FOR Jai Childs, Children’s University Tasmania has been a
passport to adventure.
The Rosetta Primary
School student joined the program only in late July but was among the 173
graduates who had the honour of leading the University of Tasmania Town and
Gown through the streets of Hobart in December.
In addition to a
shared interest in science, particularly astronomy, with this dad Michael,
Jai’s resolve to accumulate enough hours of learning outside school hours to
graduate has led to some significant father and son travel time.
“We went to TastroFest [Tasmania’s Astronomy Festival],” Mr
“That was a long drive up to Ulverstone and back, and the
next day we went to the University Open Day in Hobart.”
weekend, father and son hit the road again to visit the Queen Victoria Museum
and the Planetarium in Launceston.
“We have put in
plenty of miles and plenty of hours in the car together, but it has been really
good,” Mr Childs said.
“Jai has a telescope
my friend gave to him and we have had that out and been looking at Jupiter and
the moons around it, and the International Space Station.”
As a result of his
involvement in Children’s University Tasmania, Jai also attended the Scouts
Tasmania Open Day and has now joined the movement.
“We went camping at
The Lea, have learned how to tie knots and how to use a pocketknife,” Jai said.
Tasmania was launched in Tasmania in July 2015 through the Peter Underwood
Centre at the University of Tasmania.
The program is now
working with 32 schools statewide and has more than 750 active participants.
were in December, and a total of 335 members graduated in 2018.
The program helps to
develop children into adaptable, lifelong learners and builds bridges to
employment and higher education by connecting them to a diverse range of
learning experiences outside of school hours.
Each member is issued
with a ‘Passport to Learning’, in which the hours of activity at validated
learning destinations are recorded.
Centre deputy director Dr Becky Shelley said it was so exciting that Jai was
exploring new passions through his involvement in the program.
“It is also great
that his dad is sharing that learning journey with him,” she said.
Caption: Jai Childs with his father Michael.