CEDoW students have produced colourful and deeply reflective works in the 2018 Stretching Potential through Learning in Interactive Challenging Environments (S.P.L.I.C.E.D) Program, entitled 'Transformation: Inventions, Creativity and Ingenuity that have Changed the World'.
“Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone, but also judgement and the manner in which information is collected and used.” - Carl Sagan
Over 100 students participated in the creative thinking and enrichment program this year, with diverse responses to the theme of transformation expressed in a variety of literature, digital forms and imagery.
'Transformation' invited students to choose an idea, program, invention, object, discovery, product or something else that has had a transforming impact on humanity for a critical thinking learning process.
Final student works were selected for publication in print and digital forms, with successful students, their families and friends invited to a launch and presentation, held at the Ribbonwood Community Centre in Dapto.
Dr Paul McCann, Head of School Improvement Services - Specialist Support, addressed the audience of students, parents, family, teachers and principals, to launch the full colour publication and website.
“In this diverse collection of presentations, critical thinking ability is evident in the depth, breadth and relevance of the student's research, and in the clarity, significance, accuracy and precision of how they have expressed their opinions and reflections," Dr McCann said.
A particular focus in this year’s program was to support students to engage in and develop their critical thinking skills. These skills, which are one of the general capabilities and a key dimension of the Australian Curriculum, can be generically used and applied across all curriculum areas and are vitally important in preparing students to live in a world with continually expanding and readily available sources of communication and knowledge.
Rebecca McGlashan from St Paul’s, Albion Park produced the work, 'Children of the Cosmos'. Rebecca’s artwork also featured on the front cover of the publication.
Rebecca shared that her inspiration came from the telescope. “Sometimes I look up at the stars and wonder what is up there,” she said. “My family friend has a telescope and I always try to use it. Telescopes enable us to see many colours and collect light that our eyes are unable to see - anyone can use the telescope.”
John Charadia, Professional Officer for Gifted Education, Creativity and Critical Thinking said to guests, “We’re celebrating not only the students' skilful slide shows, audio-visuals, research papers and stories, but more importantly their perseverance and commitment. We celebrate their exploration of the motivation behind the inventions, creativities and ingenuities, which include compassion, awe and wonder at the universe, survival and love.
"The student works are the result of creative and critical thinking questions that opened their minds to consider new levels of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationships. Students have responded with a depth that deserves attentive reading and appreciation."
The selected student works were presented in a book titled, 'Transformation' designed by Amanda McPaul Browne, Principal of Heart of the Mountains Art Studio in Woodford, Blue Mountains and also one of the tutor team members involved in this year's S.P.L.I.C.E.D student workshops.
“We express our appreciation for the artistic design and layout of the Transformation book by Amanda, it includes exemplary work from students in a diverse range of forms as well as a guide to the website,” Mr Charadia said.
Concluding the launch, Dr McCann said, “To develop meaning and purpose in our lives, the human person is driven to engage in authentic, personally meaningful and relevant work. This year’s S.P.L.I.C.E.D program has certainly done that for this group of students.
“I commend John Charadia, the team that supports him in this work, and the teachers and school leaders who have fostered and been involved in supporting this year’s program. We can be proud of the students’ achievements, as we celebrate and enjoy what has been published in the Transformation booklet and accompanying website.”