MSB9159_Bennies Buzz_NOV-2016_hi-res - page 19

Year 8 students have energetically and
enthusiastically involved themselves
in a variety of collaborative learning
experiences through the College’s
STEM Challenge Days. Designed
for our students to be able to work
and learn in an integrated manner,
these days have brought together
concepts integral to the teaching and
learning of Science, Technology and
Mathematics through the prism of a
series of engineering challenges aimed to elicit high-order
thinking and genuine collaboration.
The overall response from students and others involved has
been extremely positive.
Day 1 (Term One)
– from a sheet of
cardboard, build a chair that can bear
the weight of a person. No glue or
tape, loads of creative and innovative
design ideas.
Day 2 (Term Two)
– design and build
a robotic arm that simulates remote
operations being performed across
the globe by robotic surgeons.
Day 3 (Term Three)
– three different
challenges about the scientific understanding of energy and
forces with the mathematical analysis of speed.
Day 4 (Term Four)
– All details under wraps at the stage. But
as always in STEM, nothing is ever the same!
It has been a year of discovery, creativity
and fun in STEM Club. Interest in this
co-curricular activity was overwhelming
– 38 students participated after school
every fortnight through Terms Two
and Three. With an appreciation for
not only the design process but the
integrated nature of being able to solve
engineering problems successfully, the
girls were generous with their time and
open to the possibility of new ways of
approaching problems.
Teams designed and built prototypes
of laptop shelves being considered
to replace those currently in use in
the College’s classrooms. STEM Club
ventured for a night tour of the Sydney
Observatory to investigate astronomical
concepts and get a closer look at Mars
and other celestial bodies. The girls also
conducted a series of video conferences
with the Powerhouse Museum learning
how to program, navigate and drive Mars
Rovers on a virtual Martian surface.
Some of the STEM Club members also
participated in the national programs of
the ‘Day of STEM’ and the ‘Computational
Thinking Challenge’. There were also
times for reflection and evaluation which
are critical for good learning experiences.
An integral part of STEM@Bennies is the importance of
involving our wider community in the learning experiences
of our students and the genuine links we make to life in the
We thank the many MSB teachers from across the faculties
of Science, TAS and Mathematics, as well as Parent Mentors
currently involved in STEM-related fields, visiting teachers
from schools within and outside the Sydney area, ex-students
and student teachers. Sharing ideas with people outside
the classroom who share a common passion for integrated
learning and the value of STEM skills is vital for the upcoming
generations of students who will become our future
innovators and leaders.
Year 8 engage and innovate in our STEM Challenge Days
Year 8 engage with STEM through STEM Club
Year 8 engage with STEM and the broader Bennies community
Summer 2016
Bennies Buzz
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