chemistry Contest, seven UTS students have earned positions in the 2015 Ontario Chemistry Olympiad Training Weekend. Should they all accept the invitation, seven of the 20 participants will be from UTS! The training, and the culminating National Olympiad exam, determine who will go to the International Chemistry Olympiad in Azerbaijan this summer.
On the weekend of April 25-26, a group of F2 students and their senior collaborators (top) presented their work for the SSEP program at International Astronomy Day at the Ontario Science Centre. The students demonstrated their projects to Centre visitors. In the pic with our students is (left) Phil Mozel of the OSC and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and (right) Matthieu Ranger, the OSC's Head of Astronomy.
A select group of scientists and researchers were at UTS April 27 (bottom), to judge the 2nd round of research proposals for the UTS SSEP venture. F2 students worked on the proposals supported by older student mentors and outside professionals. The top three proposals will go on to NASA for a final decision on which project will be performed on the International Space Station.
A New Season of Branching Out
The 2015-16 Branching Out mentorship program kicked off with an orientation session on the evening of April 21. There are 35 student/alumni partnerships this year, the most the program has ever seen! Our thanks to our alumni mentors - who span grad years from 1976 to 2010 - for giving back to UTS students in such a meaningful way.
Students in Prep Mode for the Annual Art Exhibition
After etching their plates in acid (pictured bottom), our S5 students have been busy printing. Their results will be shown at the Annual Art Exhibition, opening on May 1!
For more art images, check out our Facebook page.
For event details, click here.
Geo Students in Virtual Deep Dive
UTS was privileged to be the only school invited to the ROM on April 16 to explore – remotely and virtually – the HMS Erebus. For our F1/grade 7 geography students, the highlight was a press conference and surprise live video chat with Parks Canada diver, Ryan Harris, who gave an underwater tour of the wreck. Our students also asked questions of another Parks Canada employee above water at the wreck site. John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (and husband of Marina Jimenez ’82) was there to welcome the students.
For more photos, see our Facebook page. Also, see CBC and Toronto Star articles about the event or visit the Parks Canada page for more info on HMS Erebus. Parks Canada even made a video summarizing the special field trip.
WIM Jackie Goes Undefeated
Women’s International Master and current UTS student, Jackie, competed in the Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) All-Girls National Chess Championship from April 17-19 in Chicago. Jackie was undefeated (4 wins and 2 draws) in 6 rounds of the tournament and was co-champion in the under-18 category.
Debating Sweep at Appleby Fulford Tournament
At the Appleby Fulford tournament on April 21, UTS pulled off a stunning complete sweep of all four major trophies: the junior and senior division trophies plus the Coaches’ Cups for ranking 1st place overall in both divisions.
M3s Visit EverGreen Brickworks on Earth Day
What better way to spend Earth Day than outside? On April 22, the entire M3 (grade 9) class visited the EverGreen Brickworks and strolled along the lower Don River.
Sustainable Urban Design Trip
On April 21, the F2/grade 8 geography classes discovered the Distillery District, Corktown Common, Underpass Park and the beautiful new community facilities at Regent Park as part of their research on sustainable urban design.
Aboriginal Elder Visits UTS
On April 16, the Indigenous Solidarity Committee welcomed Cat Criger. Cat is the traditional elder for UTM, UTSC, UT Faculty of Law, UT Medical Sciences, and the Indigenous Education Network at OISE, and is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
Verdict: Victory for UTS Mock Trial Team
The UTS Mock Trial team competed in the Ontario Bar Association Toronto Preliminary Mock Trial Competition on April 20, turning in virtually flawless performances. As a result, UTS placed first in a field of 15 GTA teams, advancing us to the Toronto regional finals at the Ontario Superior Court in May.
Table Tennis Wins
In TDCAA table tennis, on April 14, UTS won the junior girls championship banner and the junior girls doubles. UTS players were also awarded the silver for senior girls singles, and 4th place in senior boys doubles. Go Blues!
UTS Takes 1st and 2nd at Metro Envirothon
April 15 was a perfect, sunny day for this year's Metro Envirothon competition. Students employed technical skills and theoretical knowledge at four stations: aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife; teams also had to come up with an Urban Forestry Plan for a fictional town for which they were given a generalized map. When the soil settled, our A team claimed 1st prize (and will represent UTS and Toronto at the provincial level), and our B team claimed 2nd!
For more photos from Environthon, visit our UTS Facebook page.
German Contest Success
On April 11, eleven UTS students joined peers from the TDSB, Peel, Hamilton-Wentworth and Halton boards for the Ontario High School German Contest at Harbord CI. They came away with 2 trophies, and two all-expenses paid trips: one student will head to Frankfurt courtesy of the Goethe-Institut, and another will travel to Munich and Berlin courtesy of the German Consulate.
Badminton Round Up
On April 9, the varsity senior team just missed out on the overall senior championship. Our players nabbed a bronze finish in mens singles and a gold medal in mixed doubles, and two of our players go on to represent UTS and the TDCAA at OFSAA! In their April 15 tournament, UTS foundation-level played extremely well and placed in the top 3 in each event. The entire team moves onto the finals. On April 15, the varsity bantam team (pictured) repeated their victory as TDCAA Overall Bantam Team Champions! They won gold medals in boys singles, girls doubles and mixed doubles – and had several other strong finishes. On April 20, the varsity team won against Bishop Allen in semi-final play. They now advance to the finals against Mary Ward and Brebeuf for the TDCAA Team Championship. Go Blues!
Boys Varsity Soccer in Niagara
The UTS boys varsity soccer team travelled to Niagara on April 17 and gave an impressive performance at the tournament, with a 2-2-1 result. Despite losing in penalty kicks in the consolation final, Coach Danetta was extremely happy with their maturity, team unity and finish around the net.
A Night of Senior Drama
On April 17 our Senior Drama Showcase featured a performance of the challenging, witty, and exhilarating comedy The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. The performance was accompanied by the M4/grade 10 band and orchestra and featured an original composition by an M4 student. The Showcase also featured two original collective creations by M3/grade 9 drama students: Arrivals and How to Write a Play in 47 Minutes. See more photos from the evening on our Facebook page.
National Recognition in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
UTS students, Michelle and Jackie, have earned national recognition in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2015. This year, 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only the top 1% were recognized at the National level. Michelle's submissions were Glass Me which won the National Silver Medal for Flash Fiction and Rain Box which won a Regional Silver Key. Jackie’s submission won a Silver Key in the Jewelry category.
UTS Visits the City That Never Sleeps
A group of UTS students travelled to New York City to experience performances and exhibitions by world class artists, designers, and musicians. The NYC arts trip included visits to the top of the Rockefeller Centre and a variety of art museums, as well as tours of Times Square, Central Park, and the Lincoln Centre. The students even caught performances of the Boston Symphony at Carnegie Hall - featuring alumnus Jamie Somerville '80, and Aida at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Principal Evans, one of the supervisors for the trip, even had a chance to catch up with a few alumni. For more photos from the trip, see our Facebook page.
2015 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship
Martine Duffy finished 3rd in the 2015 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship (WIDPSC) held earlier this month in Hong Kong. She was a representative on the Canadian team and one of the youngest participants. She was the only student to qualify as a finalist in all four of the competition categories: debating, impromptu speaking, interpretive reading and persuasive speaking. Martine received her prize from Mr. Justice Jeffrey Ma, Chief Justice of Hong Kong SAR.
1st and 2nd at the ISOMA Middle Math Olympics
Two F1 and F2 (grades 7 and 8) teams placed 1st and 2nd at the Independent Schools of Ontario Mathematics Association (ISOMA) Middle Math Olympics on the weekend of April 11-12. Both teams will move on the Provincial competition to be held in June in Ottawa.
On To Provincials for Senior Reach
Our Senior Reach for the Top team won their city division final on April 9 with scores of 510-90, 370-210, and 460-210. The team moves on to Provincials in May.
Repeat Champions for Varsity Badminton
On April 8, our Varsity badminton team showed tremendous depth with a sweep of medals/ribbons across the board at the TDCAA Junior Badminton Tournament, to earn a “repeat” as TDCAA Junior Team Champions. Go Blues!
Annual Alumni Hockey Game
The annual alumni (and one current student) hockey game was a success on April 10. It came down to the wire, but team blue came out victorious over team white. Sadly, there were no NHL scouts in the stands.
Day of Pink @ UTS
On April 8, the UTS community came together again to show support for International Day of Pink. Staff flexed their creative muscles by decorating their doors, and the newly-formed Pink Day Crew helped organize the day’s events, including a panel discussion on bullying and discrimination, guest speaker Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes (who performed the first legal marriage ceremony for same-sex couples in Canada), a video from Rick Mercer, Toronto Metropolitan Police mounted unit, pink baked goods and popcorn, and much more. See more photos on the UTS Facebook page.
Reach for the Top Teams Remain Victorious
In the final week of the regular season, our senior A team won 410-120 and 350-180 against Leaside High School and North Toronto CI, respectively, finishing with a perfect 14-0 record. The senior B team beat North Toronto CI and the UCC B team 350-250 and 380-260, respectively, for a 12-2 season finish. Our intermediate team (pictured) went into the finals - at Royal St. George’s College - ranked third but pulled out a 310-300 win over Riverdale CI to finish as champions.
On April 1, three teams of UTS students traveled to St. Andrew’s College for the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) Programming Competition preliminary round. They competed against students from eight other Conference of Independent Schools (CIS) schools. Out of 28 teams, UTS swept the podium with first, second, and third place finishes – qualifying all three UTS teams for the regionals.
Boys Varsity Soccer Friendly
The boys varsity soccer team played a friendly match against Marc Garneau CI on April 2. A wonderful strike by the team captain won the game for UTS during penalty kicks.
International History Bee & Bowl - Toronto
On March 28, sixteen F1-S6 (grades 7-12) UTS students participated in the first-ever Toronto competition of the International History Bee and Bowl. All three teams did well - including our F1 and F2 (grades 7 and 8) team, who had to face high school teams for most of the day. UTS students also shone in the individual component, and two UTS students faced one another in the Junior Varsity Championship round.
Canadian Computing Olympiad
Two UTS students have qualified for the Canadian Computing Olympiad on the strength of their performances in the Canadian Computing Competition in February. Only the top 25 of nearly 1200 contestants were invited to this event, from which our national team will be selected!
Interdisciplinary Arts and Design
Alumna Jen Chow '03 visited UTS on April 7 and gave a presentation on prototyping for ideation to an Interdisciplinary Arts and Design class.
UTS Successes at HOSA Canada
On April 2, 22 students competed in the first Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Canada student leadership conference, a DECA-style competition for students interested in medicine. Our students came home with first places in CPR, Knowledge Test: Nutrition, Medical Reading, Medical Spelling, and Research Persuasive Speaking.
Music Without Borders
UTS students helped to organize a Music Without Borders concert, held at UTS on March 28, to raise funds for the fight against Ebola and, in particular, for Médecins Sans Frontières.
An Out of This World Visit
On March 30, Canadian space scientist, Eric Choi, spoke to students on the 50-year history of Canadian space research. An International Space University alumnus, Eric has worked on a number of space missions including the Canadarm2 on the International Space Station. He stayed to chat with one of our SSEP research groups, too!
Brain Bee Competition Abuzz with UTS Students
On March 27, ten UTS students competed in the Brain Bee competition held at UofT. Seven students advanced to the final round, with UTS taking 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th places. Our first place winner will go on to represent Toronto at the National Brain Bee Competition at McMaster University.
UTS Wins Metro Toronto Team Championship!
The senior A team – perhaps one of the strongest high school chess teams assembled in Toronto over the past 15 years – won its 5th consecutive Toronto Team Championship on March 27 finishing with a near-perfect 19.5 wins out of a possible 20. The team withstood significant pressure throughout the competition and played some truly beautiful chess. Despite having stayed under the radar for most of the day, a late surge in the final round earned senior B team the silver. The junior team participants – in this, their first Toronto Team Championship – played some solid chess and earned a 6th place finish.
National Final – Canadian Geographic Challenge
In September, tens of thousands of students entered the Canadian Geographic Challenge. The 20 finalists include F2 student Malhaar, last year's national silver medalist. This year’s finalists will compete in person (as opposed to online) in Ottawa at the Canadian Museum of Nature, courtesy of fellow Canadian and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek who donated the funds to cover all travel and accommodation expenses of the finalists.
UTS Awarded at Sears Drama Festival
At the Sears Drama Festival awards ceremony, held on March 30, UTS student playwrights won an award for their work, and the whole group was honoured for their ensemble performance!
Scientists for the Right to Know
OISE Professor Emerita Margrit Eichler, executive director of Scientists for the Right to Know, gave an eye-opening talk to the senior Canadian and World Politics class last week.
Gold at the York Regional Science & Technology Fair
From a vigorous selection from 200+ students, S5 (grade 11) student won gold at the 2015 York Regional Science and Technology Fair with her project: "Regulating Fat Growth with Master-switch Protein Kinase". She will now represent Ontario at the Canada-Wide Science Fair!
March Break Music Camp Fun!
More than 40 grade 3-9 participants – from UTS and other GTA schools – participated in our March Break Music Camp. Instrumental workshops, orchestra rehearsals, sessions on Taiko and Brazilian drumming, ukulele and guitar-playing, singing and song-writing, jam clubs – as well as athletic activities and camp-style crafts – were enjoyed by all. The entire camp performed a showcase concert to an appreciative and supportive crowd of staff, parents and family. See videos on our Facebook page here: ukulele ensemble, percussion ensemble, and jam club.
UTS Skis to Sixth in Canada
On March 17, a UTS student participated in the Haywood 2015 Ski Nationals and placed 6th in Canada in the Canadian Juvenile Boys Nordic Ski Championships and 2nd in ON!
What's that? UTS Reach lost? In their first game, Upper Canada College A defeated the UTS B team 280-240, despite two members of our A team filling in for people missing in action. Our players redeemed themselves against Marshall McLuhan CSS B with a score of 460-60. UTS A defeated UCC B 430-120. Also, in their most hard-fought game of the season, UTS A played against Northern SS again. The other team brought a rejuvenated roster, and the UTS A team was thrown off by a certain pep in their step, conceding the first round. However, they were able to recover, eventually coming out on top 370-200.
Bar Set High for UTS Wrestling
On March 3-4, Coaches Chuvalo and Williamson took UTS wrestlers to Windsor to take on the province's best. UTS came away with an 8th place finish in a field of 32 - a great accomplishment for a UTS wrestler, and a 4th place finish that sets "the bar very high for UTS wrestlers in the years to come," says Coach C.
UTS students participated in a "Virtual Town Hall on Global Citizenship Education" on March 11 - along with students from schools across the country. The virtual town hall was hosted by Taking It Global, and even had UTS presenting the first keynote of the day.
A Stroke of Gold
Our Varsity swim team went to OFSAA in early March. The historic highlight was a gold medal in the boys’ 200m Individual medley - the first UTS swim gold at OFSAA since 1970! Also: a 10th place finish in the girls' 100m butterfly and two top-20 finishes in boys' relay events.
