Term 3 Compact Programs

Years 1 and 2
Beware Spiderman! Soundwaves! with Laura Jade
Years 1 and 2: Science


Did you know that what sounds like a whisper to us, sounds like a crash of thunder to someone with super sensitive hearing like Spiderman? How is this possible and how are Spiderman's ears different to ours? Join as we explore the science of sound and hearing. Ears are a fascinating sense organ. If your ears are working well you hear sounds all the time, in fact we can’t turn them off, even while we’re sleeping! In this workshop we will explore the parts of the ear, learn about how they all work together to react when sound vibrations pass through them and then discover the brain’s role in hearing. We’ll even explore whether hearing technology could give us superpowers too!

Laura has many years of experience in leading science workshops for primary schools, as well as experience mentoring youths and undergraduates through intensive project-based courses. She has a multidisciplinary background, holding a Masters in Illumination Design, a degree in Fine Art and further studies in biology, science communication as well as curatorial and museum studies. Laura is looking forward to working with eager young minds with a passion for science.
 
 
Trouble in Tessellation Town with Pete Wolstenholme
Years 1 and 2: Maths


Tessellation Town is the sort of town where everything just fits… literally! The houses, the streets, the flowers, even the pets all work together to create a picture-perfect world that repeats and repeats and then repeats again! But it seems that a mysterious someone in Tessellation Town wants to rebel. They keep leaving behind objects that don’t fit in and are causing all sorts of problems by disrupting the patterns. Maybe they think that all this repetition and uniformity is limiting their individuality and self-expression? Or maybe they have a bigger plan? One thing is for sure – they are creating a mosaic of problems for Mayor Square and now he desperately needs your help!

Pete has a passion for finding new and exciting ways of engaging students which has led him to his current role with RethinkPD. He has loved all things digital since he got his first Nintendo DS as a child, and he still regularly gets together with mates for all-night PlayStation sessions. He believes that developing digital technologies like AR, VR and Robotics have the potential to completely revolutionise the way students learn. Having benefitted from a gifted program when he was at school, Peter is keen to ‘pay it forward’ and provide a new generation with enriching and challenging learning experiences.
 
 
Write Me to Life! Adventures in Anthropomorphism with Dimity Powell
Years 1 and 2: Language and Literature

Once upon a time a small mouse slipped on a pair of trousers and set off upriver on a steamboat, a teapot and a teacup became friends with a lonely visitor to their castle, and a feisty pussycat picked up a sword and pulled on a pair of shiny boots, ready for adventure. Wow! What incredible sounding tales.  With the help of her plucky little pigeon pal, Pippa, children’s author Dimity Powell will take you on an adventure through the use of anthropomorphism in writing stories, exploring why it is such a powerful way to relay emotion, to instruct and to entertain. Not only will she also practise pronouncing this humongous word with you until it rolls effortlessly off your tongue, she’ll also explain how to use it to add more impact to your writing even if every single one of your characters is an animal, or bird, or a clock, or a train…! Conjure up your own literary magic and get ready to bring the inanimate to life!

Dimity  loves filling every spare moment with words. She’s the Managing Editor for Kids' Book Review and writes and reviews exclusively for children with over 30 published stories including This is My Dad (2022), Oswald (2021), Pippa (2019), critically acclaimed, The Fix-It Man (2018) and At The End of Holyrood Lane, winner of the 2019 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award.
 
Dimity has strong aversions to headstands and popping candy (how are things exploding in your mouth fun!) but loves eating cake with ice cream, sailing on the beam and writing in her diary although combining all three makes her nauseous. Dimity lives around the corner from Bat Man on the Gold Coast, although they rarely hang out.  Such are the lives of authors and superheroes.  
 
