We live in a world where rapid advancements in technology have had a profound impact on how we work and communicate. As educators, students are at the center of everything we do and we have a responsibility in preparing our students for future success.
The staff and students at St. Catherine’s School are embracing this change and delving into the world of STEM education. As a school, we are in the beginning stages of implementing STEM tasks throughout the curriculum, providing students with the skills to face future challenges. During 2017 and 2018 the staff of St Catherine’s worked with Kate Dilger from the SA Science Teachers Association (SASTA) to engage with the engineering design process and plan student challenges that integrated and applied learning from Science, Mathematics and Technology.
Through innovative design tasks our students are displaying creative and critical thinking skills in tackling real world problems. These opportunities are allowing our students to engage and make positive connections with multiple subject areas including Science, Mathematics and Technology.
Students at St Catherine’s have access to a native, re-vegetated area known as the Wetlands, a new Nature Play area, farm land, Aquaponics and a small area of forest. The reimaging of the science curriculum was designed to connect learning to these spaces. The design challenges developed allowed students to interact with, and highlight the importance of the natural environment.
In addition, we have established a website with STEM resources for our teaching staff to utilise and draw inspiration from. We are also currently in the process of purchasing more technology aids in order to facilitate further STEM challenges.
It continues to be an exciting time to embrace the STEM in education and empower our students to become lifelong learners. Some of the tasks they have been working on are included below.
- Lukas Antoniadis, St Catherine's School
3D Printing: Students designed and created insect organisms on TinkerCad for Science. Each organism was given a variety of behavioural and structural adaptations to survive in our school wetlands environment.
House Plan Designs for a STEM Mathematics Task: Students were architects that were given the task to design a house following specific criteria.
Houses designed for the student's organisms created in science (above): Each house needed to survive our wetlands environment and comfortably fit their organism inside.