Northern Rivers students LEAP into Big History

Julia Watters and Raewyn Burden from Macquarie’s  LEAP Program, along with representatives from Bridges to Higher Education partner universities, took a team of academics and current students to Lismore, Kyogle and Grafton as part of the recent Bridges regional NSW intensive series.

The visit included accredited teacher professional development, a parent and community information evening, as well as two days of interactive workshops for students hosted in Kyogle and Grafton respectively.

Elle Hrobat, Project Coordinator from Macquarie’s Big History Institute, was one of two staff to run a workshop over the two days of school workshops. Elle, who also participated in an earlier Bridges to Higher Education schools event in Penrith, was invited back by the LEAP coordinators who recognised the need to assist links between the Institute and prospective student members.

‘The LEAP program made it a joy to work with other educators who are passionate about their fields and pass that on to students who may have never seriously considered their options. In terms of Big History, one of the greatest observations I’ve made is that regardless of your context, the interest in where we came from and where we are going is something universal,” says Elle.

During the course of the workshops, Elle engaged with more than 160 year 10 and 11 students, to introduce students to Big History and break down some of the critical thinking concepts behind it.

The event was the second in a series of four intensives as part of Macquarie’s involvement in the Federal Government grant-funded Bridges to Higher Education initiative. Other presenters who have reached students via the LEAP Schools Engagement team and Bridges to Higher Education as part of these events include Catherine Lowe from the Centre for Emotional Health, Rochelle Cox from the Department of Cognitive Science, as well as the Department of Astronomy and Physics with their Digitarium Epsilon.

Learn more about all the programs ran by the Widening Participation Unit.