In 2016, the DeLorean Project facilitators orchestrated an opportunity for some of our students to be mentored by PhD candidates at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for their DeLorean Projects. It aligned perfectly with real-world thinking and problem solving as well as having students explore what they were passionate about and what they were good at. Since then, and apart from a slight interruption from a global pandemic, this partnership has remained and continues to provide students with a unique experience – one that is not offered in other schools across the country.
This year we are delighted to announce that we have four eager students who have started their USC DeLorean journey over the last four weeks. The students and the PhD research projects are outlined below.
Amelia Siddans: School of Science, Technology and Engineering (Environmental Microbiology). This project uses molecular biology and classic microbiology techniques to do a site analysis of fungi responsible for timber decay. This is achieved by studying the fungal flora attracted to outdoor, exposed timber and the enzymes involved in the decay process. Techniques used involves the extraction of fungal DNA from timber, followed by metabarcoding and metagenomic analysis of the sequences obtained from the timber specimens. Following this, woodblock assays will be analysed to look for potential antagonistic/mutualistic responses of fungi, associated with wood decay, found in the field.
Emily Hall: School of Law and Society. This project is related to the regional integration process of Latin America (LA) in the context of the analysis of the concept of populism. The idea is to explore the topic within a multidisciplinary approach (International Relations, Political Science and Constitutional Law) from a qualitative research methodology.
Kade Morgan: School of Business and Creative Industries. This research project involves small businesses in the Moreton Bay Regional Council region. The managers of the businesses are the participants in this research and they will be attending a free business planning / development course at the USC Caboolture campus. The research project will thematically analyse the adoption of strategic management principles and further the benefit effect to their businesses.
Chloe Forbes-Hood: School of Business and Creative Industries. This research project proposes to explore and research domestic abuse from the experience of an adolescent who is witness to and victim of the internal terrorism, and further, the repercussions of this abuse on identity development. With an emphasis on trauma within the familial environment, the research will explore capacity-building for resilience. By presenting trauma as a complex agent of change and maturation, the research will delve into trauma in relation to a youth’s formulation of self-identity. Research literature will include creative exemplars, as well as academic and nonfiction texts investigating conceptual foundations of domestic abuse including the societal, political and psychological impacts of trauma.
These students attend USC each Wednesday as ‘regular’ uni students. They are exposed to laboratories and facilities that are relevant to their field of study. The year culminates for these students with a presentation to University Deans of Schools, USC staff, GCC staff and DeLorean students and their parents. In the past, the DeLorean facilitators have been blown away by the high level learning that students have displayed at these presentations and it’s easy to forget that they are only 15/16 years old.
You can check out our DeLorean facebook page to see a recent interview with some of the students about their first weeks. And stay tuned for further updates from these students on our Facebook page as the year progresses. It’s an exciting time for these young people and we’re looking forward to watching them grow and learn.
Tanya Cullen, DeLorean Project Coordinator