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Yarra Ranges Tech School Innovation in student learning acknowledged


The innovative skills and passion that the Yarra Ranges Tech School (YRTS) staff have for creating engaging learning programs has been recognised by their peers at the annual Box Hill Institute Staff Achievement and Recognition Program Awards.

On behalf of the YRTS team, Matthew Pattison, Lead Facilitator and Phurich Pusapanich, Technical Program Specialist – Classroom Technologies were the recipients of the Innovation Award, which recognises their work on the Urban Rooftop Farming Simulation. This standalone urban / rooftop farming simulation was designed by Matt and Phurich to gamify student learning of farming through its processes, systems and application of technology in a farm setting.

Urban Rooftop Farming has become one of our most popular and highly rated programs over 2019 and early 2020. From 2021, it will form a core part of the YRTS expanded Smart Farming multi-day program.

Accepting the award, Matthew Pattison acknowledged the collaborative nature of YRTS with Box Hill Institute and its industry partners.

“We are honoured to accept this award on behalf of our team. While there are two names on the nomination, this project was the product of a team effort and significant collaboration. It is great to work in an environment where creativity and thinking differently is valued; where we are encouraged and supported to try new things and innovate,” Matt said.

“Phurich has a great combination of analytical and programming skills, graphical and design skills, as well as a fantastic work ethic and attitude...it would not have been possible to implement that vision without Phurich,” he said.

YRTS is one of 10 Tech Schools in Victoria that link secondary schools and industry to deliver innovative learning opportunities that challenge students to solve problems in a real-world context and inspire their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Director YRTS, Ashley Van Krieken said, “It was wonderful to see Matt and Phurich’s work and dedication recognised. They are part of the incredibly talented and committed team at Yarra Ranges Tech School and Box Hill Institute more broadly who deserve recognition for their ongoing efforts in creating engaging programs for students and teachers.”

As the award recipients, Matt and Phurich receive $2,500 to go toward professional development or technology purchases for the Tech School.