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STEM: ENGAGING THE NEXT GENERATION STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. What separates STEM from the traditional Science and Mathematics education is the blended learning environment and showing the students how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving. Students are learning how to code and program robotics to solve problems. In the Junior School curriculum these skills are essential for working technologically, scientifically and mathematically. Evandale students have engaged in computational thinking and early computer science concepts with the Bee Bot robot and the Scratchjr coding program. Hamilton girls have been introduced to a variety of digital tools and investigated scientifically with Sphero robotic balls that can be controlled by a tablet. All Junior School students are working mathematically and technologically to solve a variety of problems within their Science, Mathematics and HSIE units of inquiry. We are very grateful to the Parents and Friends' Association and the Junior School Auxiliary who have provided significant funds to purchase Lego WeDo robotics, Sphero robotics, and Dash and Dot. Students will have opportunities to focus on engineering and design thinking. They will move from technology users to technology creators with some new invention kits, including Raspberry Pi, Makey Makey and Littlebits. These resources will foster both computational thinking skills and problem solving. We are very excited to welcome our first Humanoid robot called NAO who will join the Junior School community. NAO is a character made up of a multitude of sensors, motors and software, piloted by a made to measure operating system. NAO is designed to be personalised and the girls are going to love programming her and developing their skills. As we continue on our STEM journey, we are looking forward to the new Innovation Lab in the Gateway Project which will provide us with a central space for coding, creating and engineering. Ms Belinda Martins STEM IT Teacher, Junior School

Camphora, Issue 3, Winter 2016  

PLC Sydney's biannual magazine

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