#COVID-19: Sheldon College graduate's startup creates online programs for remote education

ENTREPRENEUR: BOP Industries and Grand Company programs are helping teachers and students during the coronavirus pandemic.
ENTREPRENEUR: BOP Industries and Grand Company programs are helping teachers and students during the coronavirus pandemic.

A SHELDON College graduate is among the tech entrepreneurs working round the clock to create online learning resources as parents keep their children home from school due to coronavirus.

From online workbooks to live classes from sustainable cities to aircraft design, Brisbane-based BOP Industries is building a collection of educational resources to help students and teachers as they look at moving to online learning.

Founder and Sheldon College alumnus Scott Millar, 19, said the company's planned programs and workshops for the next four months had been cancelled and with governments encouraging students to stay home, there was a strong need for online educational resources.

"Seeing as our workshops are so high touch it became quickly apparent that we needed to find other ways to deliver our programs," he said.

"Almost immediately we also began receiving emails and calls from teachers across the country looking for ways they can support their students with online learning.

"Schools are feeling immense pressure and the language they're using alludes to it being just a matter of when schools close and a lot of teachers and parents are worried about how they'll engage their students at home.

"It's been a massive project with us all pulling 12 to 14 hour days in the office every day for the past week, but we're really excited to see our programs already heading into classrooms across the country and we love seeing the positive impact that they're making."

BOP Industries delivers workshops and masterclasses to primary and high schools students in five countries around the world on the topics of entrepreneurship, STEM and innovation.

Mr Millar said BOP had started with six of its most popular programs around topics like smart cities, community leadership, the future of work and designed spaces.

Future of transport and aviation programs were also on the way.

"We're already fielding responses from teachers for custom resources so from here we'll be creating programs by request from our teachers," he said.

"We felt this was the perfect opportunity for us to convert some of our favourite workshop programs into an online format for students around the world."

Students and teachers would be able to use a mix of digital tools to share ideas and interact with facilitators and their peers.

Grand Company, another Brisbane startup, was also launching online live industry education classes, digital workbooks and online workshops for students around the world.

Brisbane Marketing chief executive Brett Fraser said Brisbane had fostered a spirited startup community.

"In these challenging circumstances, this is an inspiring example of how Brisbane startups are drawing on their community to collaborate and find new ways to adapt their offerings into online resources."