Karen Pellow knew her daughter Gabby was a little advanced for her age when she asked if she could transform her new cubby house into a science lab.
The incredibly bright seven-year-old was studying Year 10 science when she was in Year 2 and is always on the look-out for new challenges, which is why she was very excited to take part in the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Holiday Enrichment Workshop Series for gifted Darling Downs students. The two-day program kicked off yesterday and will feature about 250 students from Years 1-10 challenging themselves on a series of advanced workshops covering anything from science to art to maths to mythology to quantum mechanics.
Gabby said she was excited to return for another day of activities today. “Today has been really fun, I’m really excited to do it again!” she said. “I always enjoy a good challenge.”
Mrs Pellow said it was great to have programs in Toowoomba that challenged young minds at an advanced learning level such as Gabby. “We’re always on the lookout for programs aimed at gifted students and a lot of the time we will have to travel out of town for them,” she said. “Having a program like this right here in Toowoomba has been fantastic and I’d love to see more programs like this one right here in the Darling Downs to encourage local gifted students.”
Program organiser and USQ lecturer in Special Education Mark Oliver said the event was a pilot program and he hoped to continue to provide activities aimed at local gifted students.“We’ve had excellent feedback and I’d love for programs like this become a regular thing at USQ,” Mr Oliver said. “Not only do the students challenge themselves, but they get a chance to foster friendships with like-minded students from different schools .” Mr Oliver is currently driving research into gifted education as a member of USQ’s ACCELL research team (Australian Collaboratory for Career, Employability and Learning for Living).