Shaping bright young minds

The Junior Scientia program is designed for gifted and talented primary school students in Years 3-6. To participate in the program, students will select one three-day workshop from a range of options.  

All workshops are developed and presented by experienced teachers who are qualified or experienced in gifted education. They possess the expertise and skills to encourage the interests and pique the curiosity of gifted children.  

To provide an appropriate level of rigour and challenge for gifted students, the level of difficulty of the workshops is set two years above the enrolled school level of the child. The workshop structure is also designed to further develop social skills and provide an opportunity for gifted students to meet like-minded peers with similar interests. 

2023 January Programs

Click ONLINE Student Programs or ON-CAMPUS Student Programs to book any of our January 2023 workshops. All courses are 3-day workshops. 

Please be aware that online and on-campus dates differ.

BOOKINGS OPEN from November 10, 2022

To stay up to date with all the latest GERRIC Student Programs information, join our mailing list.

On-Campus: Junior Scientia workshops Year 3-4

  • How has the ancient world shaped Western civilisation today? In this course, we will learn about a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievement that has formed a legacy unparalleled in its influence on the modern world. Be prepared to delve into the weird and wonderful world of Ancient Greek mythology and explore how these stories still resonate over 2000 years later.

    About the presenter

    Madeleine is an experienced educator with a love of teaching world history. In particular, the rich history and culture of Ancient Greece. She has taught gifted classes across the spectrum of primary-aged students and is currently completing her Masters in Gifted Education. Madeleine is motivated by a passion to provide quality learning opportunities for gifted students and is currently working with her school to create a more informed and inclusive learning environment for high-ability students.

  • Take a trip back 2000 years to the time of the Caesars and the Pharaohs and unlock the secrets of these fascinating and incredible civilizations. In this course you will:

    • learn why you need a book of the Dead and write your own. 

    • investigate some of the enduring discoveries of the Romans (roads, aqueducts, government) and make your own aqueduct. 

    • discover the language of hieroglyphics and learn to write like an Egyptian. 

    • learn what the life of the incredible Romans and Egyptians was like through exciting, hands on activities and create some ‘artefacts’ of your own. 

    What would YOU do if YOU were the leader of Rome or even the Pharaoh?

    About the presenter 

    Kim Bullock is a high potential/gifted coordinator at a NSW primary school. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education and is currently completing her Masters of Gifted Education at UNSW. Kim has presented workshops for high potential and gifted students in the past and has presented sessions for staff and parents at her school. She has also created and delivered HPGE Enrichment Days at NSWDET schools on the Central Coast.

  • Aristotle stated that knowing oneself is the beginning of wisdom. This workshop will focus on thinking critically about our own character through exploring our strengths and weaknesses, reflecting and awareness of our own character strengths and how to use them in the real world. Students will also look at how they can improve in areas of relative weakness.  

     This course will leave you with greater introspection, insight and result in increased self-awareness and ways this can improve their well-being.  

    About the presenter

    Emma is a passionate and experienced primary school teacher who believes in creating an environment which fosters children’s natural curiosity and in turn cultivate a love of lifelong learning. Emma holds a Master of Education degree and a post-graduate certificate in Gifted Education. She has worked as a tutor in Gifted Education at the University level. She is passionate about the social and emotional wellbeing of gifted students. She runs a mindfulness lunch time club in her school, that while voluntary, is generally full. She is the founder & director of Shining Little Souls, a company that gives children a chance to practice being mindful and creative: combining circle time, mindful creating, journaling, movement and meditation. Her focus is on building resilience, connection, growth mindset & positive well-being. Emma believes it is imperative students are taught a growth mindset and are equipped with an ability to navigate in the 21st century globalised world.  

Online: Junior Scientia workshops Year 3-4

  • Toys and games reflect the culture of our times and they have always incorporated the evolution of new technologies. In this challenging workshop you will take your first steps in designing your own toys and games. You will work with your presenter to build a conceptual framework for toys and game development from first principles, including the origins of toys and games and the psychology of why people play games. Toys and game designers draw on popular culture and diverse knowledge and skills. Psychology, literature, computers, art, architecture, mathematics, physics, ergonomics, safety and marketing are some of the learning curves you will be starting. Get ready for some serious fun! 

    About the presenter

    Timothy is an experience and enthusiastic educator of gifted students. He has a Masters in Education (Diverse Learning) and 30 years teaching experience.  In 2014 he was a part of the team which established the Newman Selected Gifted Education Program for Gifted Students in Sydney Catholic Schools.  

     He is an experienced and popular presenter of the GERRIC student workshops having been with the team for 19 years, since 2003! 

  • Learning how to talk so people will listen is a big part of being successful in life. Communicating well is important in daily conversations as well as in more formal public speaking settings. In this workshop, you will learn important and practical principles of communication. Using interactivities, drama studies, and voice projection exercises you will have many opportunities to apply and hone your communication skills. This workshop will be engaging, interactive, and fun!

    About the presenter:

    Megan is a passionate Primary, Music and Drama teacher with years of experience. She has long been a favourite GERRIC presenter for our student programs. Megan was a producer on the ABC’s ‘The Sticky Gang’ in 2020 as well as being a writer and developing teacher resources for ABC’s “Project Planet’. She also is a professional development provider for teachers in gifted education. Among her other passions, Megan is a Global Leadership coach for Propel Women, where she presents monthly to women in 90 countries. Megan is passionate about children having a voice and helping them acquire the skills in ensuring it is heard.

