Macquarie faces featured on new TV series

22 March 2013

Enquiring Minds, a Bridges to Higher Education initiative launching today, is aimed at igniting the curiosity and interest in learning of primary school children from under-represented communities in higher education.

Via a TV series, a fully interactive website with teacher curriculum support and online games for children, Enquiring Minds inspires 7-12 year-olds to think about where their passions and interests could take them in the future.

It features the experiences of 21 primary school students meeting inspirational university students and professionals who have successfully established a career by following their passions such as designing computer games, building bridges and working with animals. It encourages children to broaden their own education horizons.

Six of those feature on the program are from Macquarie University:

Professor John Cartmill, Professor of Surgery, School of Advance Medicine

Professor Michael Heimlich, Professor of Electronic Engineering, Department of Engineering

Ronika Power, Honorary Associate in Egyptology, Department of Ancient History

Kate Lee, PhD candidate in Marine Biologist, Department of Biological Sciences

Daneh Turner, Surgical Skills Facilitator, School of Advance Medicine

James O’Regan,  Bachelor of Science Graduate

Professor Gail Whiteford, Chair of the Bridges to Higher Education initiative said, “To go on to higher education young people need to be both academically prepared and have a well developed sense of university as a real possibility. Research tells us that more than 40% of undergraduate students first considered higher education when they were in primary school.

“Increasingly, efforts to improve educational outcomes are beginning in the early years of primary school, supporting schools with literacy and numeracy outcomes.”

“Enquiring Minds is designed to sit alongside these initiatives and through an enriched learning experience via an age-relevant TV series, web and curriculum linked teacher resources, give students a real-life picture of how their academic skills, their passion and motivation could frame their future.

“Bridges to High Education initiatives continue through all years of high school.”

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Bowen MP, said Enquiring Minds would help inspire primary school children to think about where their passions and interests could take them in the future.

“The Bridges to Higher Education project—which Enquiring Minds is a part of— is a standout example of the kind of partnership and collaboration the Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) is designed to support.

“It brings together schools, universities and communities to engage parents and children to aspire to a future that includes higher education.”

Bridges to Higher Education engaged Television Sydney (TVS) to develop the series Enquiring Minds. It will be broadcast on TVS from March 2013 and then rebroadcast over the year. It will also be broadcast on the three other community TV stations nationally.

The series will be available on the web and sent to schools in communities that are under-represented in higher education across the Sydney Basin, as a key resource for teachers, principals, mentors and equity program workers to inspire primary school kids to be aware of university as a great option for them.

Enquiring Minds can be found at: www.enquiringminds.com.au

Filed under: Alumni Learning & teaching

Enquiring Minds launch

(back row L-R) Professor Gail Whiteford, Macquarie University, Corey Payne, Young Australian of the Year NSW, Kathy Deacon, Principal, Villawood East Public School. (front) Villawood East Public School Captains.

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