Let's Talk Math!
Alumnus Jacob Tsimerman '06, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at U of T, visited math club on March 23 to talk about Euler's Formula.
Public Speaking Round-Up
February was a busy month for the UTS Speech and Debate Society! Forty of the best public speakers in Canada competed at the Senior National Public Speaking Championship in Winnipeg. The two UTS students in attendance – one of whom earned the title National interpretive Reading Champion and ranked 8th overall – though among the youngest there, demonstrated a level of skill possessed by only a small number of older peers. At the Ontario Junior Provincial Debate Championship in Oakville, all three of our teams placed in the top 10 – one earning the opportunity to represent UTS and Ontario at the Junior National Debating Championship in May (the championship that UTS hosted and won last year). At the senior Provincial level, two of our senior debate teams went head-to-head with the best in the Province with our final standings being 12th and 19th out of 36 teams – solid results for Provincial new-comers but just shy of what was needed to claim spots for the National Championship. At the third Fulford Debate League event of the year, UTS won the top senior team trophy and earned 3rd in the junior category.
On February 27, UTS was happy to welcome future students and their parents to the school for a taste of UTS life. The gym was packed with eager parents and the auditorium was filled with excited prospective UTSers, who were welcomed by co-captains Divya and Clement (inset).
Platinum at Kiwanis
The taiko drum ensemble traveled to Sir John A. MacDonald CI on February 26 to compete at the Kiwanis Music Festival. Once again, they received a platinum (highest possible) award for their wonderful performance. A special thank you to UTS alumus Anthony Lee ‘86 who leads and inspires the group!
Tory Shield Competition
Fifteen staff and student judges, and five student moderators, presided over this year’s John A. Tory Shield for Intermediate Public Speaking (est. in 1949), which showcased some of the best public speaking ever seen at UTS!Participants were neck and neck, but a spoken word poetry piece secured 1st place, and for the first time ever, there was a tie for 2nd place. The Rising Star award rounded out the honours.
First Volleyball 3A League Championship for UTS
On February 26, the senior girls volleyball team played Father John Redmond CSS in the TDCAA 3A final, winning 3-0 and claiming the school’s first volleyball AAA league championship. As coach Kollins says, "It was a fantastic season: the girls were silver medalists in 3 of the 4 tournaments they entered, capping off a fine run with the TDCAA championship. Well done Blues!”
Delayed at the Sears Ontario Drama Festival
A preview of Delayed, a UTS student-written (and directed and performed) play, was held at UTS on February 27, in advance of the Sears Ontario Drama Festival. The play features a cast of quirky characters forced to deal with one another a little too directly as they wait for a plane that may, or may not, arrive.
UTS student, Samantha, traveled to Blue Mountain to compete in the OFSAA Snowboarding Festival on February 26. Her amazing second run helped solidify her 19th placement. Here she's pictured with her coach minutes before the second run.
No Longer Undefeated
The Reach A and B teams played only one game each on February 25, in anticipation of the epic UTS A vs. UTS B team battle that happened on March 3. The A team trumped Marc Garneau CI with a score of 420-130, while the B team defeated Leaside High School with a score of 340-210. Alas, both teams could no longer claim to be undefeated in the Downtown Toronto League, with the A team beating the B team 480-170 at the March 3 UTS vs. UTS battle. UTS (and Reach) alumni Cole Jackes '14 and Daniel Lovsted '14 both made an appearance at the event.
French Public Speaking
At the French Public Speaking Competition at St. Clement's School on February 20, the efforts and enthusiasm of our students in preparing and delivering their speeches did UTS proud. In addition, five won 1st place in their category and have been invited to compete at the provincial level in May.
Fifteen UTS students qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination by virtue of their scores on the AMC10 and AMC12. Of special note: two F2 (grade 8) students were in the top 3 scores in the school for the AMC 10, which is written mostly by grade 9 and 10.
Here Be Dragons
The M4/S5 (grade 10/11) Geography of Asia class recently travelled to the Gardiner Museum to view its Chinese ceramics collection - and the students had the opportunity to try their hands at sculpting their own Chinese dragons.
En Garde Blues!
On February 8, UTS sent two teams of fencers to our first inter-school competition - the annual Saints team challenge at St. Andrew's College. Out of the 30 competitors, UTS nabbed 1st and 2nd. In the pic: UTS fencers with Ms Ewing and some friends.
Foundation Boys Basketball Advance
With a convincing win over Hudson College on March 2, the boys foundation basketball team advances to the city final-four play-down on March 4. Go Blues!
Math Professor Visits UTS
Professor Ian Vanderburgh, from the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo, dropped by the senior math club on March 2. He gave a lecture, entitled “Geometry: Simple Theorems, Hard Problems”, and delighted students with elegant solutions to Olympiad-level problems.
Great Showing at SSAF Table Tennis Tournament
UTS played in the Small School Athletic Federation (SSAF) table tennis tournament on March 2 and placed third in boy's singles, second in girl's singles, and third in boy's doubles. With the large amount of F1s who participated in the event, the future of UTS table tennis is looking bright!
Tough Win for Chess
The chess B team hosted a spirited team from Bloor CI on March 3 and came out with a tough 3-2 win. One match even lasted almost 2 hours!
Jack Project Summit
A group of UTS students attended the satellite Jack Summit held at Branksome Hall on February 27. The Jack Summit is Canada's only national student-led mental health innovation summit and aims to promote education and awareness of mental illness among Canadian adolescents. At the satellite summit, there were over 100 student delegates in attendance from various independent schools in the Toronto area. Other satellite summits were being held across the country, primarily at university and college campuses.
More than 20 senior science and Spanish students, along with teachers Dr. María Niño-Soto and Mr. Anand Mahadevan, will be traveling over March break to carry out biodiversity research in Honduras, and for those students enrolled in Spanish courses, experience immersion in the language and culture of a Spanish-speaking country. Take a look at this video for a taste of what they'll be doing.
Community Picnic Lunch
The Wellness team, supported by the UTS Alumni Association, organized a fabulous community picnic lunch on February 27. After feasting on a delicious array of mini pizzas and fruits and vegetables, students and staff created greetings cards in support of Blessings in a Backpack.
Chess for Change
On February 19, 13 staff faced off against two UTS students, a National Master and a Woman International Master, in the Chess for Change fundraiser. Almost $300 was raised in support of UTS Charity Week and Youth Without Shelter. As Coach Farley reports, "all the staff proudly walked away with participation certificates!"
Striding to Third
UTS student Oliver placed 3rd at this year's OFSAA Nordic Ski Competition in the Junior Boys category, held on February 19 in Sudbury, ON. Here he's pictured starting his amazing race.
U of T Challenge Cup
The senior boys soccer team participated in the University of Toronto Challenge Cup on February 20. Facing some tough competitors, they came out of the competition with 2 losses and a tie. Coach Dannetta was proud of the showing our boys gave, playing hard right to the last whistle. As he states: “Our team is starting to take on a personality of being fast, skillful, and determined….all hallmarks of previous UTS teams.” Go Blues!
For the second year straight, UTS student Malhaar emerged as the school champion for the Canadian Geographic Challenge. Malhaar edged out twelve other F1, F2 and M3 (grade 7-9) competitors. Malhaar will now write a qualifying test in the hope of being selected as one of the twenty finalists from across the country to travel to Ottawa in May for the National Final.
Chess A Team Maintains Perfect Record
The chess A team hosted Northview Heights SS on February 24, and kept their winning streak alive with a solid 5-0 win, helped along by a last-minute sub who was cool as a cucumber in ensuring the team sweep!
Junior Drama Showcase
Despite frigid temperatures on February 20, the stage lights shone warm and bright on the Junior Drama Showcase, lighting up performances of Shakespeare and Commedia Dell’Arte. The packed audience was very enthusiastic, and the students were excited to have an opportunity to perform and to enjoy one another's work.
UTS Reach Teams Remain Out of Reach!
The UTS Reach A and B teams extended their perfect records on February 18, for a total of 12-0 this season. They played against St. Michael's Choir School and Marshall McLuhan CSS, with our A team squaring off against their B teams and our B teams against their A teams. The A team trumped St. Michael's Choir School and Marshall McLuhan CSS with scores of 460-70 and 450-60 respectively. The B team handed defeats to St. Michael's Choir School and Marshall McLuhan CSS with scores of 280-200 and 390-140 respectively.
A Good Season for Senior Boys Basketball
The senior boys basketball team played an outstanding game against Yeshivat Or Chaim in the first round of the playoffs. The boys were close to their first win of the season, but it wasn't meant to be and UTS lost 55-48. Overall, it was a good season and Coach Didier thanks the boys for their commitment and effort! Go Blues!
Senior Girls Volleyball Off To The Finals
The senior girls volleyball team beat Senator O'Connor College School on February 18 in the TDCAA Semi Final match (3-0), advancing them to the finals. UTS is a 1A school competing in the 3A playoffs this year! Go Blues!
Valentine's Day at UTS
Lunch-hour on February 12 was all warm and fuzzy thanks to Student Services. With the mellow tunes of a student jazz trio in the background, a table-full of heart-shaped chocolates, and the House exec delivering roses, UTS was certainly feeling the Valentine’s Day vibe. Enjoy this LOVE-ly video created by the UTS QSA!
Debating at McGill
A team of twelve relatively new UTS debaters travelled to the McGill Winter Bonanza, a Canadian parliamentary tournament, in early February. Three of our teams placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the junior division - including a spirited and rigorous all-UTS final! A UTS debater was also named Top Junior Speaker (in his first university tournament).
On the Fencing
A UTS student fencer placed 3rd at the Junior (Under 20) Pan Am Championships on February 5. She and her teammates placed second in the team event, beating Chile in the semi-finals but losing to the USA in the finals.
Click here for a video of our UTS students fencing, courtesy of the Toronto Pan Ams Association.
Volleyball Winter Classic
On February 6, UTS hosted 12 teams from across southern Ontario for the Downtown Winter Classic Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament. UTS placed second, losing to undefeated Ursuline College in the final. Go Blues!
Reach for the Top Begins
The senior Reach team kicked off the season with wins all around on February 3. The intermediate Reach team also entered the scene in the strongest way, upholding the winning tradition by nabbing large-margin victories in both their games.
On February 6, a small group of UTS wrestlers travelled to Guelph to take on athletes from Ontario and Quebec. They came home with a gold and two bronze medals. Go Blues!
The UTS DECA chapter had another banner year at this, the most competitive DECA Provincials ever, in which a record-breaking 6,500 students duked it out – with more than 100 participants in each event. Of our 92-person team, 45 UTS students placed in the Top 10 in their respective competitions. Most of these students are now eligible to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando later this year. This means that a whopping 40% of the chapter will represent UTS and Canada at the Internationals, compared to the average of 0.5% for schools in Ontario.
Hats Off to Kids’ Lit Quiz
On February 4, our Kids’ Lit Quiz A and B teams traveled to Deer Park PS to compete in this year’s competition. While both teams managed to garner high scores in several rounds, both chose to double up points on the category: “Hats”. Unfortunately, the questions were extremely difficult and this was one of the worst rounds overall for every team. UTS Team A (in contention for the Nationals up until that point) got 4/10 questions right, causing them to drop to 5th place. To cap it all, the drop was enough to put a stop to the team’s competitions this year.
Combating Stage Fight
From January 27-30, M3 (grade 9) drama students were treated to workshops in stage combat conducted by alumna Louisa Zhu ’08 and Rico Pfeiffer. Alumna Tasha Stansbury ’10, currently volunteering in the drama and art classes, also helped out.
Healthy Bodies & Healthy Attitudes
On February 10, UTS and the NEDIC (National Eating Disorders Information Centre) partnered up to present a panel on positive body image and self-esteem in teens. The evening consisted of dialogue and discussion about the things teachers and parents could do to help nourish positive body image, healthy bodies and healthy attitudes.
Music Duo Visit UTS
Duo Concertante, the piano and violin duo consisting of Tim Steeves and Nancy Dahn, visited UTS on February 2. The S5 music class was treated to a performance and workshop, as well as a Q&A session with the duo.
Watch a clip of their performance here.
The UTS co-ed hockey blues defeated Mary Ward 10-0 to finish an excellent 2014-15 season, and missing the fourth playoff spot by one win. Coach Kennedy notes the steady improvement over last season and sends special thanks to the S6 (grade 12) graduating players (pictured). Also, a shout out to the parents "who provided tremendous support and encouragement - always giving us a power play advantage!!" Go Blues!
A Day at the Museum
On January 28 the Geography of Asia class spent the day visiting the ROM and the Gardiner Museum. At the ROM, the class took part in a guided lesson/tour through the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China. At the Gardiner, the students had a session on ceramics from China and spent a couple of hours sculpting clay Chinese dragons in the studio. Here the students are pictured taking in a beautiful Buddhist mural at the ROM.
Reach for the Top
The Reach team placed 3rd overall at the Ottawa tournament on January 30-31. Since the UTS team was "incomplete" - not all our players were in Ottawa - our success there bodes well for the season!
The chess B team travelled to Subway Academy on February 3 and earned a great victory (4-1). The team pulled together for some crafty wins, including one on a giant chessboard!
The senior boys basketball team closed out their season on February 3 with a loss against a strong Crawford Adventist Academy team. The boys played hard and competed with heart every play. Despite a rough start, the Blues showed that they don’t quit. As they did all season, the team played with class.
Just before the winter break, the F2 (grade 8) physical education classes took part in a 3-class introduction to fencing with Tim Svidnytskiy (instructor and elite fencer from the Toronto Fencing Club).
Visual Arts: Life Drawings
Some of the many wonderful life drawings created by the S5 Visual Arts class are now posted in the display cabinets outside room 103 - drop by to take a look!
Bell Let's Talk Day
On January 28, staff and students involved in the Wellness Team and the Positive Mental Health Committee coordinated a number of initiatives in support of the Bell Let’s Talk Day. Students shared their thoughts on mental health issues via message boards around the school, and at a lunchtime panel discussion some UTS staff members talked about their own experiences with mental health. Activities like these serve to further promote open dialogue, reduce stigma, and give students a sense of optimism about the possibilities for managing mental illness as well as reassurance in the opportunities available for mutual support within the school.
Representing Canada, UTS students Cindy and Michelle placed 5th and 6th respectively at the Cadet European Circuit on January 11 in Krakow, Poland. There were approximately 150 competitors from 22 different countries. Here they are with their coach, Michel Dessureault, a Canadian Olympian and Olympic coach.
The senior boys basketball team continues to improve and work hard. Despite a loss against Francis Liberman on January 27, the Blues played their strongest game of the season. Go Blues!
The chess A Team hosted rival North Toronto CI on January 27 and played superbly to earn a 4-1 victory. While two wins were quick, the other two were the result of nearly 2 hours of battle each.
Interdisciplinary Arts & Design
Zahra Ebrahim, from U of T's City Studies program (and Architext Inc and many other projects) worked with the Interdisciplinary Arts and Design class on January 27. She provided feedback on students' independent projects and helped them create "personas" (character profiles of stakeholders' interests and motivations) which help to guide the research and design process.
