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Education nonprofit partners with Origin Energy Foundation to support home-schooling

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In response to a huge uplift in their lesson plans and materials being downloaded and taught due to COVID-19, Cool Australia has now made Australia’s most widely used education resources free for all parents, to make learning at home that little bit easier.

With funding provided by the Origin Energy Foundation, not-for-profit organisation Cool Australia has recently developed new teaching resources, including a suite of activities for parents, to support stress-free learning at home.

Cool Australia provides Australia’s most widely used education resources for teachers and students with 90 percent of Australian schools using their resources.

“The activities are focused on real-world topics, for all age groups. Importantly the topics will support a mix of home and at-school learning as we move through this pandemic,” said Jason Kimberly, CEO of Cool Australia.

Designed to take 20-30 minutes, activities are created by teachers, mapped to the Australian curriculum and used successfully in classrooms around the country.

Cool Australia has paid particular attention to getting kids off technology, outdoors or engaged in hands-on tasks like science experiments, craft or art.

“This is a necessary, and valuable initiative,” said Sean Barrett, Head of the Origin Energy Foundation. “A recent report from the Grattan Institute, which was funded by the Origin Energy Foundation, found that some students suffered big learning losses during the six-to-nine weeks of previous school closures. We don’t want Victorian children to fall further behind.”

While the lessons are for students of all ages to support stress-free learning at home across all subjects, Kimberley highlighted the importance of focusing on Science, technology, engineering, maths subjects right now.

“The vast majority of employers cite a lack of STEM knowledge as the biggest problem facing the Australian workforce and recently there has been a jump in demand for work related to mathematics modelling and statistical analysis due to COVID-19,” he said.

“Maths and STEM subjects are more important than ever, but the key is to teach these subjects in a way that’s interesting for the child. We have a huge range of lessons that engage kids of all ages in real world applications of maths and STEM – whether it be designing a building, exploring the makings of a phone or investigating leaves in the garden,” Kimberley said.

Cool Australia Founder and CEO Jason Kimberly has some words of advice for parents, particularly those in Victoria reluctantly re-starting home-schooling this week.

“It doesn’t need to be stressful and it doesn’t need to be complicated. There are a few very simple guidelines to follow to make sure we do it better, smarter and more successfully than last time,” said the founder of not-for-profit education organisation Cool Australia.

“The feedback we received from many parents is that home-schooling was quite unpleasant the first time around. Instead of revelling in the opportunity to become more involved in their child’s education, it was largely impossible to juggle teaching, parenting and working simultaneously,” Kimberley said. 

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