Best BlogBLASTs!

Year 7 – 10: Best BLOG BLASTs

Name: Sven Hagedorn

School: Linwood College – Christchurch

Year: 9

Hi my full name is Sven Hagedorn I came from South New Brighton School and I grew up with my mum, dad, sister and cat. I recently turned 13 and I now go to Linwood college.

I used to go to South New Brighton and that also goes up to intermediate so I never had to experience any massive change. But finally it was here the big change… the change would affect my whole life. My sister was already going to Linwood and she was really enjoying it. But it still made me nervous, my thoughts were all I’m going to get lost, I might get bad teachers, I might get bullied or made fun of, I won’t get any more friends, I’ll be all alone. Unfortunately none of my friends were going to Linwood this worried me most of all. Finally the day came, the one I had been dreading but as much bad thoughts as I had I still had some good thoughts.

We had lived so close to my old school that I had never had to bus anywhere on my own before I was very nervous but I got it right and hopped off at the right stop. I walked to school and waited as we filed into the hall for our welcoming ceremony I sat in between over 50 others of my year. Finally we got put into our mentor classes. After that we went to our class and played some name games so we learned each other’s names. I was feeling better and more confident by now and we sat back down to pass out notices. I was sitting next to a boy named Leighton then we ended up becoming friends, after a few more days I meet Connyr, Ryan and Sheldon. After that I found my way to all of my classes without a map I was more confident with the bus and I really enjoyed Linwood College.

For those of you who are going to a new high school just remember you are not the only one there will be plenty of others like you. You will get new friends, master finding your way around and really enjoy school. If you have trouble getting new friends don’t be shy go up to another person he or she could be a lot like you and in the end become great friends. If you get lost try asking a senior student, teacher or classmate how to get to your class or make your way outside then go to a place you know and follow someone else in your class until you find yourself not getting lost, that’s how it worked with me. I hope you learned something today and maybe ease your mind a bit and just go through with a smile and you will be fine.


Name: Imogen Crooks

School: Linwood College – Christchurch

Year: 9

The Changes Of A Teenager.

By Imogen Crooks

Puberty, new schools and change, it is something we all go through, we have emotional, physical and social changes. My name is Imogen and I am 13. This year I started this school as a year 9, it was scary, I remember the nerves about fitting in, finding friends, how much homework I will get, but after a week or so, I was fine. High school is a scary experience for most and with the hassle of puberty on top of it all, the change from child to adult is tough.

Only 100 years ago the average age for girls to go through puberty was 16 years old, it is now between 9 and 14! Scientist believe this is because now we have much healthier living conditions so we develop earlier.

Better health and hygiene is not the only reason for early puberty, scientists also think it could be the environment we experienced when our mum was pregnant with us. This means the food our mum ate when she was pregnant with us could of effected our lives, for example, if the mum smoked, took drugs and drunk alcohol when she was pregnant then that is likely to affect us more than if she stuck to a healthier diet. In the 19th century people has worst diets and that effected the time that they went through puberty, So if a mother had a unhealthy diet when she was pregnant it is much more likely that her child would start puberty later.

Another group of children that have helped scientists to understand this are children from inter-country adoptions. Inter-country adoptions involve kids that are usually from orphaned situation in one country and being adopted to families that live in another country.

In New Zealand there are many children, some from Russia, Romania, Lithuania, Thailand, Indian and The Philippines. The studies have shown that the average age for a rural Indian girl to get her first period is 14.4 years old and the average girl in a privileged Indian family is 12.8, For Indian girls that moved to Denmark with their families were not affected by this but this proves that a better diet means an early period.

So this shows that a better diet throughout pregnancy will really affect a child’s life and development.


Name: Jessica Croy

School: Botany Downs Secondary College – Auckland

Year: 10

Being able to cope at a new School is either hard or easy. When I started College everyone had come from the same Intermediate school and there were only a few from different schools, I was one of those. It was hard trying to fit into the class as the people that had come from the same school had already formed their groups of friends. It was difficult at first thinking you had made friends with them but them not actually liking you and making judgment before they actually get to know who you really are as a person. I have found joining Sports teams and other clubs was really good as it has been a great way to meet others who enjoy the same things as you do. An experience of mine was joining the school hockey team and making lots of new friends. I have also found that each school has different ways of doing things and each teacher has a different way of teaching a subject from one year to another, so a good thing to learn is to get to know the different methods of teaching early in the school year so you can adapt if you need to. I found homework at College was also a big change from being at Intermediate school as you get a much larger volume in comparison and the expectations in regard to presentation and overall standard are much higher.

The advice I would give to young people entering College from Intermediate would be to learn the school layout and if you need advice or are feeling uncomfortable and unsure seek advice, don’t be afraid to talk to your teacher or a senior student or an adult you feel safe with. Have fun and make the most of your years at school as it should be the best years of your life learning your strengths to take you far in your future.

You are in charge of your own destiny.


Year 12 – 13 Best BLOG BLAST


Name: Leina Tucker-Masters

School: Hillcrest High School – Hamilton

Year: 13

The explosion of women’s rights across the globe has transformed our society over the last seventy years, and one of the most prominent developments has been the freedom of career choice. Women are now liberated from their domesticated shackles to pursue any degree or career they desire. Because of this, the modern woman will finish tertiary education and settle down into a job before she begins her family.

