Year 12 students from schools in the Rockingham and Mandurah regions have experienced university life thanks to a new Murdoch University unit designed to help them adjust to the demands of higher education.
The inaugural TLC 110 Learning for Tomorrow unit saw 40 students from the Rockingham PACT schools (Rockingham Senior High, Gilmore College, Warnbro Community High School), Mandurah Senior College, Pinjarra High School and Mandurah Catholic College attend after school sessions over three school terms at Murdoch’s Rockingham and Peel campuses.
After attending lectures, workshops, tutorials and preparing academic essays, the students demonstrated their new found skills by preparing and presenting research projects for showcases at Murdoch’s Peel and Rockingham campuses.
Each student had a 15 to 20 minute time slot to present and answer questions from the audience on a community, societal or global issue. Stem cell research, poverty, obesity, social networking, teenage drinking, genetic modification, asylum seekers and body adornment in the workplace were among the issues investigated. Murdoch University and school staff, their peers, family and friends were among the audience.
Murdoch University’s Janean Robinson, lecturer and one of the coordinators of the unit, said the students’ presentations were an inspiration, showcasing their passion for their various subjects and illustrating just how far they have developed over the course of the unit.
“We aimed to encourage the students to think more critically and creatively and work collaboratively to become agents of change. On the evidence of their presentations we certainly have seen these attributes develop,” said Ms Robinson.
“They responded exceptionally well to the many challenges they faced over the course of the unit which has involved them having to blend their school and work commitments with university learning.
“We trust these experiences will help them to successfully manage university life and learning in the future.”
One of the students who took part in the unit, Michaela Fox, said she grew so attached to her research topic that she hoped to continue her investigations in the future.
“I can’t believe the passion that grew inside of me throughout this course,” she said. “I will always be interested in research from here on, and maybe one day I will be able to do more of this to help our planet. For me it does not end here.”