Junior School STEAM Projects
St Hilda’s recognises the importance of promoting the role of women in STEAM related industries. We understand that the roles of women in this rapidly growing, future based industry is under represented and therefore strive to provide our girls with rich, meaningful and challenging STEAM based experiences. Research suggests that one of the best ways to influence gender equality in STEM based futures is to provide young women with great opportunities at a young age. We endeavour to inspire our girls to become not only participants in the future of STEAM based industries but leaders.
Some of the projects that have been involved include designing and creating laser cut jewellery, composing musical scores for animated movies, designing and creating arcade games, making of soap, product development and entrepreneurialism, sustainable initiatives, editable gardens/composting – reducing waste, coding robots in French language, creating artwork through exploring forces by making custom Rube Goldberg machines, publishing digital media surrounding wellbeing along with various other exciting projects.
Throughout the last cycle of our STEAM projects, we have observed that many of the girls have developed a greater sense of Autonomy and resilience. Students are activating critical thinking strategies and their involvement in the STEAM projects is assisting the development of attributes and attitudes required for future based industries such as collaboration, communication, creativity and problem solving skills.
Overall there are up to 20 different STEAM projects on offer per semester. All Years 3-6 students are involved in a project of their choice for a semester at a time. The students have the opportunity to select a project of interest to participate in and these projects involve about 14 weeks of work. The students culminate their work with a STEAMfair each semester. The STEAMfair is a community event where parents and students can view, sample and experience the final products of the students’ projects. This year, our Semester 1 STEAMfair will take place on Tuesday 29th May. Further details will be available on Parent Lounge later this term.
STEAM and Non Nobis Solum
The encouragement of STEAM subjects can have very profound long-term benefits. in 2016, Year 5 Teacher Mr Dan Martinez undertook a project with his class which merged STEAM activity with the St Hilda’s School motto, Non Nobis Solum – not for ourselves alone. He writes about what happened in the following short summary.
“We began with a discussion about how arthritis impacts a range of people in our community. The girls were upset to hear stories of elderly people losing the basic ability to feed themselves unassisted and wanted to do something to help. We spoke about the meaning of our School motto, Non Nobis Solum, and how important it is to help others. We embarked upon a design challenge that incorporated elements of STEAM and Challenge Based Learning. The main challenge was to design a fork that could be gripped easily with minimal effort. The girls worked on creating a range of possible designs, before critically analysing each of their proposed designs in detail.”
The project was a great success. Dan continues: “The successful design that has been produced for ABRI Anglican Aged Care was created by a 9 year old Year 4 student, Aine Corser. Aine’s initial design was drafted and transferred into a computer based illustration using Adobe Illustrator. The design was then cut out of acrylic perspex using the laser printer located in the Senior School Design and Engineering Faculty.”
Aine’s successful design was trialled at ABRI, an achievement she should be very proud of.