Inspiring Young Scientists program
The School of Education and the School of Life and Environmental Science from Deakin have partnered with Warrnambool East Primary School to introduce its Inspiring Young Scientists program.
The program improves student academic achievement by implementing an engaging, innovative and fun science curriculum.
How the program is implemented
Students undertake weekly science lessons. Each lesson is focused on marine and freshwater environments, and is taught by university scientists and undergraduate students.
Classroom activities include learning about the local wetlands and nearby waterways.
The students go on excursions, accompanied by the university scientists and undergraduates, to explore and study estuaries and rock pools in the area.
Staying in touch with technology
The program uses technology like iPads, digital microscopes and online simulators, to engage the students in activities and document their learning.
There is a 'touch tank' set up at the school that houses marine creatures.
There are other wildlife enclosures for the students to interact with, including axolotls, hissing cockroaches and scorpions.
Achieving improved academic results
Students at the primary school are more engaged in learning and have achieved improved academic results across the whole curriculum.
Deakin has achieved recognition for providing support for budding scientists. Undergraduate students have developed professional networks, sharing their teaching and learning experiences.
Warrnambool East Primary School is now seen as a specialist provider of science and marine studies.
Officially recognised program
In 2013, Schools First recognised the program as an outstanding example of school-community partnerships with improved educational outcomes for students.
According to the judges, 'the partnership shows how science can be made relevant and interesting and contribute to improved educational outcomes for students across the whole school curriculum'.
Communities That Care
Deakin University is a proud research partner of the Royal Children's Hospital Communities That Care program. The program promotes the healthy development of children and young people through long-term community planning to prevent health and social problems.
Deakin's School of Psychology is working on research projects that tackle underage drinking and identify ways to prevent youth violence and crime. Evidence gathered from surveys and evaluations is used to implement effective community education programs in Warrnambool and other Australian regional centres.
Warrnambool City Council
It's estimated that the university contributes over $50 million annually to the local Warrnambool economy, through jobs creation, students moving to the city, services and the flow-on effect.
Deakin University has developed a strong partnership with the Warrnambool City Council (WCC). Ms Glenys Phillpot, four-term Mayor of Warrnambool also sits on the Deakin University Council.
The council's Economic Development and Investment strategy has a key focus on education, including a push to promote Warrnambool as a university city, not just a city with a university. WCC actively promotes Deakin as part of that strategy.
In 2015, Deakin partnered with the council and the Victorian Economic Chamber of Commerce (VECCI) to create the Great South Coast Small Business Festival. This workshop was designed to give participants the tools to expand their businesses into China and open doors into its rapidly growing market.
We also work with the council on other community-based initiatives, including the annual Close the Gap day, an event that raises awareness of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and welfare issues.
Warrnambool Art Gallery
Deakin and the Warrnambool Art Gallery have joined forces and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cultural and social opportunities throughout the south-west district.
The partnership will enhance Deakin's research activities in the region and provide a valuable platform for cultural development and community-based arts programs.
Three programs are being implemented, based on landscape and ecology, music and environment, and storytelling as place-making.
The MOU is one of the outcomes of a research project called 'Flows and Catchments', which was initiated and supported by Deakin University’s Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention.
Deakin is part of Horizon 21, a not-for-profit, cross-sector partnership that includes the South West Industry Group and local government. It focuses on innovation towards sustainable solutions for industry, climate change and the green economy.
Horizon 21 aims to launch a portfolio of collaborative projects that save water and energy, reduce waste and carbon footprint and create 'green' jobs across the south west region.
Great South Coast Group
The Great South Coast Group is a formal alliance of government, business and community partners. It focuses its activities on ensuring that the population of the region is healthy, has access to quality education options and enjoys a great lifestyle.
Deakin has a representative on all 4 of the organisations' advisory groups, known as pillars – the Position for Economic Growth group and the Strengthen our Communities group. The groups work on priority projects and seek external funding opportunities for education, tourism, technology, health, social welfare and infrastructure initiatives.
South West PCP
The Primary Care Partnership (PCP) strategy is a Victorian Government initiative that provides funding to strengthen partnerships, communication processes and capacity to identify and address local health needs.
Deakin's School of Health and Social Development has partnered with South West PCP to action local health workforce deficiencies in the south west. Currently the region is having difficulty attracting and retaining suitably qualified health professionals and there's a lack of vocational pathways in health for mid-range professionals and local students.
Our partnership allows us to work closely with South West PCP to align our health-related courses with the needs of the region. We also facilitate TAFE pathways to ensure that students can easily transition into health-related degrees at Deakin.
Wannon Water research project
Deakin, in partnership with Wannon Water, has fine-tuned its research into using goldfish to help reduce the costs and environmental impact of sewage treatment.
The application of aquaculture to sewage treatment has been pioneered by Deakin and Wannon Water in western Victoria.
Since implementation of the successful pilot program, Warrnambool residents have benefitted from reduced sewerage service charges.
South West TAFE
Deakin University together with South West TAFE continues to make quality tertiary education more accessible for all students in the Warrnambool community.
Through a credit for prior learning relationship and Deakin's TAFE pathways, students who graduate from South West TAFE can easily transition to a Deakin degree.