UTS is Flying High
If you saw a crowd gather in front of the school on both January 27 and 28, then you likely would have seen our feathered neighbor. A red-tailed hawk has been spotted around UTS over the last couple of weeks, causing impromptu photo-shoots around the school.
We even captured a video of it here.
On January 20, the UTS B chess team travelled to Ursula Franklin Academy. They came home with a convincing 4.5-0.5 victory, including somehow managing a stalemate draw with only a King remaining and staring down an angry Queen opponent.
Our sincere thanks to the more than 70 alumni volunteers, spanning six decades of graduating classes, who joined staff on January 17 for our admissions interviews. Here they are at the beginning of the day, enjoying an impromptu reunion. It's always great to welcome our alumni - and candidates - to the school!
Animated Video Projects
F2 (grade 8) visual arts students are in the midst of a video production project. Some students have chosen an alternate technique: stop-motion animation (animating objects). Here are two "studios" in production.
On the strength of their performance at Queens U on January 9, two UTSers have been invited to be one of three teams representing Canada at the 2015 International Competition for Young Debaters, hosted by Cambridge U in May. It’s prestigious - and held in the Cambridge Union Society, the oldest debating society in the world! This will be the 3rd consecutive trip to the ICYD for UTS debaters.
The results are in for the Chemical Institute of Canada’s “It’s Chemistry, Eh?!” YouTube Contest and UTS students were awarded:
2nd place and 3rd place.
UTS in Space
UTS: first Ontario school and third school in Canada accepted to the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP). The winning UTS student-designed micro-gravity experiment will wing its way to the International Space Station to be carried out on Earth and in space simultaneously. We can't wait to show the world that our students are simply out of this world! Stand by for further updates!
Here’s the inaugural UTS winner of the AsiaWise Contest run by Giant Classroom. Our Geography of Asia class participated in the contest for the first time this year and achieved an average score of 70/100, far surpassing the global average of 42/100 for the competition.
A UTS student has qualified for the Canadian Math Olympiad based on the strength of his performance on the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) in November. An additional nine UTS students were added to the COMC’s honour roll.
The foundation boys basketball team won their season opener against Northmount School and fought hard against Neil McNeil High School the next day, but lost. With the loss came some great learning which will no doubt inform future play. The senior boys made a valiant effort against Étienne-Brûlé at home but fell short. Despite being a player down, they also played well against first place Blessed Cardinal Newman Catholic High School to come within 6 points, but finally picked up a loss. Go Blues!
On January 10, the senior girls volleyball team improved to 3-2 in TDCAA Tier 1 league play with a 2-0 convincing win over Father John Redmond CSS. The girls served tough and stayed aggressive throughout with some excellent shots. It was a total team effort! Go Blues!
The chess A team hosted Humberside CI on January 13 and started 2015 with a resounding 5-0 victory!
UTS student competed in the Phoenix Invitational High School Nordic Ski Meet at Hardwood Hills on January 13. Despite the -20 degree temperature he set a blazing pace and finished fourth in the junior boys division.
Speech and Debate
On January 9, UTS debaters went to Queen’s University to compete against many of Canada’s top teams. After engaging in a range of hotly contested debates, one of our senior teams placed second overall and a junior team placed 13th overall. All of our debaters performed with polish and poise.
Adam Vaughan Visits UTS
Liberal Party urban affairs and housing critic Adam Vaughan (MP for Trinity-Spadina) was in the Canadian World Politics class on January 7. He led a rich discussion about the impacts of increasing inequality on the fabric of Canadian society, and made a persuasive argument for the importance of a national housing strategy in mitigating some of its harmful effects.
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill '75
When author Lawrence Hill ’75 visited UTS during Black History Month in 2012 to speak to students about his work and his experiences at UTS, he let us know that there were plans afoot to dramatize his international best-seller “The Book of Negroes”. On January 7, the first installment of the six-part series premiered on CBC!
Lawrence Hill on “The Current”: http://bit.ly/1zUJAb3
The director and producer interviewed on Metro Morning: http://bit.ly/1IrYqu0
On January 6, UTS students were treated to extensive excerpts of "Boom", a show written, directed and performed by Gemini and Dora-award winner Rick Miller. The show traces 25 years of baby boom history (1945-1969). The students asked Rick about his choice of elements to include and how he came up with his main characters. Rick was impressed with the insightful questions and also praised UTS stage crew students who helped him manage the tech for the show.
The Tradition Continues...
The UTS student-prepared holiday breakfast took shape on December 19. Waffles, pancakes, latkes, fruit, hot chocolate, and smoothies: just the kind of meal you need to set you up for a holiday assembly!
Student Services Holiday Party
Student Services held their second annual holiday party on December 17, with live music, snacks, and a visit from Santa himself!
Chemistry: Molecule on Bloor Street
The AP and S5 (grade 11) chemistry classes have created holiday molecules - 3D molecules with VSEPR shape - which they've hung on a seasonal - wait for it: "Chem-Is-Tree".
Chemistry: Able Candy Cane
It seems our chemistry students candy no wrong at this time of year. Here are the M4s (grades 9s) making candy cane!
On December 12, the halls were alive with the sound of music. Students of all grades performed in holiday-themed musical acts at Café Blanc 2014, organized by S5 (grade 11) students. This was followed by Toyland, this year's winter concert, organized by the S6 (grade 12) class.
Art & Design
How can skyscrapers be retrofitted to help cities manage rainwater? One solution comes from the lowly liverwort moss. U of T student Tina Chim visited the Interdisciplinary Art and Design class recently to discuss biomimetic design (using forms and systems from nature to inform design solutions). Tina's liverwort moss-inspired design was a finalist in the 2011 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge.
The senior girls’ volleyball team place second at the Etobicoke Collegiate Invitational. The Blues placed second after pool play, only dropping one set, and went on to defeat Glenforest SS in the quarter-finals and Etobicoke CI in the semi-finals. In the final vs. Holy Name of Mary, the girls started strong, but ran out of gas, dropping the match 0-2. The Blues took home a silver. Go Blues!
UTS brought home a silver and two bronze medals from Fergus, ON on December 10 and two silver and two bronze medals from Milton, ON on December 17. About UTS wrestlers, Coach Chuvalo observes: “[It is] wonderful to see the emergence of grit and fortitude under challenging circumstance.” Go Blues!
Debate: Onward to Ottawa
On December 13, UTS debaters went to Branksome Hall School for the Toronto Regional Debate Tournament - a qualifier for the Ontario Senior Debate Championship in Ottawa to be held in Ottawa in February. After four challenging rounds, both our teams were delighted to hear that they will be among the 11 debate teams representing Toronto in Ottawa - particularly notable since all these debaters have just begun their competitive careers at the senior level of debate.
On December 15, UTS staff held a bake sale in support of the UTS Bursary Fund. A grand total of $343.05 was raised – and lucky Ms Kaiser won the raffled gingerbread house!
The UTS Wellness team treated staff to tasty breakfast goodies on the morning of December 17.
The co-ed hockey team took their first loss of the season against Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic High School on December 16. As always, the team skated hard and tried to capitalize on any opportunity given to them. Unfortunately, the opposition's defense kept UTS players to the outside which resulted in few scoring opportunities. Go Blues!
In November, 101 UTS students participated in the Canadian Intermediate and Senior Mathematics Contests. The results are in and, clearly, the contestants represented their school well: UTS was first in Ontario on the CSMC and second on the CIMC (edged out by a single point)! Congratulations to all the participants for challenging themselves and trying for a new personal best.
The UTS B team played its final league game of 2014 on December 16 and overcame a feisty Northview Heights SS team, winning 5-0.
First Lego League Robotics
At the First Lego League (FLL) provincial qualifier in early December at Bishop Strachan School, the UTS robotics team received the Core Values Award that recognizes that "friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork." Team supervisor, UTS teacher, Dr. Niño-Soto notes that these are "principles of inclusion and respect that we work so hard to maintain at UTS." Also, "The trophy is very cool as it is 3D-printed!" Next stop: the Ontario East Championship in January.
December 5 after school was House Lip-Sync time. The event featured 24 acts!
On December 9, our boys’ basketball teams played CHAT at home. Our senior team played hard but suffered a tough loss. The team continues to gel and looks to improve on their record against Cardinal Newman in the last game before the holiday break. Our junior team, playing a gritty, focused defense and an adaptable offence, won by 3. Go Blues!
It's official: the UTS co-ed hockey team is on a winning streak. Coach Martin observes that on December 9, the team played "what looked like a beautifully choreographed, defensive game against Marshall McLuhan," winning 4-3.
Congratulations to all 32 UTS contestants who wrote the University of Waterloo's Beaver Computing Challenge last month. The BCC is a problem-solving contest with a focus on computational and logical thinking - with no recourse to writing a single line of computer code! UTS fared well, including seven perfect scores.
Hour of Code
One-hundred M3 (grade 9) students joined millions of people around the world in participating in the #HourOfCode. The students wrote programs to steer Zombies, Angry Birds and LightBots around through increasingly difficult tasks, and for many it was their first introduction to computer programming. See: http://code.org/
Girls' Volleyball Season Start
After a good season start with a win against Monsignor Percy Johnson CHS, the senior girls’ volleyball team went to the annual York Mills Invitational on December 4. The Blues won their pool without dropping a set, won both quarter-final games and their semi-final games to meet the host team in the final, where they lost 2-0, and brought home silver.
In Transit in The Toronto Star
UTS student, Catherine Vlasov, is featured in an article in The Toronto Star that looks at her involvement in Civic Action's Regional Transit Champions Council.
The wellness team has launched the UTS Kindness Advent Calendar. On each of the twelve days leading up to winter break, the entire school community will be encouraged to practice an act of kindness. We kicked it off with holding open the door for someone on day one, and high-fiving on day two! See the wellness team describing the initiative at the recent Don's Den event.
It’s Chemistry, Eh!
Help vote for the two UTS entries in the Chemical Institute of Canada's "It's Chemistry, Eh?!" video competition. Assessment is by number of votes cast, and votes = views!
In the Don’s Den
At this year’s Don’s Den, eight student clubs pitched ideas to a panel of Alumni Association directors. After careful deliberation, the judges awarded a total of $5,100 to support initiatives such as new DECA blazers, a new student publication on global issues, and transportation for our Taiko drummers to the 2015 Kiwanis Festival. The Taiko drummers took home the People's Choice Award, courtesy of audience votes!
In another great show of team work by our co-ed hockey team, a hard-fought match against St. Basil-the-Great College School ended in a 2-1 win for the Blues!
Our 'A' team battled Northview SS in its 3rd league game of the season last week. Cheered on (silently) by a small home crowd, the team came away with a 5-0 victory. The B team played Bloor CI and, after a nail-biter final game, eked out out a 3-2 victory.
Congratulations to the foundation girls' who fought hard in the finals. They didn't win the league trophy, but Coach Kaiser says, "The girls should be proud! What an awesome season!" The junior boys' team played an incredible late-November game against Mary Ward CSS convincingly winning the first half of the game to see things get away from them in the second. Coach Campbell says they continue to learn and improve, keeping their eyes on the future. The varsity boys’ team displayed hustle and heart in their loss on November 27 vs. Mary Ward CSS. Despite a short bench, the team played well and didn't take a possession off. Go Blues!
Over 400 wrestlers from Ontario and Quebec attended the Beamsville Invitational on November 28. The UTS team came away with three bronze medals and four fourth-place finishes. Go Blues!
First Ever Co-Ed Hockey Win
November 19, 2014 was a historic day for UTS hockey! The Bishop Marrocco Secondary School was not prepared for the onslaught of great plays and solid team work that ended in the first win ever for the Blues co-ed hockey team! Go Blues!
On November 21, student co-captains, Divya and Clement, and Student Services, decided the time was right for students to get their groove on at a Pop-up Dance Party in the foyer!
The senior boys' volleyball Blues had a great run at OFSAA losing in the consolation final to a team from Eastern Ontario. Go Blues!
UTS Pianist Nominated
Internationally acclaimed pianist, UTS student Annie Zhou, has been nominated in the Rising Star category of the CBC Music Awards.
Find out about Annie here.
Vote for Annie here.
National Award for UTS Teacher
Mike Farley traveled to Ottawa last week. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presented Mike with the 2014 Innovation in Geography Teaching award from Canadian Geographic Education.
On the afternoon of November 14, seven intrepid student public speakers arrived ready to battle for impromptu speaking domination. Topics were wide-ranging, including: several contemporary screenplays, the art of turning someone down, the recipe for being a good parent, how to best use social media, and the correct method to learn how to fence. Jacob emerged victorious (even after his death by poison a la Vizzini from The Princess Bride).
On November 19, the senior boys volleyball team begin their journey to Welland, Ontario to represent the TDCAA at the 1A OFSAA Volleyball Championships. Pool play beings on November 20.
The junior girls basketball team finish strong with a 2nd place finish in the City Championships. The foundation girls basketball team win their last game of regular play in the season. It looks like the playoffs will be in their future.
Way to go USEAC - UTS Sustainability and Enviromental Action Committee - for making sure that the good side of GOOS (good on one side) paper is used before being recycled! There will be GOOS boxes in all the classrooms within the next couple of weeks.
National Award for UTS Teacher!
UTS teacher Mike Farley has won the 2014 Innovation in Geography Teaching award from Canadian Geographic Education (CG Education) - the educational arm of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He is cited for getting students “hooked on learning about… energy, climate change, natural disasters, and the environment by using ChangeGamer, a computer game database he developed that features original supporting curriculum. Read the press release.
UTS Musicians at Sunnybrook
On November 2, Amy and Rena performed at the "Throw The Book At Cancer 2014" fundraising event, in support of Sunnybrook Hospital’s gynaecological oncology research group.
The UTS Chess 'B' Team played in its first league game, hosting Subway Academy on November 4 and came away with a 5-0 victory. Meanwhile, the UTS 'A' Team travelled to Northern Secondary School on November 11 for its second league match and came away with a victory (4 wins, 1 draw).
The foundation girls basketball team won their 4th game of the season vs. Linden School and the junior girls baskeball team defeated James Cardinal McGuigan High School to advance to the TDCAA Championship game against CHAT.
UTS was full of creative costumes on Halloween day. Student Services celebrated by hosting a human body-parts lab open house for students, and the main office hosted a very special witch…
UTS welcomed back the Class of 2014 on the evening of November 1, 2014. They celebrated with a dinner hosted by the UTSAA, the graduation and prize giving ceremony, and a reception hosted by the UTSPA. Congratulations Class of 2014!
When a Nobel Winner Visits…
On October 24, UTS welcomed Nobel laureate Michael Spence '62 back to UTS. A power-breakfast was hosted by school captains Divya and Clement (aside: Michael was school captain his graduation year, too!). Michael taught a senior Geography of Asia class and attended the Annual Alumni Dinner the following day where he was awarded the H. J. Crawford award.
Annual Alumni Dinner
At the Annual Alumni Dinner on October 25, school co-captains Divya and Clement, brought greetings from current UTS students. Student pianist Aaron provided music during the reception.