The Mystery of the Disappearing Dalmatians with Michelle Emsley
Years 1 and 2: Mathematics and Critical Thinking
 

Oh no! A delightful new litter of Dalmatian pups has disappeared and Vince the vet, the owner of the Precious Animal Refuge Centre (P.A.R.C.) is distraught. He’s just about to call the would-be adoptive families of the pups to break the bad news, when he discovers messages left by some of the other doggy residents. There are the Caesar cryptographs left by the Cavoodles, the Vigenère code left by the Vizsla, and the frequency analysis codes left by the French Bulldogs.  Vince is in a muddle and can’t make out the meaning of the messages - but luckily, Nicola the nurse is an expert in doggy code and she thinks she may be able to solve the mystery with your help. After a quick scout around the other enclosures, she warns you to watch out for the number squares from the Norfolk Terrier, who may not be as loyal as he looks! Can you help Nicola and Vince crack the codes and use your newly acquired knowledge of grid referencing to track down the location of the pups and save the day?
 

Michelle worked as a local reporter for a newspaper and a radio producer before studying primary teaching. She loves nothing more than tackling a challenging problem. Michelle is thrilled to be putting this passion to good use, inspiring the problem-solvers and mathematicians of the future. She developed a passion for working with gifted and talented students while in the mainstream classroom and has presented for G.A.T.EWAYS on a number of occasions.
 
Years 3 and 4
Adventures of a Mathematicat with Katrina Sims
Years 3 and 4: Maths

It’s not every day that you meet a gifted arithmetician and algebra whiz who also happens to be a curious cat! Fearless feline that he is, he peers through his owner’s telescope on a clear, starry night. The last thing he expects is to see a face peeking back at him - but that’s exactly what he finds! The figure beckons our calculating kitty forth into a portal, sending him hurtling through space before he can utter so much as a meow of surprise. Join our talented tabby as he travels across the universe on an amazing mathematical adventure. Information collected from the planets the two of you visit will aid you to create an escape route home, applying different challenging mathematical concepts to plan, model and construct his passage out… and hopefully send him back to Earth!


Katrina has a master’s degree in Gifted Education and a wealth of experience teaching gifted children. She has received a National Excellence in Teaching Award for her contributions to gifted education and a BH Neumann Award for contributions to Mathematical Enrichment for Australian Students. Katrina has a keen interest in teaching science and was instrumental in preparing her students for entries in national science competitions, including the BHP Science Competition.
Cool Science! with Emma Carter
Years 3 and 4: Science: Physics

Is your fridge magic? How does it work and how does it make things cold and make food last longer? Is coldness a thing? Find out about how your fridge takes the heat out of food and what happens to that heat. Join us as we explore some particularly ‘cool’ science including the science of temperature and thermodynamics. Investigate what heat is, how pressure can affect temperature and how liquids can turn into gasses… and then back into liquids! This workshop will challenge and enrich budding young scientists’ learning adventure and confirm that science is indeed, really ‘cool’!

Emma has Bachelor Degrees in Science and Engineering, with majors in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Melbourne. She has taught secondary school maths, science and physics, and has worked at Scienceworks as well as the Discovery Science and Technology Museum where she was an outreach education officer. Emma now enjoys presenting science workshops for G.A.T.E.WAYS.
Dodge Ball in Zero Gravity with Sanjin Dedic
Years 3 and 4: Technology

Please note that this workshop requires participants to have experience using Scratch.

The year is 2058 and now that the moon has been colonised, the Global Sporting Federation has decided to host an inaugural Space Olympics! Dodge Ball is now a very popular Olympic sport and you have been tasked with training the Australian Space Dodge Ball Team… here on Earth! You know that playing Dodge Ball on Earth is going to be VASTLY different to playing Dodge Ball in space. It is a big problem, but you think you have the solution. Design a Zero Gravity Dodge Ball Simulator using Scratch programming… and quickly! You know your training time is limited and the hopes and aspirations of the team, and the nation, rest on your shoulders!


