Our News
12 January 2018

Formulating an after school science program

In the spirit of celebration, STORIES shares the stories of our local and global Alumni and our Ambassadors, each of whom has made an outstanding contribution to our mission.

Meet James Bayard (Cohort 2014), teacher and 6-12 Science Leader at Northern Bay P-12 College in Victoria, who alongside fellow Alumni Caitlin Conway (Cohort 2014) and Paul Bolitho (Cohort 2015) developed an Extended Day School Day science program. This story was recently featured in our inaugural edition of STORIES.

“After a Careers and Technology Expo in 2016, Caity spoke to Paul and me about her idea to run an after school science program for the kids, to encourage their interest in science.”

“There was a cohort of students who wanted the opportunity to complete more science activities. When the school decided to run an Extended School Day of optional classes, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to make a program that gave those students the opportunity to explore their interest.”

“We wanted this to be an opportunity for them to engage with science in an environment where they aren’t assessed.”

“Initially, we tried to implement the CREST [Creativity in Science and Technology] science program [from the CSIRO]. But that wasn’t quite suited to the needs of our students, so we adapted the program on our own.”

“We wanted to provide students who were already deeply engaged with science the chance to further explore their passion, while also further developing their skills through hands-on investigation and experimentation.”

“Generally, we tried to gauge the kids’ interest areas and work backwards from there. The content is actually pretty creative and the kids have a lot of freedom to experiment because their performance isn’t measured.”

“Time management has been the biggest challenge for us (pretty much the same for every teacher right?) — trying to balance the organisation of the program with everything else that’s going on in a school.”

The program earned the trio a nomination for the The Victorian Education Excellence Awards in October last year, for the “Outstanding School Advancement Award”.