Enquiring Minds is an 11-part television series developed to inspire 7-12 year-olds to think about where their passions and interests could take them in the future
Enquiring Minds is an 11-part television series developed to inspire 7–12 year-olds to think about where their passions and interests could take them in the future. The series was developed by Television Sydney on behalf of Bridges to Higher Education and was launched in March 2013.
The television series is supported by a fully interactive website with teacher curriculum support and an online game for children. The resources for schools have been mapped against the Australian Curriculum and developed alongside primary school teachers to offer downloadable lesson plans for use in the classroom. The website hosts each segment from the TV series online, as well as extras including transcripts, biographies, study pathways, and an online game.
The series features the experiences of 21 primary school students meeting inspirational university students and professionals who have successfully established a career by following their passions.
Enquiring Minds is designed to sit alongside widening participation initiatives and through an enriched learning experience, to give students a real-life picture of how their academic skills, their passion and motivation could frame their future.
To inspire young people between the ages of 7 and 12 from communities under-represented in higher education to think about how their passions and interests can be turned into careers through education.
Enquiring Minds has been funded through the Bridges to Higher Education initiative as part of the HEPPP Partnerships component competitive grant process. The Bridges to Higher Education initiative is funded from December 2011 to December 2014.
Enquiring Minds has already been broadcast to 1.4 million viewers across Greater Western Sydney. It will be broadcast to a further 4.5 million viewers across Australia through Australian Community Television Alliance affiliates in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.
The launch of the series generated a high volume of local media interest and the website generated in excess of 3,000 hits in the first month. The series has been distributed to over 1,000 schools across NSW to date, as we continue to roll out our distribution plan. The reach and impact of the program are being monitored as part of the Bridges to Higher Education Evaluation Framework.
Feedback from schools to date has been extremely positive. You can view a short video about how one school used the resources here.
“Matthew and his classmates have been so inspired by this experience we have decided to dedicate our whole Term 2 learning on doing the same idea but for all the students in our class. This has really inspired me as a teacher”. – primary teacher.
Distribution of the resources to schools and networks will continue, as well as syndication locally, nationally and potentially internationally. Bridges partner universities continue to integrate this program into their widening participation strategies. We welcome the adoption of these tools and resources by colleagues across the tertiary sector.
The Bridges partner universities are:
- Australian Catholic University
- Macquarie University
- University of Sydney
- University of Technology, Sydney, and
- University of Western Sydney.
This case study is one of a series of 39 presented in our case study publication, Access and Participation in Higher Education: Outreach – Access – Support.