Sanjin Dedic is a robotics engineer and an experienced educator in the field of Digital Technologies. Throughout his teaching career Sanjin has been at the forefront of the latest educational technologies, in 2013 he was already bringing Arduino, 3D printing and the Maker Movement ethos into the classroom. He has since authored Python curriculum used by dozens of Victorian schools and has co-authored a book on the BBC micro:bit.
A Greek God By Any Other Name with Tom Burke
Years 3 and 4: History

Yawn… stretch… Apollo, the God of Music, Medicine and the Sun, awakens from his slumber and rises to his feet, ready to resume his deity duties in Delphi. But wait! What’s this? A thousand years has passed and the world around him is not what it was when he fell asleep – the people and places he knew have vanished, and though his family of gods and goddesses are meant to be immortal and all-powerful, they appear to have been replaced! How has this happened? Apollo suspects treachery may be afoot and enlists your help to solve the mystery of who each of the usurpers are, who they’ve taken the place of and why. To do this, you’ll need to tap into your skills as a historian to investigate and analyse clues hidden in the fascinating mythology of ancient civilisations. Only you can aid Apollo and get to the bottom of this pantheon problem!

Tom Burke studied education at the University of Technology Sydney, where he received first class honours and was nominated for the Laurie Brady Prize for teaching excellence. Thomas is also a professional illustrator, has taught visual arts to children of all ages, and maintains a keen interest in history, literature and creative writing.

 
Survive the Rising Ocean! with Kate Walther
Years 3 and 4: Science


The year is 2100 and climate change has left much of the earth’s land masses underwater. You are an esteemed climatologist working for the Thunberg Institute in the Pacific Ocean. A colleague has made a remarkable discovery - land! 10,000 square metres of beautiful, pristine forest and beaches that, until now, had been undiscovered. Your job is to help design this island sustainably, so it can provide a home for 100,000 displaced people, whose homes are now underwater. You’ll need to investigate carbon footprints, sustainable food and agriculture policy, power supply options and efficient temperature controls. And, if possible, find a unique way to decarbonise your atmosphere further with offsets. Good luck - future generations are depending on you!

Kate Walther is a science communicator and writer who aspires to challenge and engage kids in interesting scientific concepts. With a background in teaching ethics to children and over a decade spent in the health and fitness industry, Kate is passionate about critical thought and the nexus between inquiry and education. Between Einstein and Asimov, the scientific truth is actually far more interesting than fiction!
That's (Not) Nonsense with Layla Sacker
Years 3 and 4: Language and Literature


Jabberwocky is perhaps one of the most famous poems in all of English literature. At first, it may appear to be  'nonsense', but actually it makes perfect sense, if you know the secret of how to read it! English has some incredible words that you may have never heard before. I’ll bet you think that there are no such words as macaronic, taradiddle or bugaboo – think again! Not only will we be discovering new “real words” like these but we will also be making up our own – words that seem to be perfectly legit and sound as though they belong in the Oxford dictionary. After decoding Lewis Carroll’s classic poem Jabberwocky, you will be using all your creativity and language dissection talents to write your own short narrative poem that could pass as nonsense (except with those of us who know better!). Can you then use these skills to help when the speakers are bugs with an entirely new language? We will be translating Carson Ellis’ delightful book ‘Du Iz Tak’ where he invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in a garden, where insects talk their own mysterious language - we might soon find ourselves speaking fluent “Bug”!

Layla Sacker teaches English Literature to both primary and secondary school students.  She  is passionate about the need for writers to have the time to develop their writing skills by exploring a wide range of written and spoken texts from the past and present. She exhibits her own paintings and applies her training in the Arts  to enable her writers to use art as a further source of inspiration. She has a firm belief in the capacity of children to think outside the box and her creative writing students from primary school to university have done just that. She delights in using technology and multimedia as texts as well as drawing on traditional literature.

 

 

A Twist in Time with Sharon Leibowitz
Years 3 and 4: Language and Literature/Philosophy

‘…Odysseus felt something in the cave with him. He looked up and saw a gigantic man wearing a tunic of goatskins and holding a full-sized tree trunk in one hand blocking the entrance to the cave. But, my goodness, the most alarming thing about this giant was that he was looking at him through one single eye in the centre of his forehead. Odysseus realized that he and his men were trapped in the cave by a colossal Cyclops…!’

