Whitsunday Anglican School promotes a culture of excellence in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
In 2018 a new STEM subject was introduced from Years 5 to 8. It was also rolled out as an elective that will be delivered in Year 9 and in Year 10 in 2020.
STEM is a curriculum based on educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. There is more technology in today’s economy than at any other time because businesses are adopting new technologies to remain competitive. STEM skills are valuable as an employability skill, and are in high demand due to their positive effect on business processes and economic drivers.
In the STEM course, students learn to solve real world problems using technology, innovation and creativity. They engage in project and challenge based learning activities that align with 21st Century learning and focus on creative solutions. Whitsunday is fortunate to have a range of teachers with an interest in STEM, many of which have participated in STEM careers prior to teaching. This will be an invaluable asset to the delivery of an engaging and rigorous learning program.
Through the STEM subject our students have participated in a number of activities and program including:
- Students have undertaken the CoDrone Educational Program which is built in-house for the STEM elective. The project can be described simply as: a search and rescue mission where students plan and code a rescue mission using the CoDrone unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
- Environmental Engineering including 3D printing
- Alternative energy including solar and power from micro-organisms
- Autonomous vehicles including robotics and coding
- Micro controllers and electronics including Arduino’s
The Foundation for Young Australians (2015) reports the following projections about the future of work in Australia:
- 40% of current jobs are at high risk of automation in the next 10 – 15 years
- 70% of young people will enter the job market in jobs that will be lost or automated
- 90% of future jobs will require digital literacy
- 50% will require advanced digital skills
- 75% of jobs will involve Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
- An analysis of job advertisements between 2012 and 2015 showed that those jobs which involved problem solving, digital literacy and presentation skills are paying significant income premiums
Our young people need to be not only strong in literacy and numeracy but increasingly in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and, most importantly, they also need to develop a ‘newer’ set of capabilities (McIntosh, 2017, p.3).
Whitsunday Anglican School is also committed to the development of the following 21st Century Thinking skills:
- Enterprise skills
- Positive Attitude
- Team Work
- Willingness to learn
- Critical Thinking
- Global Understanding
Reference: McIntosh, R (2017) Future Directions in New Zealand Schooling: The case for transformation Centre of Strategic Education, July. Seminar Series 266
Each year, students are encouraged to enter and do extraordinarily well – often at a national level – in events such as:
- National Youth Science Forum
- Aurecon Bridge Building Competition
- McDonald’s Mathematics Competition
- Women in Science Forum
- National Titration Competition
- TEDx Whitsunday Anglican School Mackay
- ICT Young Explorers
- Australian Brain Bee Challenge (Australasian Neuroscience Society Inc.)
- SPARQ-ed Research Immersion Program
- STEM Boyne Island Camp
- Junior Physics Olympiad
- RoboCup Junior Australia Challenge
- UQ/QAMT Problem Solving Competition
- Australian Mathematics Competition (Australian Mathematics Trust)
- Education Perfect Maths Championships
- Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in STEM
For more information on STEM please contact the below staff members:
Faculty Head of Information Technology and Design and eLearning – Brett Cruse at firstname.lastname@example.org.