Programs & Facilities - STEM

“Technologies can play an important role in transforming, restoring and sustaining societies and natural, managed and constructed environments” (SCSA Rationale).

STEM education was introduced at Edney Primary School to develop students’ problem solving skills, skills required to successfully integrate into the work environment.

STEM is also known as STEAM and the acronym includes the following Learning Areas – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

The STEM approach to teaching and learning gives students the opportunity to work on challenging problems and projects.

Hands-on practical activities help learners:

  1. experiment 
  2. use new technologies
  3. test ideas
  4. make and create innovative solutions to real, complex problems

These practical activities require Computational Thinking skills

Computational Thinking consists of a four step process to solve a problem. The steps are as follows:

  1. Decompositioning –pulling the problem apart to make it more manageable.
  2. Abstraction – focus on the important part.
  3. Pattern Recognition – find similar ideas/processes used in the past to solve something similar.
  4. Algorithm – find a step by step solution to the problem.

STEM looks different across every class. At Edney Primary School we have formed a STEM committee with a representative from each cluster, ranging from Kindergarten to Year 6. The team has analysed the Curriculum requirements and used the overview to establish possible areas of integration between the different Learning Areas. The members were then given the opportunity to select an integrated problem solving activity and introduce it to their cluster.

Two of the committee members are actively involved in the Darling Range Learning Community, where teachers are given the opportunity to share ideas, strategies and resources. It allows for open discussions and it gives teachers the confidence to make a smooth transition in integrating the different Learning Areas.

Edney Primary School also offers Year 6 students who have shown a keen interest or aptitude in coding, the opportunity to join our Coding Club. During these sessions students learn how to program robots, i.e. DASH and DOTT, SPHERO and EDISON.

Here are some examples of what students learning STEM could be engaged in:

  • coding
  • designing and building prototypes like windmills, solar cars and water sampling technologies
  • agri-science and agricultural engineering
  • robotics
  • working with local industries and communities
  • developing technical and engineering skills to troubleshoot the source of a problem, repair a machine or debug an operating system.

Research has shown that technology can open up a whole new world when it comes to new jobs, some of which have not been created yet. It is therefore imperative that we as educators at Edney Primary School stay abreast of time and take a leading role in preparing our students for the future.