STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (incorporating Physics and Chemistry).
The DECD STEM Learning strategy will transform public education to enable students at every level of schooling to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in STEM subjects and to apply that learning to shape their world.
STEM at Modbury High School
As many of you will know, we are one of the recipients for the generous State Government STEM Works funding that was announced last year. The funding is specifically to build a usable STEM space within the school and is managed by the Government who engage the architects and builders for us.
Late last year the architect developed a concept in consultation with us and then submitted this to the Government for next stage approval. That approval has come through and so we are now at the next stage. To move forward the school will be having meetings with the architect and DECD representatives with the next meeting occurring shortly.
One of the next stages is for the architect to draw building plans based on the concept with further consultation with us. Naturally, we are keen to get to the building plan stage and expect that to happen soon.
The plan is to start building works by the middle of this year and have them finished by next year so that STEM teaching and learning can be happening in the school.
The concept plans are to redo the middle wing of the school, both upstairs and down with a new entrance on the ground level facing the oval (west). Also some of the Science laboratories will be upgraded with some modifications to the southern most wing happening.
Obviously there will be some disruption in the school while the building works are happening and everyone involved will work to make the disruptions as minimal as possible. Access to the school grounds will likely be disrupted so please be understanding if you find that you have to walk from the gate to the office for example.
We are very excited about the STEM Works and are looking forward to further developments and progress and we’ll keep you updated.
Importance of STEM skills
75% of jobs in the next 10 years will need STEM skills.
The STEM Works program will give our teachers the facilities they need to:
- inspire innovation and creativity
- stimulate imagination
- challenge students
- encourage future innovation and productivity.
STEM approach to teaching
The STEM approach to teaching and learning gives students the opportunity to work on challenging problems and projects.
Hands-on practical activities help learners:
- use new technologies
- test ideas
- make and create innovative solutions to real, complex problems through the Engineering Design Process.
Relationships with local industries and communities are also important to both teacher and student learning.
What STEM students learn
STEM looks different across every class at every school. Here are some examples of what students learning STEM could be engaged in:
- designing and building prototypes like windmills, solar cars and water sampling technologies
- the Engineers Without Borders project, which designs and develops solutions for humanitarian problems like solar cookers, water filtration systems and solar lighting
- agri-science and agricultural engineering
- working with local industries and communities such as Lockheed Martin, Parafield Airport and General Motors Holden
- developing technical and engineering skills to troubleshoot the source of a problem, repair a machine or debug an operating system.