The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) released a report series in 2018 called ‘The New Work Reality’. https://www.fya.org.au/report/the-new-work-reality/ The report examines what ‘work’ is going to look like in the future for young Australians and the difficulties they are expected to face with the increase in automation due to technology. This report directly supports the essence of The DeLorean Project at Glasshouse Christian College. We have identified a need to explicitly equip students with the necessary skills and capabilities to navigate their future in a rapidly changing society.
In addressing this need, the DeLorean Project is an integrated program for all of our Year 10 students. One day a week for the entire year, the focus of the project is not on academic content, but rather, it offers students an opportunity to develop and demonstrate transferable skills and capabilities. Students are exposed to these skills through authentic experiences to practice and develop them. Skills such as communication, collaboration, critical and creative thinking, awareness of self and others (to name but a few) are explicitly taught and integrated in the program. How we do this is by encouraging students to find a passion, an area of interest or a real problem and then find a solution or a means to create something of value that can be shared with (potentially) the world. The program is led by six facilitators (College teaching staff) who support the students in their real-time learning experiences. Further to the wide range of knowledge and experience of the facilitators, we invite social entrepreneurs and members of the community as guest speakers and mentors to ensure that the program remains relevant to industry and also to bridge the gap for students with the real world outside the four walls of our classrooms.
The skills and capabilities that are our intentional focus for the students to develop are COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION, CRITICAL & CREATIVE THINKING and USE OF TECHNOLOGY. These are fundamental to our students’ futures and offer a wonderful complement to the academic focus here at GCC. We aspire to the notion of preparing our students to be positive contributors to society in all shapes and forms rather than just being exceptional employees of the future.
The program is now into its sixth year and supports approximately 30 startups/projects a year. Last year was our most successful year to date and some of the project founders are keen to continue their projects into 2021 and beyond. There are many stories of success, and some that are still evolving as the students begin to realise their capacity to do something relevant and meaningful now, rather than wait for their future to start. In fact, one of our 2019 student projects has just won the prestigious title of ‘Sunshine Coast Young Citizen of the Year 2021’ for her social enterprise, Loving Hope. The impact of this project has been widespread and very real for young children as victims in domestic violence situations. Check out our website to see some of the other projects that have been successful in their endeavours over the past years.
This year’s cohort is chomping at the bit to get started on their creative ideas for their projects. We have launched the year with a pilot project to give students a taste of what is expected of them in their actual projects. We encourage them to experience failure and team mechanics in this phase and learn ways to overcome the hurdles and obstacles now in order to give their actual projects a greater chance of success.
We invite you to follow The Delorean Project on social media (@thedeloreanproj on both Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). You will be able to keep up to date with what’s happening in the program as we post regular interviews with facilitators, have students share their journey and their insights and learnings, and promote the successes of the challenges and outcomes from week to week. We have appreciated all of the support of our network in the past years and are keen to see it grow and add further value for cohorts present and future. The DeLorean Project has proven to be a powerful program, enviable by educators and other schools around the country and the world and it’s awesome that we have the opportunity to set students up with skills that are relevant and real for today, tomorrow and whatever their future holds. Jump on board with us and enjoy the journey… back to the future!
Tanya Cullen, Delorean Project Coordinator