The foundation boys’ volleyball team started the 2014 season by winning two matches, the first against Northmount School, the second against Hudson College. Meanwhile, the senior boys’ advanced to the quarter finals in the playoffs with a 3-1 win over Blessed Cardinal Newman High School. The team faces St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School in the quarter finals.
The UTS Chess “A” team kicked off its season by earning a hard-fought victory over rival North Toronto CI. Newcomers Raymond and Justin showed that the future of UTS chess is bright, each scoring clear wins. Vlad, along with newly-crowned Woman International Master Jackie, both earned draws against tough opponents.
The junior girls’ basketball team won against Francis Libermann High School 54-38. They kept the momentum going and also won against Mary Ward Secondary School, at home, 56-38.
CN Tower Stair Climb
The UTS Action and Community Service Team (UACT) stepped up to the challenge on October 18 at this year’s Enbridge CN Tower Climb. UTS student climbers took 1,776 steps each in support of the United Way.
Speech and Debate
At the Canadian Student Debate Federation’s prestigious National Seminar in New Brunswick, Safiya qualified for the semi-finals. In addition, here are a sampling of the fantastic results from the International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Championships in Hong Kong: UTS finished 2nd as a team; and, overall, Martine ranked 7th (and claimed a spot on Team Canada at the 2015 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship), Owen ranked 9th, and Armin ranked 13th.
The UTS foundation girls basketball team extended their winning streak on October 16 by defeating Waldorf Academy 20 to 8 in SSAF league play.
On October 17-18, UTS staff and students presented three workshops at the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education (OAGEE) 2014 Conference at Ryerson University. Teacher Josh Fullan and student Catherine Vlasov gave a session on the Maximum City program, students Clement Cheng, Mia Sanders, and Alex Cui presented about the work of their club, ActOut, and teacher Mike Farley talked about the work of ChangeGamer.
Qualifying for OFSAA Tennis
The UTS tennis team will be sending four players to OFSAA this year. Team Daniel and Peter convincingly won the senior boys' doubles title, qualifying for the OFSAA open doubles category. Team Victoria and Divya placed second in the senior girls' doubles, qualifying for the ODSAA high school girls' doubles division.
Principal Evans at Conference
Principal Rosemary Evans attended an Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada conference in mid-October where she spoke about the Global Ideas Institute, the UTS partnership with the Asian Institute @ Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T: http://bit.ly/1sCKPMj
Dropping the Egg
F1 physics students tried their hands at the annual egg-drop challenge this week. A smashing time was had by almost everyone…
The senior boys’ volleyball team made it to the semis of the Eden Secondary School tournament in St Catherine's, finally losing 25-15, 29-27 to the host school team (that boasted AA OFSAA gold medalist players). In the pic: the boys put their feet up – literally – after four matches.
Basketball – a great start
The Foundation Girls' basketball team started off the season with a win. The first quarter saw lots of steals, lay-ups and a quick lead of 16-0. The girls spent the rest of the game focusing on building skills and coming together as a team. Final score: 22-11 Blues!
Meeting Mr. Gauck
On September 26, UTS German teacher, Nicola Townend, President of the Canadian Association of Teachers of German, was invited to an event to meet the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck, in Canada on a state visit. Present, too, were two UTS alumni. Imogen Jenkins '11, currently studying for her undergraduate degree in Munich, secured a summer practicum at the German Consulate in Toronto and contributed to the smooth running of the President's visit; Jimmy Steele '99 is now a teacher of German, amongst other languages, and currently President of the Ontario Association of Teachers of German. (Pictured, far L: Nicola Townend; Jimmy Steele and Imogen Jenkins).
Oise Music at UTS
OISE music teacher candidates helped start the F1 (Gr. 7) wind and percussion students on their instruments - and the teaching and learning went both ways! Our thanks to Professor Leslie Stewart Rose for facilitating this class and to all the OISE teacher candidates for their expertise and enthusiasm.
On October 6, the UTS junior girls basketball team played Pope John Paul II's Panthers, the current first place team in the East Division. UTS prevailed scoring 35-26. Their current record for the season is 3-1. Go Blues!
UTS students have hit the tennis courts for a new season! In the TDCAA preliminary senior boys doubles event at Rexall Centre, Team Daniel and Peter placed 1st; at the TDCAA preliminary senior girls doubles event Team Victoria and Divya placed 1st. Both teams weill play off at the District finals at the end of October. Go Blues!
Chess: New Season & Peng sisters to Hungary!
The UTS Chess Club had a fantastic start to the season on October 1 and a solid turnout at chess club. Chess Club Executives Jackie Peng and Janet Peng, have both been selected to travel to Hungary in December to play at the World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad.
Visitors from Italy
UTS is happy to welcome this year's contingent from Liceo "G. Marinelli" in Udine, Italy, here for a 10-day study/research visit. These students will be hosted by their UTS partners who will visit them in Italy in March 2015 to research the Roman colonization of Friuli, a region in north-eastern Italy. This is the seventh iteration of the Dynamics of Borderland Regions International Research and Exchange Project which was launched in 1999. (Pictured: Udine's beautiful Piazza della Liberta).
Identifying Non-Cognitive Skills
Garth Chalmers, Head of Foundation Years and Director of Admissions, was invited to join more than 30 other admission leaders – from independent schools such as Phillip’s Academy, Phillips Exeter, Choate, Rosemary Hall, Groton School, The Lawrenceville School, and Concordia International School Shanghai (China) – to participate in an SSAT research study in Princeton NJ. The educators were charged with developing an assessment tool to measure applicants’ non-cognitive attributes. Read more.
Photo Opp with Chris Hadfield!
F2 (gr. 8) students attended the 65th International Astronomy Conference's plenary session, "The Next Generation," on September 30 which featured six innovative young scientists from around the world and was hosted by Canada's own Commander Chris Hadfield - who asked to meet and have a photo with our students!
UTS Teacher Featured in Ontario Tennis Mag
UTS science teacher, Mary Hall, talks about her long career as a tennis player on pages 8 & 9 of the latest Ontario Tennis Magazine. Our students are lucky to have such a formidable player around to coach them! See also the spring 2011 issue of The Root (p6): Mary playing for Team Canada in the World Championships Rackleton Tournament.
Sailing to Success
Many people visited the UTS Scotiabank Nuit Blanche installation,“Shipwrecked.” You've seen the previews - here's a pic from the actual event!
UTS is participating in the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche for the 4th year running! Preparations are well underway… Come out on the night of October 4 to experience the installation up close! More info.
UTS Geo Champ on Magazine Cover
Spencer Zhao is featured prominently in the latest issue of Canadian Geographic which highlights the 20th anniversary of the Great Canadian Geography Challenge.
The senior boys volleyball team had a good start to the season at the Early Bird Etobicoke Collegiate tournament: in the quarter final, the boys defeated Danforth Collegiate, 2-0; they then knocked off Richview Collegiate in the semi-final. In the finals, the Blues pushed hard against a very strong Guelph Centennial, but lost 2-0.
A Day at the Museum!
On September 22, the entire F1 grade walked a block or two down Bloor to the ROM for a full day investigating diverse topics such as dinosaurs, minerals, biodiversity, art, and ancient Egypt. The students were fantastic and brought a tremendous level of curiosity and enthusiasm with them!
Journey to the Arctic
On September 26, student Bryant Yang spoke with Mr. Farley's M3 (Gr.9) geography class about his incredible trip to the Arctic this past summer with Students on Ice. He shared videos, photos, information, and stories – including the one about how he lost his glasses in the frigid Arctic water during a polar bear dip! More info.
For a whirlwind (10-second!) overview of this year's offerings, click here!
Canadian Chess Champ
UTS chess team captain Chris Knox competed in the Canadian Youth Chess Championship in Montreal this summer – and walked away with the overall Canadian Champion title.
Our first Wellness event of the year took place on September 24. Courtesy of the Wellness team, students and staff kicked off their day with pancakes, fruit, yogurt and smoothies!
Stephanie Dong was selected for the TDCAA table tennis team last May. At the Provincial High School table tennis tournament recently, the girls placed third overall. Note: The teams that placed first and second each sported at least one National level player, so a third place finish was exceptional!
On September 19, one of northern India's leading performers of classical vocal music, Shantanu Bhattacharya, was at UTS working with students.
U of T Library - Best in Canada
According to the Association of Research Libraries, the University of Toronto Library system is the best in Canada and one of the top three in North America, after Harvard and Yale… which means that UTS students and staff have access to the best library system in Canada and one of the top three in North America! Read more.
Dashan Visits UTS
Mark Rowswell AKA "Dashan" visited UTS last week to meet with Board Chair Jim Fleck '49 and was delighted to meet some UTS students, too.
Partying at Lunch!
Earlier this week, UTS Student Services celebrated the beginning of the school year with the first lunchtime party of 2014-15 - featuring snacks and live jazz!
Still Best Buddies
In early September, the UTS/Heydon Park Best Buddies Chapter Executive attended the Ontario Best Buddies Leadership Conference. Sessions included finance, fundraising, management, and promotion; team-building exercises; and an inclusive movement workshop to build self-comfort and health. The UTS Exec is already planning activities and Heydon Park teacher, Lily Cheng, and our own Meg O’Mahony, think this is going to be a great year!
In the Toronto Star...
Read the Toronto Star story that describes a Maximum City budgeting exercise. The activity was undertaken by summer program students at UTS and will become a component of the UTS F2 (grade 8) curriculum this year.
UTS Debaters: Fall-In!
UTS Speech and Debate is off to a roaring start sending three students to the 2014 International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Championships in Hong Kong, in October.
An Olympic Summer for UTS Students!
UTS students were all over the map, literally, this summer, competing in international Olympiad competitions.
At the International Biology Olympiad in Bali, Bill Jia won silver and William Wang won bronze representing Team Canada.
At the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam, John Zhou and Sabrina Ge competed for Team Canada and both received silver medals. The Canadian team received 2 silvers and 2 bronzes overall.
At the International Informatics Olympiad in Taiwan, Jacob Jackson won gold scoring maximum points on four of six tasks.
At the International Linguistics Olympiad, contestants use logic, and apply their knowledge about how languages work, to deciphering unfamiliar languages and writing systems. This year, in Beijing, Minh-Tam Nguyen was awarded an honorable mention and Daniel Lovsted ’14 received a gold medal; Team Canada came 2nd overall.
At the International Physics Olympiad in Astana, Kazakhstan, Henry Wu ’14 earned silver and Andrew Kim earned an honorable mention. Overall, Team Canada came home with a silver, a bronze, and three honorable mentions. Henry has been to the Physics Olympiad 3 years in a row earning silver each time!
Andrew Kim was the first UTS student to compete in International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, in Romania. Team Canada earned 5 gold medals in the team competition. See this Toronto Star article.
Chess MasterIn August, UTS chess player Jackie Peng attended the North American Under 20 Junior Chess Championship. She tied first in the girl division (which, through a complex system of tie breakers, means she claimed 3rd ultimately). As a result, she qualified for the Woman International Master (WIM) lifetime title and is the youngest WIM in Canada.
A Summer of Music
Two UTS student musicians had exciting and successful summers. Annie Zhou, competed in the prestigious IX Moscow International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in China. As was the case in Ettlingen, Germany two years ago, she was the first Canadian to win the competition in the 22 years of its history. Read the Royal Conservatory of Music’s blog post. Violinist Emma Meinrenken, who made the CBC's list of Top 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 last year, performed with the Utah Symphony Chamber Orchestra this summer. Hear her play.
2013-14 School Year
Now's the Time to Party!
In recognition of the fact that students and staff alike are doing their best to make it to the academic year 'finish line', lunch-hour last Thursday saw the UTS foyer transformed by Student Services in to a massive, multi-station decompression chamber... of sorts. Our Student Services department invited everyone to snack, laugh, dance, punch (gloves provided) and pop (balloons provided)!
Taking Taiko to the Street
The afternoon of June 5 was perfect for taking taiko drumming practice outside. Here's Anthony Lee '86 and students on the corner of Bloor and Spadina!
International Chemistry Olympiad
After a week of challenging labs and theoretical exams, Sabrina Ge and John Zhou were chosen to be part of the 4-member Canadian Chemistry Olympiad team at the 46th Chemistry Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam in July.
As reported earlier this year, veteran UTS teacher, Ana Maria Pereira-Castillo, is the recipient of the Queen’s University 2014 Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching - an award established by the university’s Chancellor Emeritus, Charles Baillie '58 OC. Mrs. Pereira-Castillo was nominated by Samir Kulkarni '10. Last week, both Charles Baillie and Samir visited UTS – a perfect opportunity for a photo opportunity!
Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge
UTS sent 24 research teams to the 2014 Regional Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada. Their topics ranged from community genomics, to engineering functional cardiac tissue, to epigenomics, and more. Our students were mentored by professors and graduate students from myriad U of T departments. Anoop Manjunath placed first for his work on the viability of ultrasound-stimulated microbubbles as a treatment option for thrombotic occlusions. UTS also picked up 2nd, 4th, and 5th. In the national competition in Ottawa, Anoop was awarded 3rd.
Michael Smith Challenge
In the Michael Smith Science Challenge this year – written by M3 students at UTS – Hermish Mehta ranked > nationally and Selence Chen finished in the top 3%. In addition, 5 more UTS students scored in the top 10%, and another 7 in the top 25%.
UTS student activist group, ActOut, visited our M4 (Gr. 10) English classes to lead an innovative simulation of the events in Russia leading up to the Sochi Olympics – following government crackdowns on civil rights with the anti-LGBTQ bill. The simulation combined insight into the mechanisms of mass media that shape the 'truth', as well as the current situation in Russia, to broaden students' perspectives on global issues. See the UTS ActOut-developed student website for more.
From May 23-25, students from across Ontario came to UTS to compete in the Ontario High School Chess Championship. For the third time in a row, UTS emerged with the Combined Team Trophy which included gold medal team performances in the Championship and Beginner categories.
On June 1, 11 UTS students participated in the 2014 Ontario Schools Chess Team Championships held at Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School. In the K–grade 9 division, the UTS team – despite being one player short – finished 1st, sweeping all the teams 3-1. In the K–grade 12 division, UTS claimed 3rd and 4th. All three UTS teams qualified for the upcoming Ontario vs Quebec team tournament finals.
Michael Liu took first prize and Catherine Hu 2nd prize at the Toronto Brain Bee in March. Michael went on to represent the city at the National Brain Bee, where he finished second, losing out by just one point. Michael is an executive member of the Brain Bee student club and teaches in the UTS Brain Bee after-school program. In assembly last week, Michael donated his trophy as well as $1000 winnings to the UTS Brain Bee, as a mark of his appreciation for the support and learning he has received here.
Toronto Universities' French Contest
The Toronto Universities' French Contest, for grade 12, comprises three categories, Core French, Core French Plus and Extended/Immersion, all of which test both oral and written proficiency. Ale Kersley came 1st and Gloria Fang 2nd in Core French Plus; Tiffany Got came 6th and Daniel Lovsted 7th in Core French.
