Helping Bright Young Minds Thrive 

The Scientia Challenge Program features a range of progressive workshops taught over three days designed for gifted and talented high school students in Years 7-10.  

Developed and led by practising UNSW experts in gifted education, the workshops follow a university-style investigative structure with intellectually-stimulating content. With the level of study aimed two years higher than the students' grade level, these dynamic workshops offer gifted students a rigorous and challenging program.  

The program is held at the UNSW Sydney Campus giving students exposure to university life to help reimagine their future study options and provide opportunities to meet potential role models and mentors. The program also offers a space for gifted students to meet like-minded peers with similar interests.  

Workshops are on offer for the 2019 Student Programs. Scholarship and Equity Advanced Placement applications are accepted prior to main round registration.  

Previous workshops have included:

The Brain in Health and Disease with Professor Ken Ashwell

We study the structure and function of the normal brain and spinal cord and then consider types of disease that can affect the brain and spinal cord. The classes explore the structure of the nervous system at the microscopic and naked eye level, and we discuss how function is localised in the brain. Students practice clinical examinations of the nervous system on classmates and analyse how brain disease or damage might be prevented or repaired. Students also have the opportunity to make diagnoses and recommend treatment for patients with brain disease.

Robots by EMU with Yvonne Perry

Do you enjoy robots and programming? Over the three days, students build a robot and learn how to program it. While our focus is building a robot, you also get a taste of electrical engineering and have the opportunity to meet the UNSW First Robotics Competition (FRC) robot and First Tech Challenge (FTC) robot, both built by year 8-12 high school students.

In this program, you have the opportunity to:

  • build a small robot that you will take home at the end of the course
  • learn how to programme your robot to allow it to negotiate through a maze.
  • explore how to design an object then attempt to build it
  • use a CAD (computer-aided design) program to design an object.
  • learn about electrical components and build a small project.

Page+Stage: Poetry & Spoken Word with David Stavanger

Step up to the mic / and let the words / take flight

David Stavanger is an award-winning poet and spoken word artist who helped establish poetry slam in Australia. In this workshop students work on both sides of the art form – the written and spoken – to develop a small body of poetic work either for the page and/or the stage. With one of Australia’s most dynamic teachers in this field, you learn how to tune into your creativity and find your own voice through a series of individual and group exercises that explore your writing, editing and performance technique.

Students also learn about the history of poetry slam before they run your own live slam on the final day, performing their original work.No writing or performance experience is needed. At the completion of this workshop, students also have poems that can be published online or entered into poetry writing competitions.

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