Students Reach for the Stars in Learning Showcase

14 December 2022
First Nations primary school students have showcased their learning journeys from their time participating in a CQUniversity STEM Central program.

Buraligim Weiber (place of learning) is a literacy and numeracy program that was founded by Associate Professor Linda Pfeiffer and is run by STEM Central teacher Mirrin Rashleigh.

Ms Rashleigh said the program had been pivotal in expanding not only student's learning' but also in further connecting to culture' and broadening their horizons to creating new futures.

"The Buraligim Weiber program has provided valuable opportunities for the Indigenous students to connect with their culture' learn in a safe and engaging environment including many outdoor spaces around Gladstone'" Ms Rashleigh said.

"Many students have also changed their career aspirations due to the exposure to some of our expert guest speakers in the program."

Now in its second year' Ms Rashleigh is already seeing positive outcomes and results' with higher school participation rates' as well as Buraligim Weiber 'alumni' being able to continue to participate in activities.

"The students have connected really well with the program and are enthusiastic to keep attending each week' even those that have completed the program. Many of these students struggle with regular attendance at school' so this is a great achievement'" Ms Rashleigh said.

"The students' engagement in learning and attendance at school was one of the aims of the program which has shown to have a positive impact on the students participating in the program this year."

The showcase was held at CQUniversity's STEM Central base at the Gladstone Marina campus and gave students the opportunity to share their work with their families and guests' share stories' as well as tour the learning space and view photos from the 20-week program.

Community guests were invited to witness an artwork reveal' produced by local Indigenous artist Patricia Coleman and the students' who were later presented certificates to commemorate their successful year in the program.

"It was great to see all the students stand up in front of all our guests to share their work'" Ms Rashleigh said.

"They formed relationships with each other that helped to build their confidence not only in the program but at school at as well."

The program is funded by ConocoPhillips Australia Pacific LNG which has been instrumental in allowing students to hear from a vast range of experts' such as NASA Astronaut Dr Mary Ellen Weber earlier this year.

Ms Rashleigh said that involvement from community programs and specialists had had a large' positive impact on the students.

"Having the opportunity to not only hear from knowledgeable people who can answer all their questions' they can also be exposed to these career opportunities and pathways.

"The students speak of these community partners and learnings regularly and are a huge part of the success of the program."