Illawarra's bright young brains try out UOW

Year 3 to 6 students take part in the Early Learning Labs program at the University of Wollongong. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Year 3 to 6 students take part in the Early Learning Labs program at the University of Wollongong. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Some of the state's brightest primary school children descended on the University of Wollongong this week, eager to keep their brains active during their mid-year break.

Gifted and talented students from years 3 to 6 took part in the university's Early Learning Labs, run by the School of Education.

The workshops began in 2012 and are in big demand among high-achieving kids, with the number of participants doubling to 250 this year. A range of sessions were available to the students including debating, digital media, Lego robotics, maths, creative writing, methodology of games and sports and Egyptian history.

Nareena Hills Public School's Alana Nicastri, 11, took a risk and participated in the debating workshop, something she had never done.

Eric Luo and Jacky Wu, both 11 and from Blaxcell Street Public School in Granville, travelled to Wollongong to improve their creative writing skills.

"I thought I could learn more about this type of writing," Eric said.

Professor Paul Chandler, executive director of Early Start and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion & Outreach) said the Learning Labs helped to foster a lifelong love of learning among children.

He said they gave keen students a chance to learn something different to what was covered during the school year, as well as an opportunity to meet like-minded kids.

Learning Labs for high school students will take place on Monday and Tuesday.

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