Collaborative schools creating STEM events
Today the Peninsula Community of Schools on the Sydney's northern beaches ran an awesome STEM day at Narrabeen Sports High School as part of National Science Week celebrations. What a great example of a collaborative effort that brings together both primary and high school students! Comprising of 10 primary schools and 3 high schools with guidance from Macquarie University and Brookvale TAFE, the STEM project had attracted a number of awards and after seeing the enthusiasm of the students I could certainly see why!
Building on this year's theme of 'drones droids & robots', selected students from each primary school created posters and robotic displays & interactive STEM elements throughout the school hall where visitors could come along to learn more about how science & technology work together in applied engineering & mathematics environments. The excitement was clearly evident, as was the time and effort that both the students and teachers had put in.
Scribblebots made with pool noodles!
Variety of powered cars by Bilgola Public School
Robotics explaining agricultural challenges by Pittwater High school
Whilst the students headed outside to participate in a kite challenge I was able to spend some time checking out the posters the students had put together. The students had done a great job in communicating scientific principles in an easy to read format (a very useful skill if they ever have to do poster presentations at University or beyond!). I particularly liked how the students would highlight their challenges and how they worked to solve them.
What makes a boat float?
Student poster showing problems they faced and how they fixed them
These events are the sorts of things that students remember after they leave school. Collaborative and problem solving skills are not the only highly prized skills in industry, taking the students into environments where they have to communicate their thought processes verbally and via interpretative signage challenges them to distill their thoughts coherently as well as give them chance to exercise their public presentation skills as well.
|Barrenjoey HS||Avalon PS||Narrabeen North PS|
|Pittwater HS||Bigola Plateau PS||Naarrabeen Lakes PS|
|Narrabeen Sports HS||Newport PS||Collaroy Plateau PS|
|Mona Vale PS||Wheeler Heights PS|
|Elanora Heights PS||Cromer PS|
Participating schools in the Peninsula Community of SchoolsThe Peninsula Community of Schools is not the only collaborative groups of schools I've come across either. You can find collegiate schools in the Snowy Mountains, in outback QLD, regional Victoria and more. If your school is not yet involved in a similar project I encourage you to reach out in across your network to establish one yourself! Yes, it does take a few meetings to align competing ideas and timetables but the student outcome as well as the community atmosphere created is certainly worth the effort.
STEM days are simply fun, in this case I was invited along to present a science stage show called tick tick BOOM! which is always a crowdpleaser. If you're involved in a community of schools working together, put a link to your collaboration in the comments below so other teachers can check out what you're up to!
Find out more about the author
Create a school
Create a class
STEM pitch fest
Establish a school
Got any comments or want to share your own science teaching experiences? We'd love to hear from you below!