Ashdale Primary School joins STEM trial

The STEM Learning Project officer Lindall Kidd and (clockwise) Ashdale Primary school Year 1 students Kristian Polkaposki (standing), Kyan Vekaria and Milana Stojkoski.
The STEM Learning Project officer Lindall Kidd and (clockwise) Ashdale Primary school Year 1 students Kristian Polkaposki (standing), Kyan Vekaria and Milana Stojkoski.

A TRIAL involving a Darch school has been officially launched by the State Government.

Education Minister Sue Ellery announced this month a three-year, $4 million partnership between the Department of Education and a consortium comprising Scitech, the Educational Computing Association of WA, Mathematical Association of WA and Science Teachers’ Association of WA.

The partnership has created The STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Learning Project, which develops classroom resources encouraging students to find solutions to real-world problems.

Teachers are supported with access to workshops, online and video conferencing, and on-demand digital channels.

Ashdale Primary School was involved in trialling the project’s resources and its teachers helped develop the modules.

Deputy principal Alessandra Morrone said the project had been beneficial for students and teachers.

“It’s been very powerful for the teachers because they’ve got a resource designed and developed by teachers,” she said.

“It has a bigger and a clearer vision.

“(Students have) shown enthusiasm to be involved in finding solutions; they’re always wondering.”

Modules the school have been trialling include investigating how to improve or create a habitat to attract a local bird species, how to transport water to a source where it is needed, and what useful things can be made from reused packaging.

The first resource is being released later this year and more will follow in 2018.

Ms Ellery said investment in STEM subjects was an investment in jobs of the future.

“We need students to think creatively and to understand how real world challenges can be addressed through science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said.

“Employers are looking for people with problem-solving skills, creative and critical thinking; this partnership is a key step in the right direction.”

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