Article by Deputy Principal Shane Giese
St. Raphael's Primary School
The more that we as teachers are engaging with more diversified ways to educate students in the ever-evolving world - it is imperative that we don’t forget education's ultimate purpose: to gain knowledge and improve outcomes to set each student up for success. Regardless if the outcomes are in core subjects such as literacy or numeracy, or in the capability subjects such as social and emotional wellbeing - students need to learn how to reflect, adapt and make well-rounded decisions.
Through the lens of STEM and all of its invaluable opportunities each project or lesson has to offer incorporating research, investigation, design, collaboration and construction; as a teacher, one must ask the question: How, and in what ways, will this learning opportunity benefit each student on their educational journey?
As educators, we need to make each teaching opportunity link to the curriculum. We need to ensure that all students we teach continue to be ‘successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’ (Australian Curriculum, 2020).
What a wonderful opportunity STEM provides in fulfilling this for all students. Whether it is constructing a ‘frog bog’ to improve the sustainability of a school and local habitats, or even researching the procurement of goods and services used by the school. Students can evaluate the supply chain of companies to determine whether decisions made by the school are based on just cost? Or, are the decisions made based on companies that are ethically sourced and have sustainable solutions? Both of these examples involve so many areas of the curriculum, and ultimately, improve student outcomes for the long term.
So, whether you are embarking on your STEM journey for the first time, or if you are in cruise control and it is part of your daily practice, ask yourself: How is this improving my students’ outcomes? And, what can I do in my lesson to ensure that every student is engaged and challenged to succeed? STEM is one creative and thought provoking way that will engage all learners.
St. Raphael's is now launching a Problem Based Learning Program with a STEM lens in the coming weeks as an extension of their STEM curriculum.
Learn more about implementing STEM into your school!