Widening Participation Unit

Widening Participation Unit

Our Program

What are LEAP - Links Virtual Classrooms?

LEAP-links Virtual Classrooms is a unique program which coordinates Masterclass video conference sessions between schools and academics from Macquarie University using connected classroom technology. The aim of this program is to facilitate university aspiration and provide curriculum enrichment for students who are typically under-represented in higher education; such as students from low-SES as well as Rural and Remote areas of NSW. 

These one-off presentations are designed to support the curriculum or broaden knowledge about career and study options. 

“It was really interesting and got me thinking about my future”

 – Year 12 Student, Blayney High School

How the virtual classroom program works?

This program provides schools with access to research and academia using connected classroom technology. Each Virtual Classroom Session provides schools from across NSW the opportunity to log in to an online video conference workshop on a particular curriculum area or career topic. Sessions are interactive and give students an opportunity to ask questions to the presenter, in real time, even though they may be hundreds of kilometres apart.

The workshop presenters are academics, PhD students or graduates from Macquarie University and give up their time voluntarily to enrich the lives of students in NSW. Presenters come from various fields such as Engineering, English, Arts, Science and Mathematics. Sessions either have a curriculum focus, where key curriculum information is conveyed, or they are more careers based where the presenter talks more about their particular career journey.  

“I thought it was very educational because I learnt, saw and heard things I’ve never known about before.”

– Year 9 Student, Hilston Central School

Each session is professionally recorded, edited and uploaded online so that teachers have access to these videos after the virtual classroom session has occurred.

Videos produced from each Virtual Classrooms Series can also be viewed from our LEAP YouTube Channel. You can also follow the links to each video in the Sessions tab on this page.

Sessions

Virtual Classrooms: 2016

English
Women in Science
Careers in Engineering 2016
National Science Week Virtual Classroom Series: 21st Century Technologies
  • From Arduino to Self-Driving Cars & Shipping Port Automation
  • Accessible Automation
  • Creative Robotics
Study Wellbeing
  • How Social Media Can Help You Study
  • Stress is good for you, right?
Careers in Health and Helping
  • Chiropractic: A path to Cracking Success
  • The Secret to Making a Difference
  • MRI: Physicists and Engineers make it happen

Virtual Classrooms: 2015

Junior Science: Astronomy
Women in Science
Careers in Engineering 2015
Careers in Science 2015
Engineering Studies
English
Maths in the Real World
Girls in Technology

Contact Us

Casey Featon
LEAP Project Coordinator

11 Hadenfeld Ave (MAP REF: R,5)
Building Y2A  Macquarie University 2109  

T: +61 2 9850 1930
E: casey.featon@mq.edu.au

For Students and Schools

We are always happy to welcome new schools to be involved in our program. If you are looking to take part in one of our upcoming video conference sessions please register by logging into DART Connections and search for excursions by provider 'Leap-Links @ Macquarie Univeristy.’ You can find a list of our upcoming sessions at the bottom of this page.

If you are unsure how to use your video conferencing equipment, or would like more information on how the program works, please email leaplinks@mq.edu.au.

“I liked how informative it was and that you got the opportunity to ask questions”

– Year 11 Student, Shoalhaven High School

Videos produced from each Virtual Classrooms Series can also be viewed from our LEAP YouTube Channel. You can also follow the links to each video in the Sessions tab on this page.

 

Some of our past Virtual Classrooms have included these topics:

Junior Science: AstronomyWomen in ScienceCareers in Engineering 
Careers in ScienceEngineering StudiesEnglish
Maths in the Real WorldGirls in TechnologyHistory

For Macquarie Academics

LEAP-Links Virtual Classroom Series provides an opportunity for academics to participate in community outreach and school engagement, offering their particular skills and expertise to a targeted audience of aspiring high school students from rural and remote areas.

The benefit of these community engagement activities is that staff members do not need to leave campus to reach high school students across NSW.

Photo: A/Professor Viviana Wuthrich (L) from the Department of Psychology and Carl Svensson (R) from the Department of Engineering, presenting a Virtual Classroom masterclass in Session 2, 2016.

“Thank you for having me as part of such a great event. It was great to see such collaboration between schools and students alike. Bringing people together in such a way can be so empowering.”

- Academic, Faculty of Science and Engineering

 Some of our past academic volunteers have reported that being involved in the video conference was a good opportunity to stretch themselves professionally by developing teaching materials for a diverse audience. One of our Academic volunteers was able to use the professionally developed video as part of a grant application, and many others have thanked us for the opportunity to be involved in such a beneficial program.

 

“This has been a personal achievement and proud moment for me to inspire students to study science”

- Academic, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Back to the top of this page