Four primary school boys put their heads together as they look at a science experiment. Photo: Supplied

Primary school students find their passion at Future Finders Day

Primary school students find their passion at Future Finders Day

UOWs regional campuses open their doors to more than a thousand students for interactive sessions

University can be a vague concept for students in primary school, but the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Future Finder Days are providing an insight into the possibilities of higher education and future careers at a young age.

More than a thousand Year 6 students from across the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and Far South Coast have attended Future Finder Days at the University of Wollongong’s regional campuses.

Over four days last week (21-24 November), UOW Bega Valley hosted more than 300 students from 16 primary schools, while UOW Eurobodalla welcomed close to 600 students from nine primary schools.

The students took part in immersive and inspirational on-campus taster sessions, designed to give them a peak into what a degree or field of study is like.

The highly engaging sessions and workshops take the students outside their usual school classrooms, enabling them to explore and experience the university environment.

Jaimey Facchin, Campus Manager at UOW Eurobodalla, said the Future Finder Days encouraged students to think about their future as they began to transition into high school.

“Research shows that school students exposed to external academic programs and university experiences are more likely to consider Higher Education beyond Year 12. Future Finder Days are inspiring, practical, hands-on, and fun. They show students the myriad opportunities and experiences that are available at university,” Jaimey said.

Sam Avitaia, Campus Manager at UOW Bega Valley, said for many students, particularly in regional and remote communities, university can seem out of reach. But the Year 6 Future Finder Days encourage students to think big.

“Higher education might still be a few years down the track, but the choices students make in high school will impact the direction of their lives. We are starting the process of demystifying high school and higher education. Year 6 Future Finder Days provide that spark that students need to think about their own ambitions and aspirations for the future.”

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Strategy and Assurance) Professor Sean Brawley said it was wonderful to see the strong connections between the regional campuses and their local communities.

“Our Future Finder Days are so important in creating a connection between students and our regional campuses. In regional and remote areas, in particular, students cannot always imagine what their future looks like, and the role that higher education can play in helping them to achieve their aspirations,” Professor Brawley said.

“Future Finder Days give them the chance to discover what university is all about and our regional campuses do a tremendous job of welcoming hundreds of students on campus for a fun and memorable day.”

Year 6 Future Finder Days will be held at UOW Shoalhaven (29 November) and UOW Southern Highlands this week (1 December).