They come, They see, They conquer - Year 3 Introduction to University Day

31 March 2011

More 600 Year 3 students from our 12 partner primary schools flooded the front lawn of the University of Sydney's Main Quadrangle earlier this week to participate in Compass's annual Year 3 Introduction to University Day. The day is part of the University's Compass - find your way to higher education program. In 2011, Compass developed a pre and post element to this major event with a view to providing greater context about the university, the Compass program and to provide a richer learning experience for students.

If the success of scaffolding these types of events can be measured by students' increased awareness and understanding of:

  1. the Compass program
  2. higher education terminology
  3. higher education generally

then, Compass staff feel very encouraged by the number of students who were able to answer questions on the Compass program, university life and why individuals choose to go to university.

Despite some nasty weather early in the morning, the rain finally cleared to produce a decidedly warm Autumn day and by the time buses began arriving with excited students, the Year 3 Introduction to University Day rainbow was glowing in the sun.

With numbers up by more than 170 on 2010, more than a dozen University faculties and organisations provided 25 hands-on and interactive activities for students facilitating more than 180 students at each activity throughout the day. Students got their hands (and uniforms) dirty with Sydney College of the Arts' monoprinting workshop and geometric abstraction painting workshop. Some brave students held the macropanesthia rhinoceros, which is the world's heaviest species of cockroach. Sydney University Sport and Fitness got students hula hooping Arts and Social Science's engaged children in an international news game.

"Our aim through the Compass Program is to encourage students from primary school onwards to think of higher education as a possibility for themselves. " said Annette Cairnduff, the Director of Social Inclusion.

The feedback from teachers has been positive with suggestions that the event was even better than the previous year. One teacher said "last year was good but 2011 was great! activities were loved by the students". As students loaded back onto buses with art work and world maps in hand, it was clear to all that they had enjoyed a very fun and busy day, many stating that they will definitely come to university.

Compass team would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers and students for support of the Year 3 Introduction to University Day and related 3-Phase program. We also want to thank all of the faculties involved and in particular a big thank you to Sydney College of Arts, Science, Museums and Sydney Uni Sports and Fitness for providing multiple activities in which our students were engaged and inspired.