National Physics Olympiad
Based on their respective top 1st and 3rd place finishes in the 2014 Canadian Association of Physicists High School Prize Exam, Andrew Kim and Henry Wu have been selected for Canada's National Physics Olympiad team. They will join 3 other students from across the country in Kazakhstan this summer for the international competition.
Speech & Debate: UTS Wins Top-2 Titles
The Junior National Debating Championships was hosted by UTS and De La Salle College on the May 9 weekend. Two UTS teams (Martine Duffy / Owen Torrey, and Dasha Metropolitansky /Armin Safavi-Naini) made the semis. Dasha and Armin went on to the finals and won the Junior National team title, and Dasha won the John Robinson award as the top junior debater in Canada.
Martine Duffy and Owen Torrey, along with Coach Aija Zommers, traveled in mid-May to the 2014 Junior Speech Nationals in Vancouver - where Martine and Owen claimed most of the major awards! Achieving unprecedented success, both students made it to the finals in all four categories (debate, persuasive speaking, impromptu speaking and interpretive reading), with Martine ultimately assembling a 1st place combined score and Owen finishing a close 2nd.
Earning the top two public speaking spots in the country this year has catapulted the reputation of UTS to new heights in Canadian Speech and Debate circles. Says Coach Zommers, "Combined with the wealth of awards claimed by Martine, Owen, Armin and Dasha at the Junior Debate Nationals two weeks ago, UTS junior debaters have truly been showered with an embarrassment of riches!"
North American Computational Linguistics (NACLO)
In January, 21 UTS students competed in NACLO, hosted by U of T. They attempted linguistic and logical problems involving syntax, phonetics, morphology, comparisons, and loanwords in languages that are rare and/or far from their experience, such as Maori, Yidiny, and Tusom. Seven UTS students qualified for the invitational round in March – more than half of all Canadian invitees! Daniel Lovsted was the top Canadian scorer and will compete in the international finals in Beijing this July, with Minh-Tam, who also qualified, as his alternate.
Reach for the Top
UTS hosted the Reach for the Top National Championship on May 26. Having finished 3rd in the Ontario finals, the UTS team hoped to claim its third straight national championship. It was not to be. UTS was knocked out in the semis by the Etobicoke school that went on to win the National Championship: Martingrove. All in all, it was a good season, with UTS playing 39 competitive games and only losing two - to Martingrove (at both Provincials and Nationals)!
And in intermediate Reach play... the intermediate players shared in a pizza lunch (with olives!) in celebration of this year’s recent victory in the central Toronto playoffs against Martingrove at Royal St. George’s College.
Youth Theatre Festival
At the Southern Ontario Youth Theatre Festival at The Conrad Centre for the Arts in Kitchener on May 24, our Sears Festival cast and crew performed, met many other drama students, saw a wide range of shows, and participated in an improvisation workshop.
On May 21, the boys junior volleyball team pushed the second seed Neil McNeil to a fifth set in playoff action, eventually losing 3-2. It was an epic battle as the Blues battled back from two sets down to force a fifth set that they almost pulled off. Coach Kollins says, "This was, by far, their best effort of the season and the future looks promising for the boys program." Go Blues!
In the video/podcasting national competition run by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad, our Beginner German section 2 students won in the group category for older students. In what became the unit's summative task, the students rose to the challenge of creating a 3-minute video on the topic of food and drink, all in German - from conception and script-writing, to filming and editing. Watch their video, "The Milk Shortage," (sorry, no subtitles!), here: http://bit.ly/1nGmiCX
1st Place Jump
In the 2014 Metro Track and Field competition on May 28 at Birchmount Stadium, Robertson McClure threw a personal best in the senior boys javelin event and in her 3rd and final attempt, Jody Mou long-jumped 5.01m - a personal best, personal goal for the day, and 1st place overall at the meet, qualifying for OFSSA. Here's Coach Ki's video coverage: http://bit.ly/1tTzdn5
Selected to Exec
Heather Tang has been selected for a position on DECA Ontario's 2014-15 Student Provincial Executive - a body of nine student representatives from across Ontario. She will act as Social Media Coordinator and will be travelling across the province and the US representing DECA Ontario in a variety of different events throughout the year.
The sun shone on the Fajita Fiesta on May 16, and on good sports, Mr Gregson, Mr Cheng, Ms So, Ms Kaiser, Mr Mahadevan, and student volunteer Cassidy - who ALL won the watermelon-eating contest!
Track & Field
At the highly competitive TDCAA high school track and field championships, five UTS athletes qualified (in javelin, long jump, triple jump, and the 1500 metres) for the upcoming Metro tournament. The top four at Metros move on to the Provincial OFSAA meet in June in Mississauga.
35 UTS foundation track and field athletes competed in yesterday's Rosedale Day School Invitational at Varsity Stadium. It was a great way to conclude the 2014-15 season and our runners and jumpers led in many of the events. In the pic: the lineup of long-jumpers at the first event of the day.
Both the boys and girls foundation soccer teams played in the annual outdoor tournament in Sheppard's Bush, Aurora, on May 21, and both teams won their divisions! Go Blues!
Jr. Boys Volleyball Force a Fifth
On May 21, the boys junior volleyball team pushed the second seed Neil McNeil to a fifth set in playoff action, eventually losing 3-2. It was a tough battle as the Blues fought back from two sets down to force a fifth set that they almost pulled off. Coach Kollins says, "This was, by far, their best effort of the season and the future looks promising for the boys program." Go Blues!
In the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers Grade 11 Physics Contest in mid-May, a UTS student finished with the third highest score overall and 5 other UTS students scored in the 95th percentile or higher.
International Biology Olympiad
Several UTS students submitted portfolios and wrote the National Biology Competition to try out for the honour of representing Canada in the International Biology Olympiad - and two have made the 4-person national team!
At the University of Waterloo's Canadian Computing Competition, Stage II, during the week of May 12, (five days of lectures, contests, and sing-alongs around the Linux server!), UTS students came away with the bronze, silver and gold medals. Our gold medal winner achieved the top score in the country and will represent Canada at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) this summer in Taipei.
The UTS Envirothon team traveled to Fleming College in Lindsay, ON for this year's competition, which took place May 12-14. They won five of six 'stations' (aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and the oral presentation) to take overall 1st place at the 2014 Ontario Envirothon!
University of Waterloo representative, Mike Miniou, stopped by Student Services on May 15. He presented four students with letters from the Faculty of Mathematics. In the letters: offers of major scholarships! This brings to six the number of UTS students who have received such offers from the U of W this year.
UTS Triumphs at National Biology Competition
3436 students from 256 schools in Canada wrote the NBC last month. Forty-nine of them were from UTS. Five of our students scored in the top 1% and have received entrance scholarships to the University of Toronto. As a result of their exceptional scores, UTS was the top school in the NBC this year!
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is months away but planning is well underway. The project team went outside on Tuesday last week to look at how their ideas could be installed on the school's facade. Next steps: finalizing design, constructing Arduino switches, and rounding up materials. Does anyone have a few hundred metres of rope?
UTS Teachers Present at Conference
On May 9, UTS again hosted The annual Ontario Philosophy Teachers' Conference today. In the picture: UTS teachers, Vince Dannetta and Zachary Fanni in action presenting one of the sessions.
UTS came home from this year's Ontario Student Classics Conference (May 8-11) with our 19th (yes, nineteenth) consecutive win! Congratulations to Mr. DiSante and the UTS conference participants.
Update: the UTS team was third in province and moves on to nationals - which will, again, be hosted by UTS - later this month!
In the Canadian Association of Classics National Latin Sight Translation Contest, held back in January, UTS students performed exceptionally well claiming 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, and an honorable mention.
Ten UTS students wrote the Chemistry Olympiad Exam. Of the hundreds of students who wrote the exam in Ontario, UTS took the top five spots and an additional two UTS students also ranked in the top 18. All have been invited to the provincial training camp at U of T.
Popsicles in the Park
The first week of May was Mental Health Week at UTS featuring, among other things: de-stressing tips; Hershey Kisses; "I Pledge" notes on the Student Services notice board; popsicles in the park at lunchtime; sidewalk chalk positive messaging on Huron Street....
UTS Drama Group Invited to Appear in Festival
This year's UTS Sears Drama Festival group has been invited to perform at the Southern Ontario Youth Theatre Festival – a regional festival featuring plays from student groups from more than 20 Ontario schools. Our group will perform on Saturday, May 24 at 2 pm, at the Conrad Centre for the Arts in Kitchener. All are welcome to attend! View this year's festival promotional video here (see if you can spot our UTS poster at around 1' 30"!)
Chess: Toronto Champs Four Years Running!
More than 150 GTA students participated in the Toronto Team Chess Championship, held at UTS in April. The UTS junior and senior teams both emerged as champions for the 4th year in a row! The senior team played nearly flawless chess throughout; the junior A team edged out a spirited team from Seneca Hill for the gold; and the junior B team followed closely behind to pick up the bronze.
Foundation Track & Field
Our foundation team competed in a range of events at the SSAF Track and Field meet on May 6 at York U. All our student-athletes performed well, with lots of school spirit and support for fellow team-members. Our students came away with six 1st place finishes, four 2nd place finishes, and four 3rd place finishes.
Our students represented UTS very well at the Ontario Secondary Schools Spanish Contest (OSSSC) at Glendon College, putting their Spanish skills to the test along with students from 25 other Ontario schools. Results by category: Advanced/1st; Spanish Plus/2nd; Intermediate/3rd; and Honorable Mention/Beginners.
This year’s DECA had 10,000 competitors - the best students in their province/state/country. Despite tough competition, over 60% of the UTS team rose to the finalist level! Final tally: four 1st places; five 2nd places; three 3rd places; four top-10 finalists; and four top-20 finalists.
Dasha Metropolitansky and Armin Safavi-Naini competed in the prestigious 2014 International Championship for Young Debaters, at Oxford University, UK. They brought distinction to themselves and to UTS. Dasha claimed 2nd place and Armin claimed 12th place, individually overall, out of 117 debaters! As a team, Dasha & Armin ranked 10th out of 60 teams!
The S5 (Grade 11) Visual Arts class walked down the block to the Japan Foundation a few weeks ago to see an exhibition of ukiyo-e (woodblock) prints. The class has researched Edo period Japanese artworks so the timing of this exhibition was fortunate! The dramatic prints featured the actor Ichikawa Danjuro IX in many of his kabuki theatre roles.
Varsity Badminton Team Wraps Up the Season on Top!
The Varsity Badminton Team finished their season as the TDCAA champions in a playoff final round-robin between the top three schools in the league: Bishop Allen, Mary Ward and UTS. UTS made quite a mark on our new league this year, displacing Mary Ward (4-time champion) and moving in as the new team to beat!
Badminton Season Recap: Undefeated season (6-0); Junior Tournament Champions; Bantam Tournament Champions; Overall Tournament Champions; and League Champions. Go Blues!
Annual Art Exhibition and Junior Music Night
The results are in for this year's German DSD2 exams at the B2/C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference - the highest tested level of German language proficiency, similar to the TOEFL for English. Students who pass this test are eligible to enroll in courses taught in German at universities in German-speaking countries. Many congratulations to Pablo Rico-Luengo, Tiffany Got, Katharine Zisser and Brittany Yuen '13.
Junior public speakers at Nora McRae tournament
On April 25, our junior public speakers competed in Branksome Hall’s Nora McRae tournament. They excelled across a range of speaking styles finishing in a nail bitingly close 4th place overall and winning individual top ranking in several categories: Armaan Ladak 1st and Safiya Rajwani 2nd in Declamation; Armin Safavi-Naini 1st in Impromptu Speaking; Armin 3rd and Stephen Chankov 4th in Interpretive Reading; Stephen also placed 4th in Persuasive Speaking; Elizabeth Mei 4th in Dramatic Interpretation.
Author Terry Fallis at UTS
Canadian writer Terry Fallis dropped in for an inspiring talk with Ms Sanghera's Writer's Craft class on April 22. He is a vibrant, funny and engaging speaker and he shared his personal insights on the process of writing, self-publishing and the difficulty of writing humour.
Pro-Con Debate Highlights
On April 5, our four-member novice debate team (William Wen, Benjamin Jones, Edward Tian and Katherine Gotovsky ) took part in the final Pro-Con competition of the year and placed 2nd in the team award. Katherine also won the 1st place speaker title. On April 15, Martine Duffy, Owen Torrey and Katherine Gotovsky competed in the National Junior Public Speaking Qualifier at Bishop Strachan School. Owen placed 1st in Persuasive Speaking; Martine tied for 1st in Interpretive Reading with Owen taking a close 2nd; and Owen also earned 3rd place in the Debate category. Overall, Owen placed 1st overall and Martine placed 4th. These results qualified them for the Canadian Junior High Speech Nationals in Vancouver in May.
Stephanie Dong was awarded the gold medal at the TDCAA table tennis tournament on April 4.
Reach for the Top News
The Senior "A" team swept its city division winning all of the league games and then all three playoff games to take the trophy. The team moves on to the Ontario Provincials in May. In final games, the Intermediate team was victorious by a wide margin against St. Michael's Choir School and Royal St. George's 400 to 190. In the final - tense and exciting! - game, they came up against previously undefeated Martingrove, eventually nabbing the win.
Global Ideas Institute
The UTS team presented their work at the final symposium of the Global Ideas Institute (GII), a joint venture between UTS and the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T. The GII provides intensive research and interactive opportunities for top students in select Toronto-area high schools. This year, the students worked together with U of T professors and undergraduate and graduate student mentors on the problem of malnutrition in India. The UTS team’s work, which received very positive feedback, focused on the improvement and up-scaling of the existing Mid Day Meal programs and Anganwadi centres.
Youth & Philanthropy Initiative 2014
On April 9, our finalists competed in the UTS school final of the Toskan Casale Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) which challenges students to create 10-minute pitches about a charity of their choice, with the hopes of winning a $5000 foundation donation to that charity. The team supporting St. Felix Centre, a non-profit community centre in downtown Toronto, won. Click here to see the team announce the win to the Centre.
Award for Excellence in Teaching
Veteran UTS teacher, Ana Maria Pereira-Castillo, has been selected by Queen’s University to receive a 2014 Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching. This award was established by the university’s Chancellor Emeritus, Charles Baillie '58 OC to enable students graduating from Queen’s to honour high school educators who had a positive and formative influence on them. Mrs. Pereira-Castillo was nominated by Samir Kulkarni '10, who is graduating from Queen’s this year with a Bachelor of Commerce as well as a BA in Economics.
After getting their feet wet in the young season in early April and dropping their first two matches, the Junior Boys Volleyball team made it on to the win column on April 15 with a 3-0 convincing win over Dante in the Upper FEUT gym. GO BLUES!
The girls’ varsity soccer team played – in rain and high winds! - in the Niagara Cup, A/AA soccer tournament. They played well, especially on defense, allowing only one goal all day. They won the semi-final on penalty kicks but the shootout in the final was less kind and they lost. Overall, it was a great way to start the 2014 season. GO BLUES!
