Inspiring students for the careers of the future  - Education Matters Magazine
  •      

Inspiring students for the careers of the future 

Students can experience different careers first-hand at DreamCity.  

Imagine a place where students can code robots, operate flight simulators, fight virtual fires, perform surgery and even produce television programs. 

This is all possible at DreamCity, a new hi-tech edutainment venue in Melbourne’s CBD that seeks to educate, entertain and inspire students from 3-13 years of age.

It is Melbourne’s ultimate excursion destination where Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) collide in an explosion of fun. 

A unique concept in “edutainment”, DreamCity allows students to explore a range of careers through highly interactive activities.

All activities have been designed by teachers and support the Victorian Curriculum and general capabilities. 

Students have the opportunity to use critical and creative thinking and fine motor skills.

Everything is designed to encourage students to interact with Information and Communication Technology and engage literacy and numeracy skills. 

“An excursion to DreamCity is a dream come true for educators,” says Michelle Hortle, General Manager and Education Specialist at DreamCity.

“The hard work is done for you. All our activities are aligned to the curriculum. It gives authentic opportunities for assessment of speaking and listening and the Personal and Social Capabilities. 

“It enables students to experience  real-world, hands-on learning encouraging students to keep an open mind about what their futures might hold.”

Students may find their calling within the DreamCity production studios, as a TV presenter, Podcast host or the Technical or Creative Director behind the scenes. 

For those interested in design and coding, students can explore the possibilities of programming and engineering all under the supervision of the DreamLeaders. 

“Our staff (DreamLeaders) are extensively trained to deliver a quality program that will have students pushing boundaries and experiencing things we could only have dreamed of at the same age,” Hortle says.

“The magic of DreamCity is something we are lucky enough to witness everyday, but it lasts well beyond the activities here. Teachers and parents tell us about the impact they see at school, or even at home.”

DreamCity airlines transforms the students into trainee pilots where they must undertake rigorous training in flight school before taking to the sky in the flight stimulators. Here, students learn about aerodynamics and the physics of flight.

In the virtual reality studio, students put on an Oculus Quest headset and enter a world of creativity, where the options are endless and STEAM skills are put to the test. 

For schools who teach units about communities, DreamCity has everything you need, including traditional career paths such as nursing and firefighting, but with a futuristic spin.

As a neonatal nurse, students experience what it’s like to care for babies – weighing, measuring, and feeding. As young surgeons, students can perform a laparoscopy, or as junior firefighters they can gain an understanding of the chemistry of fire and learn how to fight fires though augmented reality.

“We know students learn best when they have hands on experiences. At DreamCity all our pods use real equipment,” Hortle highlights. 

“In our surgery, students are using the authentic laparoscopic training units that doctors use in their university training. At our fire station we provide thermal imaging cameras, used by firefighters when attending a real emergency.”

“It adds a level of authenticity to what we are doing and allows students to broaden their understanding of the opportunities ahead of them.”

Hortle says her team loves the times where they see student’s faces light up, when they have those ‘aha moments’.

“Ultimately, we want them to have fun. We want them to be entertained and inspired. The education comes along as a nice little by-product for the students, but the program at

DreamCity also provides teachers with complete curriculum alignment.” 

The newly opened DreamCity Sports Academy features an NBL approved DreamCourt surface, and is home to a range of agility, accuracy and fitness drills. There really is something for everyone.

It’s no secret that STEAM is at the core of each of the experiences, providing hands-on opportunities to further students’ skills and knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and Mathematics.

Students are guided through each of the experiences by DreamCity team members.

Hortle says the activities aren’t about training students, but rather about giving them ideas about what their future could look like.

“A student likes writing scripts, but isn’t a fan of being on the screen? Great! We want to show students that there are lots of opportunities in these fields, that are all equally important than those that first come to mind,” she says.

“Our aim is not to create electrical engineers, surgeons or firefighters, but to simply inspire students with the possibilities their futures may present them with.”

The DreamCity team strive to show students that there is more to a career than what meets the eye.

“Our activities are preparing students for the future by broadening their STEAM skills so they can think critically, problem solve, work in a team and think outside the box,” says Hortle.