Virtual classes: Eureka Centre education officer Hermione Higgins with the Gallery’s education officers Kate Gorman and Pauline Doran in preparation for the online workshop. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Lessons in Eureka for schoolkids

October 29, 2020 BY

A SERIES of online programs were delivered to local primary schools as part of the Ballarat Art Gallery and the Eureka Centre’s collaboration to educate early learners about the region’s history.

To be provided initially to four Ballarat region schools, the workshop will centre around the Eureka themed educational programs the two institutions previously offered.

Eureka Centre education officer Hermione Higgins said she teamed up with the Ballarat Gallery’s education officers Kate Gorman and Pauline Doran on site to produce the program.

“It’s been a collaboration we’ve been working most of this year and then when this all happened we saw it as an opportunity to do something virtual,” Ms Higgins said.

“For both institutions, it’s been important to keep up connections and particularly local connections which is why we decided to deliver the programs to local schools, then make the recordings available more widely.”

The hour-long program was trialled to students through the Webex application throughout the day to four different primary schools in the region.

Ms Higgins said Wendouree, Little Bendigo, Caledonian and Warrenheip primary schools were initially only schools involved but that they would be interested in taking the program further to other sites.

“We’re also launching our website soon and I’ve been putting together some more educational resources for that and lots of activities for teachers to download,” she said.

Ms Gorman added, “We thought this was a great chance to get together and fulfil the needs of those students that are missing out this year.”

The workshop was broken into three smaller activities, each led by an education officer, with the aim of providing students with an introduction to important Eureka figures and explain the importance of the Eureka Flag and goldfields artists.

Eureka Centre manager Anthony Camm said that the events of Eureka had an importance place in the education curriculum, and these programs had always been popular.

“Eureka Centre and Art Gallery of Ballarat attract students from across the country … but with the COVID shutdown, we had to rethink how we do things,” he said.

“We expect that online delivery continue to be a part of the way we teach students about the importance of Eureka, while we are still encouraging schools to bring their students into the Centre and Gallery for face-to-face experiences.”