Senior School Honours Programme Showcase

December 1, 2023  
Sienna Bohm - Year 8

The Honours Programme is designed to teach students real-life skills to equip them for a changing, unpredictable future. Engaging students from Year 7 to Year 9 (but being extended to Year 10 in 2024), the Honours Programme aims to give students new opportunities to grow skills and really think deeply and creatively about a particular topic of interest.

Throughout the year, many guest speakers attended to share their own experiences in fields including Immigration Law, Forensic Science, Literature and more!  What I really took away from the guest speakers is how throughout life, their careers have adapted and changed to suit what they love. Using this knowledge and inspiration, we embarked on our own projects – partnering with Sydney Science Park (SSP), to try and solve issues relating to the building of a city near the new Western Sydney International Airport. The SSP, being built in 2026, aims to be environmentally friendly and a bustling community hub. The Honours students were lucky enough to visit the site to get some ideas about the problems and solutions they have already come up with.

Our projects focussed on addressing gaps in the SSP; we all split into groups and worked on solving different issues including the urban heat effect, health management and energy. All of our presentations had a sustainable outlook to ensure that the SSP will be as green as possible. We then presented our ideas to two special guests directly involved with the building and management of the SSP; Mr Duncan Challen from Celestino and Mrs Monique Binet from the CSIRO.

Each of the groups got very useful feedback from the industry experts. The key difference between regular classes and the Honours Programme is that we all adapted and changed our projects according to the feedback almost immediately, developing a keen appreciation for the importance role feedback has to play in reaching goals successfully.

With our new and improved pitches finalised, we presented them to parents and teachers on 29 November. Our business ideas and products were very well received and we have been encouraged to take our ideas to the next step. My group: Sun Glass, is planning on making a prototype of our product and many other groups are planning on doing the same. As my fellow Honours peer, Macey Swinnerton, said: “I enjoyed working in groups with friends, learning about a topic that we enjoy and creating a presentation for an SSP person.”  Aubrey Koll also enjoyed the Programme, saying: “I really loved that we got to work on a project that has real life impacts and can be used by experts. It was so fun to work in a small group on a topic that I was passionate about.”

All of the Honours students cannot wait to extend our projects next year and would like to thank Mrs Burton – without her guidance, our projects would not have reached their full potential.


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