Timothy loved stories about ancient Greece. This night, as he was reading, he fell asleep before he could find out how Odysseus and his men escaped the clutches of the Cyclops. The next day, he found a letter addressed to him in the mailbox and, ripping it open and scanning the contents, he let out a yell of excitement - he had won a competition to travel back in time to ancient Greece! Join Tim as he meets the storyteller Homer who relates the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops. This thrilling tale raises deceptively simple but fascinating philosophical questions, so to round out your trip you and Tim will delve deeply into these concepts and follow in the footsteps of philosophy greats such as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato!

Sharon Leibowitz is an experienced teacher who enjoys developing creative and critical thinking skills through a challenging program of Socratic questioning and communities of enquiry.  She loves participating in discussions around ideas and using thinking treasure such as art and children’s literature to enhance her programs.  Designing engaging philosophical discussions for students is a particular passion of hers and she always marvels at the quality of discussion that even students as early as five years old can engage in.
 

Years 5 and 6
Awesome Archetypes for Aspiring Authors with Andrea Blake
Years 5 and 6: Language and Literature

Searching for the secret to super successful, sophisticated story-telling? In this workshop we dive into some epic movies and all-time-classic literature where exquisite evidence can be found to lead us right to it!  Once you recognise some curiously common characters, and harness their awesome archetype potential, you’ll be able to transform your own tales from tolerable to terrific. The ‘usual suspects’ are actually far from it if they are well-written! Even though we expect to meet them (the hero, villain, mentor, and trickster) in most plots, artful authors can create and place them in original ways to keep readers riveted. After this workshop, by taking their lead you’ll learn to sidestep stereotypes and develop more complex, compelling characters through challenging writing activities. You’ll also be able to wow friends with your powers of prediction about who will populate novels and films. Most importantly, you’ll hold the secret key to story-writing success – an army of adaptable archetypes!

Andrea Blake loves anything to do with words – reading, writing, discovering, inventing or investigating them! One of the things she enjoys most of all is working with enthusiastic young wordsmiths who love them too. An experienced teacher and specialist in Gifted Education, Andrea designs programs that inspire curiosity and ignite imagination, developing creative writing abilities and creative thinking skills.

The Mathematics of Happiness with Leslie Marsh
Years 5 and 6: Maths

What makes you happy? Is it pizza to the power of three? Perhaps it’s the square root of chocolate divided by brussel sprouts? Mathematics has long been the tool of choice for describing the physical world around us. But now, all across the social sciences, researchers are turning to the power of numbers to try and understand human behaviour and emotions. In this class we will explore the fundamentals of algebra and see how it can be harnessed to help us to think in creative, yet logical ways. We will create our own formulas and equations to describe the most important aspects of our lives - what makes us happy, sad, and hungry! Along the way you will use the powers of exponents to describe your feelings about pickles and you will learn to view your emotions from a different perspective, by rearranging equations using the order of operations laws! This is maths as you’ve never seen it before.

Leslie Marsh has worn many hats in his career: he has been a film editor, a cinematographer, a drummer, and now an economist. He has a passion for maths and statistics and for the last few years has been teaching economics and econometrics (the statistics economists use) at the University of Sydney. When not teaching, Leslie can be found researching machine learning techniques, and turning maths into body percussion with the dance group Junkyard Beats.
Micro Mastery with Jessica Buchanan
Years 5 and 6: Technology

Ever wondered how remote controllers work? Maybe you have some ‘smart lights’ in your house that you can activate with your voice? How do these small, everyday items know how to follow your instructions? Well, you can thank the power of micro-controllers; tiny computers embedded in hundreds of everyday objects! They may be mini but they are packed with powerful sensors and processing power. In this program, we will explore micro controllers using the popular MicroBit to understand why they are used so extensively in modern electronics. We’ll find out what sensors the MicroBit has and explore all the amazing ways the MicroBit can use its sensors to provide data about its environment. We will learn how to store this data through the power of Variables and use it to make our own light and motion activated inventions.

Then we will explore Conditions and how we use them so MicroBit can make decisions automatically. We’ll create inventions that perform multiple operations depending on a variety of circumstances. We’ll experiment with making the MicroBit display a variety of words, graphics and even animations depending on the weather. We will then finish by practising our coding skills to solve a few challenges and code our own digital pet. We will diligently practise debugging skills and apply computational thinking to make sure our code is as streamlined and efficient as possible.

