Butler College gives tech a big tick with emphasis on STEM subjects

Year 10 students and teachers in the Just Start IT program. Pictures: Butler College
Top: Kirsty Dinnes, Leah Adams, Alex Hall and Madison Howard. Picture: Butler College
Year 10 students and teachers in the Just Start IT program. Pictures: Butler College Top: Kirsty Dinnes, Leah Adams, Alex Hall and Madison Howard. Picture: Butler College

THE second school term saw an increased emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and IT studies at Butler College.

The school recently held its first Techtrail STEM conference, attended by 70 Year 10 students.

Science teacher and STEM |co-ordinator Kim Bedworth said the event exposed students to a |variety of STEM careers, such as app building, kinetic IT and wave energy.

“Perth-based organisation Women in Technology WA worked with staff from the college and arranged the seven speakers from various technology careers to speak to the Year 10 students,” she said.

“Michelle Sandford from Microsoft opened the conference with a passionate discussion about her experiences in the games industry.

“Ms Sandford is also an avid supporter of the Techgirl Superhero program that is in operation at Butler College.”

Mrs Bedworth said students |attended talks by entrepreneurs, including Bloom’s Darren Lomman, program consultants from Thoughtworks, marine engineers and BankWest cybersecurity |experts.

“The students really enjoyed the talks – a few have said it will impact on their choices for subjects in Year 11; the talks have opened their eyes to careers not yet invented,” she said.

The school’s hospitality students catered the conference.

Second term also saw Year 10 students participate in the Just Start IT program, supported by Satterley Property Group.

“The students’ challenge was to identify problems and then design technological solutions,” Mrs Bedworth said.

“The three teams of Hackers, Hawkers and Hipsters used technology to conduct surveys and collate the data, resulting in winning several prizes from WASP Paintball and radio station Hit 92.9.”

Mrs Bedworth said West Coast Music School founding director Kathrun Raats mentored students through the program.

“The Just Start IT program has helped our students become real world problem solvers, increased their confidence in their abilities and allowed the development of digital technology skills,” she said.

“The support of an industry mentor like Kathryn Raats, is the key to students becoming young entrepreneurs.”

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