Toronto Individual Chess Championship
On April 11, UTS hosted the Toronto Individual Chess Championship. 125 games of chess were played over the course of the day and all six UTS entrants medalled. In overall results, UTS took 1st and 3rd, plus medals in all grade levels.
Geography Challenge National Final
Malhaar Moharir finished 2nd in the national final of the Great Canadian Geography Challenge, competing against 49 other students representing every province and territory. He is now in contention to represent Team Canada at the World Championship in summer 2015.
Ontario High School German Contest
UTS hosted the Ontario High School German Contest on April 12 which was attended by students and staff from UTS as well as four public school boards, and included participants from a school in North Bay! Special guests at the awards ceremony included the Vice Consul General for Germany in Toronto, Aljona Schnitzer, and newly elected chair of the Ontario Modern Language Teachers' Association Jayne Evans.
UTS students placed in all their categories garnering 1st, 4th, and 6th in the beginner group, and 3rd, 4th and 9th in the advanced group - impressive since our students are only in second-year German, whereas their competitors were mostly final-year students.
The Wellness Team pulled off another fabulous Wellness breakfast on April 15. Touted as an opportunity to “breathe, have a healthy meal to boost energy levels and check-in with each other,” the menu featured pancakes and waffles, fruit salad, eggs, smoothies, and tea!
UTS competed in this year’s Envirothon contest in the snow, under the sun, in the muddy pit, squishing along the slippery paths, hugging trees, analyzing water quality, finding wildlife… Results: the UTS A team won both the Soil and the Forestry stations, placed 2nd in the oral presentation, and goes on to the provincial competition in May; the UTS B team - the youngest team in the contest by average age and grade - won 1st place in the oral presentation.
On April 4, UTS cyclists joined forces for Inside Ride in support of children and families with cancer.
On March 27, the UTS Community Party for International Pink Day was a huge success! Great weather, great food, great raffle prizes, great volunteers and great music truly brought our community together to celebrate diversity. Alumnus John Tory '72 also stopped by. Thank you to all staff, students and parents who helped make our event such a success! UTS: Pink Day. Every Day!
Noam Bierstone Concert
Noam Bierstone '08 and Bryan Holt performed a lunchtime concert on April 7, then spent the afternoon leading workshops with UTS music students! Thanks to the UTSAA and the John and Margaret Withrow fund for sponsoring this event.
Three UTS students have advanced to Stage 2 of the Canadian Computing Challenge - a week-long competition at the University of Waterloo along with 18 other invitees from across North America. In the Junior Division of the Canadian Computing Competition, 14 UTS students achieved perfect scores - the largest number of perfect scores from a single school among all CCC participants anywhere in the world.
The senior varsity badminton team participated in the senior OFSAA qualifying tournament at Humber College. Our junior players who had placed in the top two at the junior tournament held previously also advanced to this senior tournament.
Alumna Designer Visits
Jen Chow '03 shared her experiences and insights as a design researcher and strategist with the Interdisciplinary Arts and Design course. Check out the "Design Research Techniques" website that she developed as part of a team that included OCADU and the Canadian Film Centre Medialab.
Congratulation to the newly-elected captains for the 2014/15 year, Clement Cheng and Divya Santhanam.
Classics on Display
With funding awarded by the UTSAA during "Don’s Den", Mr. DiSante and classics students procured protective Plexiglas to display the plaques and student work from the incredible accomplishments of UTS at the classics conference.
Wise Words on Careers Day
Eleven alumni spoke about their post-UTS work and life experiences to M4/grade 10 students recently. There were many wise words of advice including this insightful quote from Danielle Goldfarb '93: "Every experience you have in life gives you something, even if it’s just to show you what you don’t like or don’t want."
Really Good Badminton
The varsity badminton team completed league play placing first in their division with a convincing 6 wins/ 0 losses record! They enter the playoffs looking to bring home the overall team championship for the TDCAA south division. Our juniors played a tournament at Humber College and won the Overall Junior Champion Trophy and Banner– plus, individually, three golds, a silver and a 5th place. Go Blues Go!
Buzz About the Brain Bee
A small hive of UTS students buzzed down Huron Street to the Lash Miller Labs to answer questions about the brain and neuroscience for the annual Toronto Brain Bee. The results were sweet: a UTS student win the award for the highest-scoring novice participant, and UTS students finished 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th.
Reach for the Top
The Intermediate team showed great teamwork and knowledge, winning at Royal St George's College against Ursula Franklin Academy 410 to 250, and against Notre Dame 500 to 150. They finish the regular season with 12 wins and 2 losses. The Senior "A" team swept its city division and all three playoff games to take the trophy. The team moves on to the Ontario Provincials in May.
Mock Trial Tournament
On March 19, in round one of the Ontario Bar Association Mock Trial regional finals, UTS won decisively over R.H. King Academy (Toronto). In round 2, our team prevailed over St. John's School (Brantford) advancing to the final round in which they came very close to victory against St. Thomas Aquinas (Oakville) - the team that eventually won the trial and advanced to the provincial finals.
March Music Camp
Our first ever music camp was held during March break. Under the direction of UTS music teacher Sarah Shugarman, 21 enthusiastic young musicians, 9-12 years of age, engaged in a week of playing string instruments, Taiko drums, hand drums, guitar, and keyboard – as well as trying their hands at composition, improvisation, and musical theatre.
Public Speaking & Debate: the Bumper Edition!
In the Senior National Public Speaking Championship, UTS students competed in four events and finished 4th and 14th. Two UTS students are now part of Team Canada at the Worlds event in Lithuania.
At the English-Speaking Union National Speech Qualifier, UTS was represented by four students, one of whom finished 3rd.
At the Ontario Junior Debate Provincials (a qualifier for the Junior National Debate Championship, to be hosted by UTS and De La Salle College (at UTS), in May), UTS teams came 1st, 2nd, and 18th. Individually, UTS students finished 1st, 2nd, and 12th. Thus, two of our teams will now be members of Team Ontario at the Junior Nationals!
At the annual York University British Parliamentary (BP) Tournament, UTS teams placed 8th and 10th, and claimed spots in the junior finals. Individually, out of 154 debaters, UTSers came 7th, 19th, 24th, and 29th.
Senior Girls OFSAA Volleyball
The senior girls volleyball team lost 1-3 to Francis Liberman in the finals of the AA Championship, fighting it out with UTS heart to the end, almost forcing a 5th set. They brought home our first TDCAA banner for the Upper FEUT and moved on to the 1A OFSAA Championships.
In the Swim at OFSAA
Six UTS swimmers qualified for the OFSAA Swimming Championships and came away with two bronze medals and top-20 finishes in most of their events. Coaches Winston and Niño observe that for such a small team, finishing 70th in a field of 270 teams is pretty amazing!
Table Tennis at SSAF
UTS had a great showing at the SSAF table tennis tournament with three 1sts, one 2nd, and one 3rd in various events, finishing 1st overall in the U20 category. In the elementary division, UTS nabbed a 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd, and finished 3rd overall.
John A. Tory Shield for Intermediate Public Speaking
The 2014 John A. Tory Shield brought a record-breaking 20 students together to compete in three public speaking challenges: Interpretive Reading, Prepared Speech and Impromptu. Students gave renditions of Dorothy Parker’s The Waltz; Woody Allen’s The Rejection; and an entertaining and politically correct version of Little Red Riding Hood - among many other things!
Special French students competed in 11 of 12 categories at the Concours Oratoire, hosted this year by St. Clement’s School on February 21. They garnered six first-place finishes (these students will go on to represent independent schools at the Provincial competition in May), two second places, and one third.
Chess Team Takes Semi-Final
The chess team hosted Northern on February 25 for the Toronto South Region Semi-Final. UTS earned a hard-fought victory (4.5-0.5) with strong performances from all team members. The team moves on to the South Region final.
Cuba in the Classroom
Robert Mackle (retired UTS teacher) and Kate Tiley (UTS teacher on leave) visited Spanish class on February 25 to tell the students about their recent 2-month-long trip to Cuba.
Chess Team Dims Northern Lights
The UTS Chess team travelled to Northern on February 11 for its last league game and came away with a 3.5-1.5 victory (2 wins, 3 draws). This caps off a perfect regular season. The team now sets it sights on winning the Toronto Championship for the fourth year in a row. Go Blues!
Geo Challenge 2013-14
On February 18, Malhaar Moharir emerged as the the Geo Challenge school champ, with A.J. Davidson and Kieran Kreidie-Akazaki taking 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Malhaar will write a qualifying test with the hope of competing in the national final. World silver medalist and 3-time UTS champ, Spencer Zhao, acted as a judge.
On February 20, our senior drama students presented a double bill at The George Ignatieff Theatre: Scenes from Peer Gynt and the UTS Sears Festival play contender: Aspiring Francine/Firing Francine by Don Hannah. The performance raised $80 for the UTS supplementary bursary fund. Following its Sears performance, Aspiring Francine/Firing Francine was selected as one of eight plays (out of 150 in Southern Ontario) to appear in a regional Youth Theatre Festival in May.
Debate & Public Speaking Update
At the Fulford tournament on February 1, UTS debaters ranked 3rd in the senior division and 6th in the junior division winning Certificates of Excellence. At the 2014 Senior National Public Speaking Championship in Winnipeg, in February, UTS debaters ranked 4th and 14th. Two UTS debaters have claimed spots on the Canadian team for the 2014 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Lithuania in April.
In the Swim
At the TDCAA Championships on February 20, our 15 UTS swimmers placed 7th overall in a field of 23 teams. There were many UTS top-10 finishers and personal bests, and six of our swimmers qualified for OFSAA. TDCAA officials and participants were very impressed by our tiny team’s outstanding performance! All in all, UTS garnered 6 golds, 3 silvers, 2 bronze medals and two 4th-places.
On the Slopes
At the TDCAA Alpine Ski and Snowboard Championships at Mt St. Louis last week, one of our snowboarders won first place at the level 1 individual female thereby qualifying for OFSAA; and seven UTSers achieved personal best times.
Happy Birthday, Edgar Jull '31
Edgar Jull '31 celebrated his 100th birthday in early February. Retired UTS principal Stan Pearl, together with Martha Drake, Executive Director, Advancement, dropped by to extend good wishes. And yes, that's a UTS (birthday) mug in Edgar's hands!
Happy Birthday to our Board chair, Jim Fleck '49
Happy birthday to our wonderful Board chair, Jim Fleck '49! Jim was treated to a mini surprise party on February 10, complete with a special cake baked by M4/Grade 10 students, Maddie and Alex (with Jim in the picture).
Award for Ms Pitt-Lainsbury
Ms Jennifer Pitt-Lainsbury, UTS Science Department Coordinator, has won the Chemistry Institute of Canada 2014 CIC Award for High School Teachers. She says she is honoured – and is also excited that CIC provides a grant “for UTS... for investment in chemical equipment”. Students, look out for some new stirring plates and pH meters in a chem lab near you soon!
Last week, the UTS Kids’ Lit A and B teams took 1st and 2nd spots in their heat. They then went on to the Canadian National Finals the following day. Says Coach Stoyka, they “answered some really tough questions, but even with what started to look like a comeback, the early lead established by Royal St. George’s College was too much to contend with. You did UTS proud!” Planning for the 2015 competition begins soon!
Cassidy Intends to Play Soccer
In front of an excited throng of her classmates and coaches, Cassidy Kunicyn signed a letter of intent last week for a soccer scholarship at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. In the pic: Cassidy’s mom, and Director of Athletics, Jeff Kennedy, watch ‘the signing’!
The Intermediate Reach team was victorious last week at Royal St George’s College, winning their season opener 240 to 190. On February 1, members of the UTS Reach for the Top A and B teams competed in an all-day tournament hosted by Lisgar High School in Ottawa. Despite missing two key A-Team members, we played well and came fifth out of several of the strongest teams in the country.
UTS Girls Win Volleyball Tourney
On February 7, UTS hosted our very first Downtown Winter Classic Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament. The team beat previously undefeated Blessed Pope John Paul II CSS in the final, 2-0. Go Blues!
Co-ed Hockey at Home
UTS co-ed hockey was on the ice in a home game on February 5f at Varsity Stadium. Despite our 2-0 loss, the play was spirited. Last home game of the season is on Wednesday, February 12 at 3pm, at Varsity. Come and cheer them on! Go Blues!
The Duffy/Frum Scrum: A UTS Debate
On January 28, alumni John Duffy ’81 and David Frum ’78 teamed-up with UTS students to go head-to-head in debate! This fundraiser for the UTS Speech and Debate Society - which is hosting the Junior National Debate Championships later this year, was co-sponsored by the UTSAA’s Reconnect Tuesdays.
Camp Community Chow-down
The UTS Wellness Committee put together a soup-and-salad lunch extravaganza on January 28 in an effort to bring some of the spirit of camp days to a wintry UTS! The UTSAA sponsored the event which was attended by some 430 students (two-thirds of the student body!) and 30 staff.
This year’s SHOW was titled “Framed": two intrepid detectives reunited to solve the art heist of the century! For a taste of the performance, you can still watch the trailer.
Nine UTS pairs attended the High School Debating Tournament at Queen’s University. Two UTS juniors were invited to represent Canada at the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD) in Cambridge! In addition, two UTS seniors finished 7th and tied-10th respectively (out of 212 speakers) and reached the semifinals, defeating all but 3 other teams.
UTS Chess Team Rides the Wave in the Beach
The UTS Chess team travelled to the Beach on January 14 to take on Malvern CI. The team played excellent chess and emerged from the surf victorious, leaving Malvern in its wake, winning (5-0).
Thanks to the continued support from the John and Margaret Withrow Fund, we are able to welcome Jordan Pal as the UTS composer-in-residence for the remainder of this school year. Jordan is regarded as one of Canada’s most promising and exciting new composers: www.jordanpal.com
Bright Lights in the Lab
In a recent assembly, UTS participants in the oUTShine summer program “Bright Lights in the Lab” which is run with the Firefly Foundation, were presented with certificates. Click here to see a wonderful Firefly Foundation video that features UTS students and staff!
Last week, our F2 (Gr. 8) student, Max, played world-class Scrabble player Max Panitch in an exhibition game. UTS Max played a great game against a strong player, but was hampered by difficult tiles. The highest scoring word of the game: “HALOGENS”, earned Max P. 89 points! The final score was 482-247 for Max P..
Girls’ volleyball launched 2014 with some wins: the junior team improved to 3-1 with a win at the historic Loretto Abbey Secondary School in North Toronto; and, after starting out a little unenergetically in their game at Abbey, the seniors dominated set two and three to win 2-1, to improve to 2-2 in the league.
The foyer boasted a display of wonderful M3 (Gr. 9) new year calendar artwork last week!
UTS Charity Week (UCW) begins on February 3. Students have voted to partner with Red Door Shelter which provides a safe and supportive emergency shelter for families and individuals in need. Check out the UCW Facebook page: www.fb.com/UTSCharityWeek
Name that Room
Room 112 has undergone a makeover to become a cozy refuge in which students can read, study and relax! Students were invited to submit ideas to "Name that Room". Stay tuned for the name unveiling!