Jess is a technology educator and instructional designer with a passion for STEAM education and the Maker movement. She has over fifteen years experience designing and teaching technology programs catering to all areas of the community including kids, teens, teachers, parents and seniors. She has worked as a technology integrator in numerous Sydney schools, and produced two Maker Expos at Double Bay Library, a festival of technology and innovation. Since becoming a parent, she has become increasingly passionate about preparing our kids for a STEAM enhanced future. As Founder and Lead Educator at Flying Start Kids she enjoys designing education programs reaching out to schools, parents and communities, helping to ensure all kids have access to the tools they need to be confident and creative with technology. 
A World of Words : Shakespeare and Your Imagination with Anna Kamaralli
Years 5 and 6: Language and Literature

Shakespeare’s plays include shipwrecks, magical islands, and lands ruled by ancient kings and queens presiding over courts decorated with riches or conjured up by fairies. We will use his language, from plays like A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and more, to build some of these worlds and then visit them ourselves. What places can you create using the power of words, and what people will you find there? Join us on a journey where we make the destinations and you become a shipwrecked traveller, the Duke of Illyria, the Queen of Egypt, or someone you make up yourself in a land you just invented. Discover a kingdom, find a treasure – or get eaten by a bear!

Anna has been teaching about the joy of performing Shakespeare for fifteen years. She believes connecting with Shakespeare's language to find richer forms of self-expression is something everyone can do. She is also an author, director, dramaturg, theatre critic and radio broadcaster.
Star Stories and Mysteries with Dimitri Douchin
Years 5 and 6: Science: Astronomy, Archeology 

In this program, students will get a taste of a fascinating emerging science: archaeo-astronomy. For eons, humans have been fascinated by the night sky and its mysteries. And it shows! If we look into archaeological remains of older civilisations like Ancient Egypt or the Xth Century Mayas, we find that they were just as much into understanding the planets and stars as we are! In fact, back then, astronomy (understanding the movement of things in the sky) played an important role in their daily life. Our astro-explorers will travel in time and space through four different civilisations to understand how they saw the stars and planets, and through these examples they will discover celestial mechanics currently used in modern astronomy. How did the Ancient Mayas use calendar? Are the Egyptian pyramids really aligned with Orion? Why? Do Australian Aboriginals see constellations like we do? So many questions in these and other mysteries, and the answers all lie in the stars above us!

Dimitri studied physics in France and then travelled to Australia where he graduated with a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics. He has shared his passion for the wonders of space and the universe as an educator at the Sydney Observatory, and for the wonders of nature as an Ecology guide in the Blue Mountains. Dimitri, an insatiable polymath, has a passion for sharing his knowledge and aims to inspire talented children and adults all over the world.

Testimonials

Parent - 
"I just want to extend a huge thank you for all your efforts with our children. My child literally did not stop talking about G.A.T.E.WAYS yesterday. It was by far the highlight of his week.”
Parent - 
"I am blown away at how engaged my child was for two hours with the G.A.T.E.WAYS Online program. I loved watching her connect with the presenter and other children from across Australia and have that same thirst for learning quenched like your face-to-face programs offer. Normally we travel three hours to reach your programs but now we can access them from the comfort of our own home! Thank you!”
Emma Johnston-Robinson - Canberra Grammar ACT:
"From an organisational perspective we have found the G.A.T.E.WAYS Online programs very easy to manage. At our school we have set aside Wednesday afternoons for G.A.T.E.WAYS and we alternate each week between the older age group and the younger students. The students gather together in the hall and they connect online with their G.A.T.E.WAYS group. There is a lovely buzz in the air as the students interact with the facilitator and other children from around Australia."
Athena Conomos - St Charbel's College NSW:
"Given the current climate and its implications for all stakeholders, it is wonderful to know that teachers of Gifted and Talented students can continue to access the fantastic suite of G & T programs previously offered by G.A.T.E.WAYS in an online format and feel supported by the team in the process."
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