Swinburne University of Technology has announced an exclusive deal with Children’s University to deliver an innovative pilot program, giving students aged 5 to 14 years the opportunity to experience university-style learning with additional STEM and social action learning activities.
The Victorian-first program sees Swinburne partner with Boronia K-12 College’s STEM program as a pilot, providing 30 hours of STEM and social action learning, as well as the opportunity to learn and create at Swinburne’s university campuses and Swinburne’s Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC) early in 2022.
Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester says the Children’s University had been operating for more than 20 years in the United Kingdom and had seen positive results around building a lifelong learning mindset, developing further education aspirations from a young age and building more confidence in classwork.
'The Children’s University program is based on strong evidence and outcomes, encouraging young students to see the exciting opportunities available to them through STEM. Swinburne is proud to partner with the Children’s University and Boronia K-12 College to bring these educational opportunities to life for young students,' she says.
The Children’s University ‘Passport to Learning’ allows children to collect stamps for self-directed learning activities.
Based on research conducted by the Children’s University, 83 per cent of participants feel more confident about their classwork, 75 per cent paid more attention in class, and 93 per cent said they loved learning new things. In addition, schools that participated in the program made two additional months’ progress in reading and maths compared to children in other schools.
Managing Director of Children’s University Australasia and Africa, Kiri Hagenus, says the partnership with Swinburne is a natural fit.
'With Swinburne’s STEM focus, dual-sector approach and community connections, they are the perfect choice to be Children’s University partner in Victoria,' Ms Hagenus says.
'I very much look forward to seeing the program develop and grow in Victoria under the guidance of such a wonderful institution.'
Boronia K-12 College Principal, Matthew Scammell says he is committed to developing students into responsible members of the local, national and global community.
'The partnership with Swinburne’s Children’s University will help achieve great things for our students. Our programs aim to develop the whole child, so they become inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who want to make a difference locally and globally. We believe that every child can achieve their goals and we hope that partnering with Swinburne’s Children’s University will provide a valuable stepping-stone for students to find their path,' Mr Scammell says.
'I am looking forward to seeing our youngest learners come to Swinburne’s campuses and graduate in March 2022 following their 30 hours of self-directed learning across STEM disciplines, as well as social action activities. We are also looking forward to welcoming more schools and students to the program in the future,' Professor Quester says.