On Tuesday mornings, when most of the classrooms in the college still have seats stacked on tables, two rooms in G Block are a hive of enthusiasm and activity.

This morning we dropped by the Specialist Maths Science program and found Year 12 students huddled around white boards solving advanced Physics problems, while in the Year 11 room, robotics was the focus.

Teacher, Kris Ellery, said the program is a great opportunity for students to extend themselves and work towards the study scores they need for their education beyond BSSC.

“We challenge the students with exam type questions that push them beyond what they’re experiencing in the classroom,” she said. “They often work in groups to solve problems, and we also have past students who bring their enthusiasm for Maths and Science back to the college.”

Jarett Boorn is one such Alumni, who is currently studying a Masters of Teaching at La Trobe University and regularly spends time with the Specialist Maths Science students.

“I really loved my Maths and Science at BSSC back in 2015,” he said. “I want to encourage that love among the current students and help them have the same opportunities I’ve enjoyed.”

Hayden Parrott is one of the Year 12 students benefitting from Jarett’s knowledge and experience.

“I love the environment in here,” he said. “We’re all here just working hard and getting things done, but having a great time too.”

In the Year 11 group, a dozen students were today getting a taste of robotics, using a program called Mindstorm to program their creations.

Teacher, Matt Gill, believes the program is a great way for Year 11 students to be exposed to different disciplines of Maths and Science and have opportunities beyond formal classes.

“It’s really for those students who want extra work—want to extend themselves—but don’t get a chance to in the classroom,” he said.

“This year we’ve also got plans to link in with La Trobe University and the new Bendigo Tech School, giving our students the opportunity to work alongside younger students—sharing their enthusiasm for Maths and Science—being part of that wider STEM community in Bendigo.”

The Specialist Maths Science program is available to any student studying Chemistry, Physics, Maths Methods or Specialist Maths and runs every Tuesday morning from 10:00am in G Block.

Interested students can contact Matt Gill gill.mathew@bssc.edu.au or Kris Ellery ellery.kris@bssc.edu.au