Shining the Light on Sheldon College - Named an Australian Innovative School for 2017
Sheldon College has been recognised and awarded by The Educator magazine as one of the nation’s most progressive and forward-thinking schools, leading the way in efforts to best prepare students for tomorrow’s world.
In a 2017 report released by The Educator, Sheldon College was showcased and awarded for a submission focusing on a Year 7 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) project called the Shining Light Project. The report highlights that the selected project offers only a snapshot of the pioneering work in the College that merits commendation.
The Shining Light Project is a student-driven, social business initiative which provided students with a tool kit of core STEAM-based skills, as well as many broader socially based skills. Students worked as small business units in teams of five to design, construct and market financially self-sustainable solar panel lights.
Throughout the project, students worked in cross-disciplinary teams in order to develop solutions to combat energy poverty. College academic staff from the Technology, Humanities, English and Science Faculties were assigned various coaching roles and also worked alongside experts from Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) national program, managed by CSIRO.
Ultimately, the Year 7 students were the ‘disruptors’ and driving force with this project. They led the learning transformation with an inquiry and socially responsible Problem-Based Learning (PBL) model, creating and informing their own learning paths, supported by key academic and expert volunteers across a range of disciplines.
Year 7 students Riley Watson and Mia Harris said that, "it was a fun project which allowed us to be fearless in our thinking and to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing people in underprivileged countries.”
At the completion of the project students organised a fund raiser to help increase awareness and support for a partner organisation Pollinate Energy. A cheque of $853.50 was presented to Timothy Lloyd-Smith, a representative of Pollinate Energy who said, “Your fundraising will help us recruit and train our next Pollinator in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. In a year, a Pollinator can supply over 250 families with lifesaving products. That is equal to over 1,200 men, women and children who live in India’s urban slum communities.”
Tim Garratt, Editor of The Educator, said: “The volume and quality of entries received made selecting the list of schools to profile an arduous task and spoke to the depth of innovative work currently being undertaken in Australian schools.”
Dr Lyn Bishop, Founder and Principal/CEO of Sheldon College congratulated all staff and students involved in the many innovative programs throughout the College.