9 December 2014
USC Education student Troy Stretton has an eye for the future and it’s won him national acclaim.
Troy, 37, was recently recognised as part of the 2014 Oxford Education Innovation Awards for his idealistic design of a sustainable classroom comprising solar power, built-in streams and an interactive garden.
The father of one from Buderim took out the Primary Education category and won $750 in prize money for his design.
The annual awards asked university students across the country to submit cutting-edge designs of their version of an ‘ideal’ classroom, attracting hundreds of submissions across three categories.
Troy’s winning design divided the classroom into four main areas using sunlight for lighting, two small streams under the building to promote cooling, a compost site and a garden where students could grow fruit and vegetables.
He said he set up the classroom to cater for varied learning styles, allowing for interaction, observation and experiments in order to get the best level of engagement from modern and future learners.
“I’m thrilled to be recognised for my designs and it has definitely given me a new focus on sustainable education,” he said.
“Sustainability is a big part of our future and I wanted to provide a multi-age learning environment to show primary school students how the community, environment, economy and education are all interconnected.
“By providing practical opportunities for learning, my hope is that this will be one of the classrooms of the future, which in turn will help in the development of more responsible, sustainably minded and educated members of society.”
USC Primary Education Lecturer Dr Sharn Donnison said Troy’s designs were first class and it was an outstanding achievement for a third-year student.
“He adapted one of his pieces of assessment to put forward for consideration in the Oxford Education Innovation Awards,” she said.
— Jessica Halls