On-Campus: Junior Scientia workshops Year 5-6

  • Have you ever wanted to learn how to win an argument? Have you ever wanted to learn to speak with confidence in front of room of unfamiliar people? 
    In this workshop, you will learn to develop your public speaking skills in a range of varied, exciting and challenging individual and small group activities. You will develop the ability to deliver speeches to a range of different audiences in a number of contexts.

    In addition, you will learn how to use debating skills to project an opinion in a measured and informed manner, allowing you to improve your speaking and critical thinking skills. These activities will foster your future success in all school activities

    About the presenter

    Patrick is an experienced English teacher. In particular, he has an interest in the varied ways extracurricular activities shape the educational outcomes of High Potential and Gifted Students. Patrick is his school’s Gifted and Talented Education and Debating Coordinator, where he has coached teams and individuals to state representation. 

  • Everyone wants to save the whales (and the reef and the rainforest). But how? In this workshop, you will explore questions about ecology, evolution and conservation through a series of hands-on activities. You will unravel DNA sequences and draw family trees, investigate foraging and adaptation, track migrating animals and design reserves to protect their habitat. We will also discuss how conservation often comes into conflict with people and their livelihoods, and you will act as stakeholders in role playing activities. Find out what conservation biologists do in this broad and rambling romp through some of the ideas and techniques scientists use to conserve biodiversity.


    About the presenter 

    Laurie is as an environmental educator for high school science and geography excursions. She is trained as an ecologist and has completed a PhD in Zoology in 2011. She has worked in natural resources management, research, policy, and education. Laurie is a seasoned GERRIC Scientia presenter, having presented Junior Scientia workshops since 2014. She has also worked in an Opportunity Class on Maths Olympiad problems weekly for two years and as a parent of a gifted child, she has a wealth of experience on catering for gifted students. 

  • This program allows students to explore the evolution of the Dystopian genre with a focus on key texts, historical events and key players involved in its inception, as well as films which have evolved as a result of the genre. What are the essential elements of the Dystopian genre? How can film create dystopic meaning? Given the current global climate there are many elements of the dystopian genre all around us. 

    Key focus questions: How did the dystopian genre come into existence? What are the essential elements of a literary and filmic dystopian text? How did Dystopia as a literary genre come into existence? What are some key Dystopian texts? What would a current Dystopian text of your own read like?


    About the presenter 

    Helen is a passionate English/History and advocate of gifted students. A teacher with over 20 years’ experience, she has completed a Certificate of Gifted Education and is pursuing a Masters of Gifted Education through UNSW. Helen is currently the Diverse Learning and Newman Gifted Education Coordinator at her College. She has a heightened awareness of the needs of all her students and vast experience in teaching the Newman streamed classes. Helen has a depth of knowledge and understanding of how to implement differentiated programs for her gifted students. An excellent teacher, Helen’s past HSC Ancient History class included a student who achieved first in SCS. She is passionate about gifted education and is excited to be joining the GERRIC student programs.

  • Chess exercises both sides of the brain. The game of chess requires a lot of “if this, then-that” scenarios, requiring players to imagine all the potential moves, alternatives and outcomes of each possibility. One study, conducted by Robert Ferguson, executive director of the American Chess School in Pennsylvania found that kids who had been playing chess versus computer games scored 13 percentage points higher in critical thinking and 35 percentage points higher in creative thinking. Studies have shown that children who play chess regularly significantly improve their visual memory and concentration. 

    A fantastic aspect of chess is that the game rewards you for concentration and penalizes you for losing it. Lose focus and you lose a piece, or worse, the game! Maintain focus and you're likely to win! This aspect of the game of chess gives a child's brain a fun incentive to stay focused while playing!  

    The game of chess is a game of problem-solving, planning, and foresight. Being able to think through changing variables and formulate a plan based on various possibilities are invaluable skills necessary for the game, and more importantly, for life! Studies show that activities that connect children with others (especially their parents) can have a powerfully positive impact on overall brain health. Unlike video games or TV, chess builds human connection through healthy competitive play. Teaching a child to play chess not only builds a healthy brain, but it also reinforces positive relationships and builds lasting memories.


    About the presenter 

    Ehsan currently work for Sydney Academy of Chess.  Growing up playing chess, he has always looked at this game as more than just a hobby. Currently Ehsan coaches primary school students in more than 30 public schools across NSW. He hold two master's degrees. One in international relations from Melbourne university and a master of sociology from Fullerton university. Ehsan loves all aspects of social sciences and often uses chess concepts as metaphors for international relations scenarios and vice versa. In addition, Ehsan works on an independent paper which is focused on resolving the epistemological inconsistencies of international relations theories using an evolutionary framework. 

    Ehsan sees chess as both a scientific subject as well as an art. He is looking forward to communicating his passion for chess and way of thinking about it with students. 

Online: Junior Scientia workshops Year 5-6

  • Why do some people possess superior mental calculation abilities? Is it because they have a better memory, or is it because they have more practice? Find out and inspire your child with some of our speed maths techniques. 

    My online workshop is here to spark excitement and empower your child’s educational journey through learning Maths creatively. My speed Maths techniques are eye-opening for children and encourage them to actively engage in out-of-the-box thinking. I provide an opportunity for children to have a different mindset towards learning Maths. 

    Join my workshop to be inspired in thinking about Maths more creatively!

    About the presenter 

    James holds a PhD in Accounting and Finance. He has 16 years of university teaching experience and has taught at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. James has published 11 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research in both domestic and international conferences. 

    His passion and understanding of different learning styles has led him to develop numerous programs including gifted and talented student programs for GERRIC.