I have no problem admitting that I am a fishing tragic. I was that kid religiously watching Rex Hunt’s Fishing Adventures at 5pm each Saturday, being inspired to get out and catch a big trout in the Snowies or a bream off a jetty somewhere. The problem for me as a kid was that I lived five hours from the nearest ocean. I must have made quite the pathetic sight, practising casting my lures on the back lawn, feeding my worms, and organising my tackle box over and over and over… The sheer relentlessness of enthusiasm must have eventually worn my Dad down, and in my early teens he began to give me opportunities to put all my years of theoretical research into action!

Dad would regularly take me to Lake Cargelligo or Burrandong, the jetty at Forster and even stocked one of our farm dams with yellow belly! Fancy not having to even travel to go fishing! I was the luckiest kid in Australia. I can’t say I ever caught many fish, but the more opportunities I had, the better I became and the more I loved fishing.

Last week at PCS we saw different media outlets doing various stories on our robotics program with Mr Goh, and the implementation of Google Apps for Education. I’d like to take a moment to recognise the outstanding work being done by Mr Goh and his lunchtime Robotics Club. Mr Goh gives up most of his lunchtimes to work with students from Year 3 to Year 12 on a whole host of robotics projects. It doesn’t take long to see that the students in the program are loving the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and get creative with some amazing technologies. Whether it’s Robotics, Creative Arts or Mathematics, we recognise that each student is made unique by God with different likes and dislikes. It is through fostering those areas that make a student unique, (such as a love for rockets and aviation) that see them succeed in other areas. My own boy already looks wide eyed at Year 7 designing, building and launching amazing rockets and can’t wait for his chance to work with Mr Wynstra!

There is an incredible challenge for us in education and as parents. Are we taking the opportunities in fostering the passions of our young people, however weird and wonderful they may be? Having someone get alongside you, who shows an interest in your interest and who helps develop you in that area, can be a powerful pathway to a host of positives including mental health and overall well-being. We are so proud of our robotics team and will eagerly anticipate PCS representing Google at Edutech 2018 with our automated Lego City. Well done everyone!

As for me, I might only get to dust off the fishing rods a couple of times a year, but whenever I do, I remember my own dad who gave me the opportunity to stop casting my lures onto grass and actually try landing them in water! So, what can we do for our own children and students to ensure they too have opportunities to develop the loves that make each them unique?

Have a great week everyone.

Glen