But biologically, this poses a problem. The average age a woman gives birth to her first child in New Zealand has risen from 23.9 years in 1962, to 30.5 years in 2009, with more and more women around the age of forty trying for a baby. Our bodies, almost unchanged since 70,000 years ago, are not evolving with our new societal structure. Women may be more financially stable to raise children when they’re in their thirties, but their bodies are already declining in fertility.

So science came to the rescue, and in 1978 Louise Brown became the first baby to be born through IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). Women with ailing fertility could overcome their bodily barriers and experience the joys of motherhood.

There were, however, consequences to this new technology. IVF was – and still is – expensive, and it still isn’t very successful. The live birth success rate for IVF ranges from 41.4% in women aged under thirty-five, and a mere 12.6% in women aged forty-one to forty-two, according to Sart Cors online. A women may have to pay for several cycles before she gives birth to a healthy baby, and for the working class, this isn’t a realistic dream.

Another problem posed by IVF was the viability of the embryos created for implantation. As a child, I was told only around half of all zygotes will actually begin to multiply. Of those zygotes, some will be miscarried because of the body’s “natural genetic screening”. What happens when we create zygotes in a test tube?

This is when we breach the topic of PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis). I have read articles that condemn PGD, and articles that vehemently support it. The case in favour of PGD is a practical one. By screening the embryos to make sure they have the right genes to actually become a healthy baby, we are eliminating the chance of implanting embryos that would never have grown in the first place. It saves time and maybe even money for the parents-to-be, and eliminates a lot of stress. But then we begin to traverse into the ethical debate. What if we screen out babies with a genetic condition? What if we begin to screen babies for a specific gender or trait? Is there a limit? These are questions we have to think about when we approach this topic.

While it certainly raises a few questions, reproductive technology has enriched the lives of so many families around the world, mine included. I hope it continues to develop and improve, so other families can have amazing cousins like I do.


Our Expert Panels

Years 7-10 Student Panel

Sven Hagedorn, Linwood College, Christchurch

13 years old, Year 9,

Hobbies: Drawing/art; building robots; soccer; computers

Interesting facts: Father was born in Brazil; Sven is currently building a robot that will pick up a tennis ball and place it in a bucket.

Maia Szecket, Kadimah School, Auckland

12 years old, Year 8, Teacher Mrs Meltzer
I like playing sports, arts and crafts, writing, maths and reading; I love animals; I was born in Toronto Canada; I moved to New Zealand 3 years ago; Both my parents are doctors.”

Imogen Crooks, Linwood College, Christchurch

13 years old, Year 9
Hobbies: singing, making films
Interesting info: is a self-confessed nerd, into sci-fi, comics, loves reading. Parents are very jealous she is going to meet Lord Winston.

Jessica Croy, Botany Downs Secondary College, Auckland

My name is Jessica Croy. I was born in  February 2000 in Auckland, New Zealand. I am 14 years old and I am in my second year at Botany Downs Secondary College. I live in Dannemora, East Auckland with my Mum, Dad and two brothers who are 12 and 7.  I am  a sporty person  who likes to give everything a try and I also like to help and encourage others to achieve. I currently represent my school in Athletics, Cross country running, Hockey and Football. I am also a member of the school enviro group.

Outside of school I have been  a member of the Pakuranga Athletic and Cross Country Club for 8 years in which I compete all year round in different running and field events. My other interests are reading, hiking, cycling and overseas travel. I like to spend time with my family exploring Regional and National Parks both here and overseas, I have hiked the Grand Canyon in USA 2 times and it was an amazing feeling of achievement.

Years 12-13 Student Panel

Leina Tucker-Masters, Hillcrest High School, Hamilton

Age 17 years.  School Year 13

I like to read and write. I love cats and my cat is the best pet in the world. My favourite school subjects are English, French, and Biology. I play social netball. I am the cultural captain at Hillcrest High. 

Seini Pua – Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland

Age 17 years.  School Year 13, Tongan descent
Seini has career goals of studying medicine. Currently she studies biology, chemistry, physics, music and calculus. Seini is the Music Prefect and last year she had a lead role in the schools 125th anniversary production. Seini sings and plays the guitar and piano. She has played school netball and tennis.

Theo Loretz – Mt Roskill Grammar, Auckland

From a 21st century point of view, I am from a very large family. I am 17 and am the second of nine children. My family and I are highly involved in the Catholic Church, which continues to influence our lives in profound ways. Studying at Mt Roskill Grammar School in year 13, I am highly interested in biology and chemistry, and also French, drama and music. Tertiary study-wise, I am hoping to go into one of the fields of science, possibly biochemistry related. This year I am going to travel to France as one of 10 Young Ambassadors from NZ to commemorate WW1 in July. I am a current Auckland Theatre Company Ambassador and am preparing for a grade 8 piano exam later this year. I also thoroughly enjoy camping, whether it be tramping around NZ or with fellow Student Board of Trustees Reps on the Spirit of Adventure.

Matthew Bilton – Westlake Boys High School, Auckland

I am a 7th form student who currently attends and is the Academic Captain at Westlake Boys’ High School on the North Shore. I am incredibly passionate about science and have taken it as a subject all through my high school career, having chosen to study chemistry, physics and biology for the past 3 years. In the future, I hope to study at university for either a Bachelor of Engineering or a Bachelor of Science degree. Outside of school, I regularly involve myself in debating and have even had the opportunity to represent the Auckland region at the New Zealand National Debating Tournament last year.