First Annual Blue & White Hockey Scrimmage
The UTS senior ice hockey team held their first annual Blue–White Scrimmage at Varsity Arena last week. It was a spirited match with plenty of fast action plays and superb defensive maneuvers. The scrimmage marks the mid-way point of a very successful start to the coed ice hockey season. Our 22 players (11 girls and 11 boys) have revived the interest in ice hockey at UTS and as a result the first ever foundation coed ice hockey team will begin in the new year!
Act Out Visits U of T
The UTS Act Out club recently went down the street to the U of T Dept. of Computer Science to 'play test' some video games created by first year students of Senior Lecturer, Steve Engels '94. The games explored various social and environmental issues: endangered species, sweatshops, consumerism... Our students provided Steve with useful feedback to help in his assessment of the games. For more on Steve: www.cs.toronto.edu/~sengels/.
Congrats to the Senior Girls Volleyball team for winning the Etobicoke Collegiate Pre- Holiday. The girls only lost one set all day and beat Silverthorn and Etobicoke in the semis and finals respectively.
In order to examine how contemporary artists make use of interdisciplinary methods, the F2 students took part in “A3+ Day” (as in: all three Arts subjects, plus connections beyond). Exploring the creative potential between the borders of established disciplines, guest artists performed, screened and discussed their work with students. Artworks incorporated movement, improvisation, sculpture, engineering, smartphone apps, Taiko drumming, dance, literature and physics. In between sessions, students took part in dance and digital projection workshops while also developing creative proposals of their own. Guest artists included Andrea Nann (Dreamwalker Dance), Brandon Wyatt, Elysha Poirier, Randall Okita, Mitchell Chan and Anthony Lee ‘86. The Expressive Arts department would like to thank UTSPA for their support of this event!
Speaking at De La Salle
On December 5, the UTS Speech and Debate Society competed in the annual De La Salle World Affairs tournament. After extensively researching current events from protests in the Ukraine to the ‘Catching Fire’ premiere, eight debaters participated in an afternoon of great debate. Head coach, Mrs. Aija Zommers provided a huge edge with her spot-on predictions of topics but it was quick wit and knowledge that carried UTS through. In the end, UTS team A took home second place, while team B came first. In individual rankings, UTS also nabbed 2nd and 4th places and three other top-ten rankings spots.
UTS Chess Wins the Battle of Bloor Street
On December 10, the UTS Chess team improved to 3-0 yesterday with a victory over Bloor Collegiate. With superfan Mr. Gregson silently cheering on the team, six students all won their games to ensure the shutout.
Ridley Centre Treatment Room Opens
Last week saw a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark the establishment of the Ridley Athletic Centre treatment room. A Certified Athletic Therapist and Registered Massage Therapist – provided through Athletic Edge Sports Medicine (AESM) owned by Grant Lum ’85 – will soon be set up and available to treat staff and students.
There’s been lots of great UTS wrestling action recently. In Fergus, our wrestlers came away with a gold and two silver medals. At a very tough wrestling tournament in Hamilton, teams came from as far as away as Thunder Bay, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Manitoba to compete. UTS was represented by twelve wrestlers who performed admirably, earning two bronze medals, a silver medal, and other match wins besides.
When alumnus Don Borthwick ’54 retired from the UTS Alumni Association board after years of dedicated work, the UTSAA created the H. Donald Borthwick Student Activities Fund. On November 29, the UTSAA launched “Don’s Den” as a fun way to distribute the money from the fund to student organizations. With close to $5,000 to disperse, five alumni judges (Jonathan Bitidis ’99, Nina Coutinho ’04, Oliver Jerschow ’92, Laura Money ’81, and Mark Opashinov ’88) heard pitches presented by ten student organizations, all of which were awarded funds.
For their life drawing portfolio, student teams in S5 (Gr.11) Visual Arts designed and produced “larger-than-life” installations. After examination of anatomy, structure and proportions, students were set free to distort and stylize the figure to suit their needs. The installations investigate how we understand space, ourselves and others through representations of the human form. Pictured: Evolution (colour tape on acetate).
Cross Country on our blog!
See the newest post on our blog oUTSpoken: cross country coach (and Expressive Arts teacher) Robin Michel reflects on the fall cross country season! www.utsoutspoken.wordpress.com/
Watch The Land with No Sugar, a UTS student submission to the Chemistry Eh YouTube Contest: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGqvxpG4yMA View the video and ‘like’ it, too: contest judging will consider the number of views each video has had! The contest is run by the Chemical Institute of Canada: www.cheminst.ca/index.php?ci_id=1567
At the Perimeter
On November 19, five UTS students and three teachers were privileged to hear Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute, speak at the Ramsay Talks about current research at the institute. The UTS cohort was sponsored by the Bank of Montreal. Our students also attended a student discussion session with Dr. Turok.
On November 28, the dance/theatre company Corpus returned to UTS to perform for F1 drama students. www.corpus.ca
The UTS Wellness team organized a delicious and nutritious breakfast that was served up in the commons before school on November 29.
Update: UTS Co-ed Hockey
Coach Julie Martin writes: UTS fought hard against an extremely strong team from Marshall McLuhan on November 25. Our D did a fantastic job at keeping the opposition to the outside and passing the puck up the boards to the wingers; our centres fought hard while the wingers positioned themselves for the pass. Our goalie was peppered with shots and made a multitude of saves. Our team spirit was inspiring and without the scoreboard you never would have known we lost the game! The 7 - 0 loss is a minor detail in yet another outstanding performance by our new co-ed hockey team. Go Blues!
Alumni Trivia Night
At the UTS Alumni Association’s Reconnect Tuesday’s Trivia Night, thirty alumni - ranging from 1972 to 2010 - took up the challenge, spurred on by UTS Reach for the Top coach, teacher Fraser Simpson. The winners, “Team Medley” (representing grad years '73, '78, '06, and '10) played the current UTS Reach for the Top team (pictured here, chilling and waiting to play). Guess who won ;)
OFSAA Boys Volleyball
Coach Garry Kollins writes: It was quite an experience for our 16th-seeded senior boys volleyball team at the OFSAA championships in North Bay. The team went on quite a tear but suffered a disappointing loss in the consolation final. However, it was a great effort from all team members. Overall, the Blues finished 10th of 20 teams, after entering the tournament as the 16th seed! It was a tremendous season for our young team who did very well in our new TDCAA league winning the Single A title and competing at OFSAA with energy, excitement, class and good sportsmanship. Go Blues!
UTS Chess Team Off to a Great Start
The UTS Chess Team picked up where it left off last year. Our players have already earned wins in their first two meets, against Humberside and Subway Academy. Go Blues!
ActOut Group Facilitates 2-Day Geo Simulation
On November 19 and 20, the UTS ActOut group led the Geography of Asia class through the student-created role-play The Migration Simulation. The story started in Uttar Pradesh – the most populous state in India where students faced hardships (discrimination... natural disasters...) and had to choose their ‘sacrifices’ wisely. Then, in industrial Kanpur, they eked out a living in the Bhawani Textiles Complex cutting, sewing, and tagging, confined to their production line. Only the most profitable workers were allowed to stay on. For simulation details, see: http://utsxactout.weebly.com/our-work.html
World AIDS Day
UTS hosted the University of Toronto’s World Aids Day Event which included a speech by UTS parent and board member Dr. Prabhat Jha, Founding Director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital, and a musical performance by two UTS students, Shreya Jha and Mia Sanders, who played a “Medley of Hope”.
oUTStanding UTS Board chair!
We congratulate the Chair of our Board of Directors, Jim Fleck '49, and Margaret Fleck, who were honoured as 2013 Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year. In the picture: Jim (centre) at the awards ceremony on November 20 with Principal Rosemary Evans, and board members (L–R) current parent Nasir Noormohamed, John Duffy '81, and Donald Schmitt '70.
RSGC Public Speaking
Fantastic results at the 2013 Royal St. George’s College Saucer public speaking competition: three UTS teams finished in the top-10 team rankings, and three UTS students finished in the top-10 individual rankings. UTS students claiming both 1st and 2nd in the declamation finals was a highlight!
On October 29, in collaboration with the Canadian Music Centre (CMC), UTS hosted "PING", a new music concert featuring five world premieres - including a string quartet by S6 (Gr.12) UTS student, Sergei Kofman, string ensembles from Agincourt CI, Earl Haig/Claude Watson School for the Arts and UTS; and Erika Raum, Canadian violin soloist and composer. In preparation, each school worked with a CMC composer (Alice Ho at UTS). Our thanks to the CMC and their Ontario Director of Education, Matthew Fava, for inviting us to participate in this incredible event!
McGill High School Debating Championships
UTS sent a mix of five junior/senior teams to the McGill High School Debating Championships on October 25 and 26, facing competitors from across the country. One of our junior teams (pictured) came 2nd in the junior finals. UTS also had some great overall individual and team placements.
International Independent Schools’ Public Speaking Championship
Forty-nine schools from as far afield as the US, India, Peru and the UK, participated championship, hosted by the Country Day School on October 17-20. Overall, UTS finished 6th (a huge leap upward from 20th last year!) with some excellent individual rankings, too, earning a spot on Team Canada for the 2014 World Championship in Lithuania, in April!
All it’s Crackered Up to Be
Last week, senior philosophy and visual arts classes participated in an aesthetics seminar and a field study. They began with the mundane – evaluating the aesthetic qualities of crackers in order to generate their own set of criteria for aesthetic experiences and products. They then looked at the aesthetic potential of local sites, (the sanctuary at Bloor United Church, the ROM and Philosopher’s Walk). At the Bata Shoe Museum and local cafe L’Espresso, they considered how ordinary objects can become extraordinary. The day ended with a more traditional debate on the value of Polycleitus’ "Doryphorus" in comparison to Duchamp’s "Fountain". Our thanks to Bob Phillips, whose many years of teaching the arts at OISE and in the Peel board helped facilitate our study.
Geography Students Participate in YPI ‘Grow-Out Forum’
Fifteen M4 (Grade 10) geography students travelled to the Sony Centre on October 22 to take part in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative ‘Grow-Out Forum’. The day was full of inspiring speakers and enthusiastic performers who celebrated the hard work of the students, while also motivating them to continue on with their volunteering in the social services sector.
Composer in Residence
Last week, Alex Eddington '98, our composer-in-residence, worked with the M3 music class during their pop song project.
New Artwork / New Element
In April, we announced that Emily Lam’s artwork for the newly-discovered element, flerovium <14, had been selected as one of five possible tiles for the Periodic Table Project (a permanent installation at the University of Waterloo, a poster sent to chemistry teachers all over the world, and iPod, iPad and Playbook apps). Voting (via Twitter and at international chemistry conferences), has wrapped up and Emily’s tile has been selected as the winner. UTS now has two tiles in the project (selenium &4 was created by Tina Yuan for the original project).
F2s Out and About!
Last week, the F2s (Grade 8s) went on a visual arts/civics/geography field study. At the Art Gallery of Ontario, they explored how Ai Weiwei’s artworks deal with concepts like tradition, change and freedom of speech. They also analyzed two public spaces: Grange Park and Yonge-Dundas Square. Drawing on some of the approaches and resources of Maximum City (one of UTS’ summer programs) students heard from Edward Keenan (pictured), senior editor at The Grid, and Kim Storey, principal architect of Brown and Storey (designers of Yonge-Dundas Square).
Lots of Olympiads, Summer 2013!
In the International Physics Olympiad in Copenhagen, Jannis Mei '13 (left) was awarded an honorable mention and Henry Wu (right) was awarded silver. Gloria Fang represented Canada in the International Biology Olympiad and brought home bronze. Sabrina Ge, on the Canadian team at the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow, was awarded an Honourable Mention. In the International Linguistics Olympiad held in Manchester, England, Daniel Lovsted won bronze and Janis Chang '13 earned an honorable mention.
UTS Chess Champ
UTS chess player, Jackie Peng, competed in the 10th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational chess tournament and won. Susan Polgar, one of the greatest female chess players of all time, presented Jackie with her award.
National Geographic World Championship
Spencer Zhao helped Canada win silver at the National Geographic World Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia this summer.
Canadian Biology Camp
UTS students took full advantage of the Canadian Biology Olympiad Training Camp during July participating in the specialized training designed by the co-coach of the Canadian Biology Olympiad team at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UoIT). UoIT staff ran training sessions on slide preparation and staining, aseptic techniques, population dynamics, gel electrophoresis, and more!
Bumper Best Buddies Year!
The UTS-Heydon Park Best Buddies Chapter Executive attended the Leadership Conference in early September where students, buddy advocates and teachers participated in various workshops. Best Buddies is an international charitable organization that provides opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to find and make meaningful friendships. UTS was one of the 10 pilot secondary schools for Best Buddies 12 years ago; now there are hundreds of Canadian secondary and elementary chapters in addition to college/university chapters. More info: www.bestbuddies.ca
Josh Fullan on Civics
The fall 2013 issue of Spacing magazine, ran an article highlighting the Maximum City program, developed by UTS teacher, Josh Fullan; and he and writer John Lorinc co-authored an article for the Toronto Star on reinventing civics education.
Branching Out Event Pans Out
Alumni Sue Lawson ’78, Melissa Fox-Revett ’82, Sheila Mller ’82, James Cheng ’88, and Alex Hutchinson ’93, shared their stories and insights at our recent Branching Out mentoring program alumni panel discussion: When ‘Plan A’ Doesn’t Pan Out.
Day at the ROM
Our entire F1 (Gr.7) cohort spent a day in the ROM, where geography, history and visual arts teachers used the exhibitions as classrooms. Highlights included: the Code of Hammurabi, the “lost” skeleton of a Barosaurus, artworks by Jane Ash Poitras, the “Death of General Wolfe” and, of course, the mummies.
Top 30 Under 30
Annie Zhou has been selected as one of the CBC's Top 30 Under 30 Canadian musicians. (Pictured: Annie playing at our Annual Alumni Dinner awards ceremony last year.)
UTS presented it's third contribution to Toronto's Nuit Blanche in early October. Members of the public were invited to record a rumour that they have heard or were subjected to. Then they pulled a lever and their rumour moved along a conveyor belt filled with other rumours into the school, where we saw it progress through a “rumour factory” composed of mechanical and human implements. It finally ended up being run through a paper shredder mounted high in the final window, adding to an increasing pile of other shredded rumours. Mr Pullen points out that, "Although our switch failed after a few hours, the projections (and shredder!) carried the show. We're excited to have added Arduino and electrical circuitry to the artistic media that UTS students will now be able to work with."
Dr Felicia Knaul ’84
On October 1, UTS, UTSPA, and Students for Partners in Health Toronto, hosted an evening with UTS alumna and Harvard University Medical School associate professor, Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul ’84. She discussed her research and book, and had a chance to connect with Principal Evans and also Ana Pereira-Castillo who taught Felicia at UTS.
