Primary STEM Festival Highlights

As part of Science Week 2018 (Week 5), students in Kindy – Year 6 were involved in a STEM Festival. The day was implemented to reinforce the important key learning area of Science.

The STEM activities were designed to complement the National Curriculum in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths by demonstrating the link between what’s taught in the classroom and the wider world.

Students were given the opportunity to put their creative thinking into action, learn how to collaborate effectively, challenge their designs and celebrate successes and failures. All of the notions mentioned shed light on our schools Vision for Learning, Shine through Discovery.

There were a variety of activities that the children completed over the day, with each being located in different classrooms across both Campuses. The children rotated every 40 minutes and were instructed by different classroom teachers whom organised a STEM based activity.

Throughout the day, there were a number of guest speakers from our wider communities whom presented on an aspect of STEM to the students and how it relates to their industry today. A special thank you to Mr Tony Stahl (Rocktape), Mr Mick Button (Rusty surfboards), Ms Tori Dewa (Qantas) and our Secondary School Science teachers Mr Shuckstes and Mr Spriggins.

KINDY – The Kindy students worked in the new Ideas Lab with some lovely Year 10 students. The children had a STEM challenge to build a chair using recycled materials that would hold a bear. They used a wide range of skills and had lots of fun.They all worked collaboratively to design and create some very comfy chairs for some lucky bears.

YEAR 1 – Year 1 had the challenge of designing and making a chair out of newspaper and alfoil to hold a small toy.

YEAR 2 – What a wonderful day the STEM Festival was for everyone in Year 2! The day was full of excitement, challenge and LOTS of thinking to complete the different tasks in each classroom! Some of the tasks were building a house of cards, a house of sticks that couldn’t blow over, building a tower of buttons, a bubble blowing device, and a paper cup challenge with no hands. It was impressive to see our student engineers collaborate, modify designs, problem solve, and persist until challenges grew to successes! The most explosive part of the day happened just before lunch when our super scientists Mr Shuckstes and Mr Spriggins conducted some sensational experiments with rockets, dry ice and different kinds of liquids. It was great fun watching the rockets take-off but….who knows where they landed! At the end they exploded some plastic bottles with dry ice and hot water. We didn’t know when it would explode, but when it did…wow! We all jumped nearly as high as the rockets! Such an amazing day where full of great learning for all!

YEAR 3 – We had a Ready, Aim, Fire!! Challenge – To build a catapult and then catapult an object into a stationary cup.

YEAR 4 – The Year 4 classes had a fun and challenging day making bridges out of spaghetti.

Year 5  – The Year 5 unit completed three engaging and fun STEM activities. In 5 Blue the students had to construct a mini trampoline to bounce a ping pong ball on. The group that could bounce the ping pong ball the highest were the winners. In 5 Green students had to construct a spinning top. The group that made their top spin the longest were the winners. In 5 Red students had to construct a geodesic dome which had to stand unsupported. The strongest dome was the winner. All year levels completed the activities well with some great adaptations of materials. There were lots of original designs and ideas.

Renae Zelich and Katya Anderson, Teacher Leaders

Student Reflection

Our first challenge was to create a marble run using pipes, tape, paper and cups. We had limited resources so we had to get creative. We started rolling paper up to make more pipes and used cups to catch the marble and transfer it to another pipe.

Our next challenge was to create parachutes out of a plastic bags, string and paper clips. There were some silly designs (some people just threw a piece of plastic in the air) but most of them were pretty good. After recess, we gathered for the paper plane challenge! We made models and raced them to see which one would go the furthest. There was one design, created by Pippa Simpson which won the competition.

After suffering many paper cuts, we all moved to the Marist Auditorium to listen to our guest speaker Tori, who spoke about how a plane flies, her position at Qantas and her previous position in the navy helping to fix helicopters.

After lunch, we had to make a trampoline that could bounce a ping pong ball the highest. We used balloons, cups, pop sticks, elastic bands, pegs and plates. While I slaved away trying to create something that would work (it failed miserably), the others in my group created a much better trampoline that bounced the ping pong ball pretty high.

The festival ended with two guest speakers. Cooper Button’s dad was first up and talked about the making of surfboards and how they float on water. Then it was Jack Stahl’s dad who talked about rock tape, the science behind it and how it stretches and lifts the skin from the muscle to help reduce bruising.

The day was very interactive and engaging allowing us to collaborate, investigate and have fun.

Charlotte Evans, Year 6 Student