This year SPW introduced a specialist Science teacher with a goal to ignite students’ passion and build on their skills in scientific inquiry.
St Peter’s Woodlands has always had a strong spotlight on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), using an integrated application across the entire curriculum. While we continue to use this approach, the additional dedicated STEM lesson allows students to delve deeper and build upon their learnings.
We believe that introducing STEM at a primary school level fosters confidence and self-belief in these areas. With positive exposure and engagement in these subjects it is our hope that students will go into their senior years of schooling feeling familiar and comfortable in these areas.
Mr Kennedy heads up the STEM class and has enthusiastically been teaching and facilitating students in developing their conceptual understanding of how STEM can be used to investigate, ideate, produce and evaluate.
STEM is not isolated to just the STEM space, but occurs frequently within classroom time and during Digital Technology lessons. Connecting STEM learning with classroom units of inquiry promotes students to use those transferable skills between subjects.
It has been bolstering to witness the wonder and awe of our Year 2 to 6 students who are so engaged with the hands-on projects and experiments, taking their learnings and contextualising them into real-world understanding.
To spark their curiosity and passion for STEM, the Year 2 to 5 students commenced the year making Rockets. Students took time to ideate, build, test, modify and improve their rockets before a final countdown. Rockets zoomed the tennis courts much to their satisfaction and pride.
Year 2 students explored the components of Materials, investigating how they can change without altering their composition. Year 3 students got their hands dirty and slimy as they explored rocks and soils, inquiring into the impact worms have on improving soil quality. As part of their Physical World unit of inquiry students took their learnings to trial different ways to improve the soil quality in the Nature Play garden beds.
Year 4 students made connections to their inquiry of the Physical World as they explored how force affects how things move. Objects went flying when students observed the force a catapult has on different objects.
Year 5 and 6 students developed their conceptual understanding of electricity when they were tasked to build a circuit based race car to then race against their peer’s creations. The results were outstanding and the process posed lots of great questions from the students.
These are just some of the great examples of how students are exploring STEM at St Peter’s Woodlands. This Semester continues to have some exciting projects for the students, including the Year 6 students producing Orrery models to garner their understanding of gravity, day and night and seasons.
Extra-curricular STEM opportunities are also offered throughout the year for interested students. This year we had 19 entries in the Oliphant Science Awards with several commendations and placings. Friday lunchtimes have been busy in the STEM space with a small group of students working through the design process to upgrade and motorise an old Go Kart. We will track their progress and keep the community updated.