USYD STEM Academy
The College is an official Partner School in University of Sydney’s STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy. The STEM Academy provides an opportunity for schools to send up to six staff to be trained in how to effectively integrate STEM strategies into the classroom.
At the end of 2017 six of the College staff spent three days at the Women’s College at Sydney University immersing themselves in all things STEM. It was certainly an interesting experience as they were exposed to a wide range of strategies for incorporating STEM into our Maths, Science and Technology classes.
Experts from Sydney University shared their knowledge, and some great resources, that opened their eyes to what is possible when you start to think about how STEM can engage students. On the final evening Dr Karl spoke to the group about the immense changes we can expect over the next decade in all sorts of fields like technology, engineering and the climate. Reinforcing to all the need to start to think about how we can prepare our students for a rapidly changing world.
The purpose of the 2017/18 STEM Academy was for each participating school to design a cross-curricular project that would be implemented in 2018. We designed an integrated project that incorporated Science, Mathematics and Technology subjects for our 7.1 class. The focus was on the Sydney Stingless Bees and the driving question behind the project was, ‘Sustainability: Whose Responsibility?’.
This was a pilot project looking at a possible model for learning that we could implement at the College. We documented all aspects of the project and much of that documentation can be found on our Youtube Channel. Our students also created a website for the STEM Academy to use in their documentation of the program.
Our bees have now taken up residence in our front garden. They have a range of around 800 metres so they are helping to pollinate much of our local community.