The Interdisciplinary Arts and Design course visited the Bata Shoe Museum last week. Their task was to investigate how an everyday object – shoes, in this case – can communicate and construct social, spiritual and ideological meanings. For example, what does the height of a paduka say about its wearer? What is the significance of the patterns on Cree moccasins? How did sneakers evolve from athletic gear to glamourous high fashion?
See UTS teacher Mike Farley’s guest blog post!
The UTS Scrum Sun
It's been an exciting rugby season. Read all about it, in verse, in The Scrum Sun.
(Re)Tweet Now for Emily’s Artwork!
Emily Lam’s artistic representation of the new element, <14 Flerovium, has placed among the top 5 artists in the University of Waterloo Chem13 News element tile contest! See: www.uwaterloo.ca/chem13news/new-elements-contest/flerovium-winners. Now her success is based on the number of votes her tile gets. To vote, retweet her tile at: www.twitter.com/ChemEd2013/status/341642896430219266
Seven students successfully completed the German Diplom I, a proficiency exam at the B1 level, and another student passed at the A2 level - outstanding achievements for students who have only been learning German for 3 years.
Why We Like Living in Toronto, in German
Todo Alemán is a Goethe Institute platform that connects students of German from Canada, the US, Mexico, Spain and Portugal. All UTS German students wrote a profile about their lives in Toronto, and several were selected and posted to the website.
English translation: www.goethe.de/ins/us/lp/prj/toa/kul/mwa/enindex.htm
German version: www.goethe.de/ins/us/lp/prj/toa/kul/mwa/deindex.htm
Physics Olympiad team – two-fifths UTS!
Jannis Mei and Henry Wu, along with 3 other students from across Canada, will represent Canada at the International Physics Olympiad this summer.
Canadian Chemistry Contest
Henry Wu placed 2nd in Ontario in the Canadian Chemistry Contest.
ESU International Public Speaking Competition
After being selected as the Canadian National Champion, Andy Xia placed in the top 6 at the English Speaking Union’s International Public Speaking Competition in May in London, England,
Reach for the Top nationals
On the last weekend of May, UTS hosted the national finals of “Reach for the Top”. Our ‘A’ team became the national champions for the second consecutive time! UTS is also the first school ever to win four championships and to win in two consecutive years twice.
On May 28, teacher Josh Fullan presented the made-in-UTS Maximum City sustainable transportation curriculum at the Ontario Bike Summit, an annual gathering of politicians and policy makers from across North America. For more on the summit and biking see this article in the Toronto Star:
Track & Field
At the South Region High School track and field meet, UTS athletes earned three golds and several other excellent placings. A number of our athletes advanced to the Metro Toronto Track and Field Championships at which Brynne Yarranton qualified for OFSAA in the 800m.
Varsity Girls Soccer – City Champs!
The girls soccer team played the A/AA City Championship against Oakwood CI and despite soggy, cold conditions and a strong Oakwood team, they finished with a 5 - 0 win earning the A/AA City Championship for a second straight year! The team also went on to the single A OFSAA tournament.
UTS French students have had outstanding results: a 3rd place in Core French at the Provincial Concours d’Art Oratoire at Glendon College; and at the Toronto Universities’ French Contest, at the University of Toronto, our students placed 1st or 2nd in all categories.
New Play Award
At this year’s Sears Ontario Drama Festival provincial showcase in Hamilton, Zoë Norman’s play was the winner of the Wayne Fairhead New Play award for Clash of the Partners, our SODF entry this year.
On May 17 two ensembles from UTS travelled to Fellowship Towers to perform for the residents.
The school’s first TEDx conference was a great success and a testament to the fascinating ideas within our community. From Hamlet to daydreaming to changing the world, the presentations provided unique views on a wide range of issues. Speakers included President of UNICEF Canada, David Morley ’73; UTS parent of alumnae and U of T President, David Naylor; UTS parent, epidemiologist Prabhat Jha; along with a number of UTS teachers and students. We hope that this will be the first of many TEDx events hosted by the school!
Guest Speakers in Law Class
UTS parent, Madam Justice Miriam Bloomenfeld, and UTS grandparent, renowned criminal lawyer Joseph L. Bloomenfeld, spoke with one of the UTS law classes recently. They had a fascinating informal discussion with the class, exploring some of the most difficult and interesting cases they have been involved with during their careers.
Reach-ing the Nationals
(Spoiler Alert - trivia answers immediately below!) The UTS senior Reach for the Top team recently competed with thirty-nine other regional champions from across Ontario and will be moving on to the nationals being held at UTS May 25-27! Here are some of the trivia questions that helped the team clinch a spot in at the Nationals.
1. Which sporting event is held on the first Saturday of May each year?
2. Which Roman road was constructed in 312 BC?
3. The name of which medical instrument is derived from the Greek word for chest?
4. Which synthetic material, often found in kitchens, was accidentally discovered by Roy J. Plunkett?
5. Which bone in the arm is widest at the wrist?
1. Kentucky Derby; 2. Appian Way; 3. Stethoscope; 4. Teflon; 5. Radius
Mental Health Week at UTS
UTS students were reminded once again about the importance of positive mental health during the week of May 6. The UTS student-led Positive Mental Health Initiative disseminated lots of info via posters, emails and, in collaboration with our Wellness Team, an information kiosk where students could pick up useful tips, green tea, and a ‘worry doll’ (place it under your pillow to transpose your worries to the doll!) For more info see: www.thejackproject.org
National Biology Competition
The combined scores of the top five UTS students to write the National Biology Competition (NBC) placed UTS 3rd out of 232 teams across Canada.
International Biology Olympiad
A UTS student has been selected as one of the top four biology students in Canada and will represent Canada at the International Biology Olympiad. She will continue her training for the competition in Bern, Switzerland in July.
National Chemistry Olympiad Training Camp
Following their success at the Provincial Chemistry Camp in May, four UTS students - who rank among the top 15 in chemistry nationwide - have been invited to the National Chemistry Training camp in June. From there, four students will be selected to represent Canada at the international competition in Moscow, Russia in July.
Fantastic results both at home and abroad:
At this year’s 2013 International Championship for Young Debaters, in Cambridge, UK, UTS ranked 18th out of 60 teams and our students came 11th and 13th in the individual rankings. At Branksome Hall’s Nora McCrae Public Speaking Tournament, UTS took overall 2nd place in both junior and senior divisions, and in a range of categories (declamation speech, impromptu speaking, and interpretive reading, etc) also had many impressive individual results (a sample: two 1sts, three 2nds; two 3rds; and two 4ths.) At the Canadian National Junior High Speech Tournament in Calgary, one of our students reached the hotly contested final coming 3rd in junior interpretive reading. Five UTS debaters attended this year’s final Fulford tournament, at Villanova College. Our junior team came 1st out of 16 teams, our senior team tied for 2nd, and three UTSers won Fulford certificates for individual excellence. At the new Knox Cup tournament at Havergal College, our two junior teams fared well: one group finished second and was invited to perform on stage in the final debate, and the other group finished third.
15,000 students attended the DECA International Competition in Anaheim - which meant 200-350 of the best and the brightest competing in each of 52 events! Our 37-strong team garnered the following: one 1st place finish; four 2nd place finishes; two 3rd place finishes; and 13 top-ten placements!
XLVth Ontario Student Classics Conference: 18th Consecutive Victory!
UTS returned from the OSCC victorious for the 18th consecutive time! Our combined scores from the various competitions (academic: 1st, athletic: 2nd, and creative: 4th) helped us secure the Phyllis Morgan ‘overall’ trophy with a total of 1007 points.
Metrolinx and CivicAction hosted a youth transit consultation at UTS to gather input from students on the Big Move and potential revenue tools. The session was open to all students and teachers from across the GTHA. http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/bigmove/big_move.aspx
Chemistry Olympiad Final Prep
Six UTS students qualified for the Chemistry Olympiad Final Preparation Weekend held at the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, University of Toronto. The proceedings included a presentation by Professor Kenneth Burch entitled Optics and Scotch Tape: New Discoveries Beyond Carbon. For more info on the Ontario Chemistry Olympiad and National Chemistry Olympiad, see: www.cco-occ.ca
After a year-long effort in completing POPTOR (Physics Outreach Program in TORonto) problem sets, six UTS physics students have been invited to attend a special weekend event hosted by the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto.
On May 4, over 100 people turned out for the 4th annual Jane’s Walk hosted by UTS students. This year’s walk focused on historic Annex murders. In the picture, students present the story of playboy Bert Massey (grandson of Governor General Vincent Massey) who was shot by his maid in 1915 in front of his house on Walmer Road.
F1s Play Serious Games
As part of a biosphere unit, an F1 (Gr. 7) geography class played ‘Mission Migration’ – one of a variety of computer simulations, such as ‘Stop Disasters!’, ‘Electrocity’, ‘Catchment Detox’, and ‘Windfall’, they have completed this year. For more info on ‘serious games’ at UTS, see teacher Mike Farley’s website: www.changegamer.weebly.com
National Bio competition
276 schools participated in the University of Toronto's National Biology Competition (a misnomer because it is really international!). Internationally, UTS placed 3rd overall; nationally, UTS placed first.
More info: http://biocomp.utoronto.ca
Going to Shad Valley
Eighteen UTS students have been accepted to this summer’s Shad Valley program. Shad Valley welcomes more than 600 of the best and brightest students from across Canada at 12 top Canadian universities for a one-month transformational experience.
Parking Lot to Public Space
F1 (Gr. 7) visual arts students are working on designs to transform the UTS parking lot into a multi-use public space. Last week they conducted a site analysis and generated ideas in their sketchbooks. Their designs incorporated such factors as microclimates and sightlines, as well as how people would move in, through and out of the space.
Annual Art Exhibit
Just a tiny sampling of the spectacular artwork on display this year!
Becoming Canadian at Fort York
On Friday, April 26, Mr. Fullan’s F2 (Gr. 8) civics class participated in roundtable discussions with new Canadian citizens at a special Fort York citizenship ceremony. Jacob and Patrick quickly found a friend at their table in lead facilitator Joseph Gill, Class of 1954 and son of a UTS teacher. Students listened firsthand to the opportunities and challenges of becoming a Canadian citizen. After the discussions and ceremony, the students enjoyed a tour of Fort York in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of York.
On Saturday, April 13, two students wrote the Zentrale Deutschprüfung A2 level German proficiency test and successfully passed all sections of the exam. On April 15, 7 students delivered presentations to a representative of the German Consulate as part of the Deutsches Sprachdiplom I - a German proficiency exam written by many of our German students - and passed at the B1 level.
World Music visitor
Justin Gray was in school last week sharing his expertise in Indian classical music during workshops with our students.
Cheri di Novo, MPP for Parkdale-High Park, was in school last week to speak to Civics classes.
Global Ideas Institute (GII) Symposium
On April 8, our GIobal Ideas Institute team delivered an outstanding presentation at the Final Symposium at the Munk Centre (U of T). An array of dignitaries was in attendance including U of T Chancellor Michael Wilson, Professor Janice Stein (Director, Munk School of Global Affairs), and Professor Joseph Wong (Director, Asian Institute, U of T). This year’s focus was on ways to scale-up the use of ‘Sprinkles’ (a specially coated, powdered nutritional supplement) in areas around the world that have high rates of micro-nutrient deficiency in children. 'Sprinkles' were invented by Dr. Stanley Zlotkin as a way to treat childhood anemia in poor countries.
The 44st Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly (SOMA) was held April 17-19 at the University of Toronto, St. George campus. Bringing together over 500 students from across Canada, SOMA is Canada’s premier Model UN conference and is run entirely by UTS students. This year, more than 100 UTS students took part as organizers, guest chairs, staff and delegates. (Pictured: David Morley '73, Director, UNICEF Canada).
Junior and Senior Toronto Chess Champs Again!
One-hundred elementary and high school students descended upon UTS on April 19 for the Toronto Secondary School Chess League Final. At stake were the junior and senior titles which have been won by UTS for the past 2-years. There were 200 chess games throughout the day and when the final King fell, UTS emerged as both Junior and Senior champs yet again!
Badminton – City Championships
Jasper Ho (behind) and Jeffrey Xiao (front) placed 3rd in the South Region and earned a spot in the boys’ doubles City Championships. They face the north, east and west regions in a draw of 16; the top four teams from that championship will earn a spot on the TDSSAA’s OFSAA team.
Evolution in the EvoRoom
Last week, Dr. María Niño-Soto’s class, the students virtually traveled back in time millions of years... In a continuation of the rainforest research project begun last year with Dr. Jim Slotta of OISE, M4 (Gr.10) biology students are spending time in the EvoRoom SMART classroom at UTS investigating evolution. A team from the University of Michigan is also now involved. As part of the process, various models of the immersive environment are run with students working on paper
and also with tablets. The aim is to see how tech can promote critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.
Closing in on Classics
Preparations are proceeding for this year’s Classics Conference to be held in at Brock University for both independent and public schools. UTS is hoping to return victorious once again with our eighteenth consecutive victory! To get the ball rolling, Alda Wu has won the logo competition with a drawing that represents this year’s motto: Serit arbores quae saeclo prosint alteri ("S/he plants trees to be useful to another generation"), from Caecilius Statius.
On March 26, Jason Diceman gave a dotmocracy workshop for Jane’s Club students to illustrate a novel method of helping large groups reach equitable and quick decisions. Students had to decide how three chocolates would be divided fairly and agreeably among the group using the dotmocracy method: http://dotmocracy.org/
Julie Tyndorf, a heritage planner from ERA Architects Inc., visited Mr. Fullan’s F2 (Gr. 8) class to give a presentation on Heritage Planning in the City of Toronto. Students were asked to come up with big themes and ideas that capture the spirit and legacy of UTS at 371 Bloor Street as part of a Heritage Interpretation exercise, to be presented in a few weeks.
UTS had spectacular results in the GTA leg of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada, bringing home 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th places, the commercialization and genomics awards, and 2 honorable mentions. Next stop for winner, Lauren Chan: the national competition in Ottawa.
For more info, see: http://www.bnn.ca/News/2013/4/1/Canadas-next-biotech-stars.aspx
Big Bio Olympiad
This year, our second largest cohort ever wrote the Stage I exam for the Canadian Biology Olympiad – and a remarkable 60% of this group was invited to submit a Skills Portfolio for Round II. In other words, 12 of the top 40 biology students in Canada are from UTS – an outstanding and unprecedented success! Selection of the four national team members will be made from this group of forty.
Volunteer Appreciation for Ms O.
On March 15, Olivia Chow hosted a community appreciation event for volunteers in the Trinity-Spadina riding who have demonstrated positive determination to make the city - and the neighbourhood - a better, more inclusive place. Best Buddies nominated Meg O’Mahony for her sustained work with the UTS Chapter, from its start as one of ten pilot schools to the present.
Elisha shares on Ashoka
On March 26, Elisha Muskat ‘01, Executive Director of Ashoka, Canada, spoke to Canadian and World Studies students about the work Ashoka does identifying and investing in the world’s leading social entrepreneurs – individuals with innovative and practical ideas for solving social problems. She stressed that there a