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Summer fun for smart kids

Gifted children take part in enrichment program at USQ Springfield.
For most kids, sitting in a university classroom learning about genes and DNA during the holidays is not much fun. But Nashonie Paul is no ordinary child.

The St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School student was among 200 children, aged six to 13, to visit USQ Springfield this week for the BRAINways EDUCATION two-day summer camp.

BRAINways is an independent organisation that works with gifted children to help develop and stimulate their creative, critical and logical thinking through fun and interactive activities.

The holiday enrichment program provided advanced learning experiences in disciplines such as mathematics, science and humanities.

At just 12, Nashonie is fascinated by how the world works and is interested in pursuing a career in chemistry and biology.

“I really enjoy learning about small living things and tiny molecules that you don’t often think about, but can have big effects,” she said.

“My favourite part of the program was the science activities. They were very interesting and hands-on.”

Ten-year-old Charlotte Pearen has a passion for math and loved learning about coding.

“I had a great time,” the Jamboree Heights State School student said.

“This is the second time I have been to this camp and I really enjoy it because we get to learn harder things and it’s different from school.”

BRAINways founder Mirella Olivier said gifted children love to learn and challenge themselves.

“These classes are essential for a number of reasons, but most importantly it gives the children an opportunity to discover their abilities and see what they are capable of because on a normal day at school they don’t get the chance to explore their full potential,” Dr Olivier said.

“When these children are faced with a difficult challenge, it allows them to problem solve and test ideas which builds resilience and confidence, as well as strengthens those skills that are essential in not only learning but other endeavours.”

USQ’s involvement in the program was an example of the University’s commitment to raising the career and education aspirations among the community’s youth.

USQ offers a Graduate Certificate of Education, specialising in Gifted and Talented student development. 
Teacher and two kids
BRAINways founder Mirella Olivier with Nashonie Paul and Charlotte Pearen.