Local schools team up with Scitech and Kleenheat for future innovators event

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
Participants and Kleenheat mentors worked together to solve the challenge.
Camera IconParticipants and Kleenheat mentors worked together to solve the challenge. Credit: Supplied

Teachers in Kwinana and Rockingham have teamed up with Scitech and Kleenheat to create integrated science, technology, engineering and maths lessons for their Year 5 and 6 students.

Teachers involved in the Kwinana STEM Network have participated in a development program over the past year, culminating in the Future Innovators event that was held on November 15.

During the event, teachers worked with their students to solve a real-world problem — in this case, the challenge of landing a rover on Mars from Earth while minimising the force of the impact and ensuring it landed upright and facing in a specific direction.

Seventy students and teachers from six local schools participated in the event, which provided them with the opportunity to showcase their newly developed STEM skills. The schools involved were Medina Primary School, Bertram Primary School, Rockingham Beach Primary School, North Parmelia Primary School, Leda Primary School and Safety Bay Primary School.

Using a design thinking process, the students worked with Scitech consultants and Kleenheat mentors to co-design a solution to the problem, creating a prototype and presenting their ideas at the showcase event for teachers and industry guests.

As well as mentoring students, the Kleenheat STEM professionals were also able to talk about the role STEM had in their day-to-day work and the wider industry of energy solutions.

Kleenheat general manager Tanya Rybarczyk said the program supported teachers and the vital work they did in facilitating a greater understanding of STEM subjects.

“Teachers who participate in the program will leave with additional knowledge to develop STEM lesson plans to share with generations of students as they pass through the primary school education system,” Ms Rybarczyk said.

“There are obvious benefits to students as well. Students who have a sound knowledge of STEM subjects and skills tend to have access to a greater number and variety of career options.”

Scitech interim chief executive officer Sam Kronja said the program gave teachers important tools, skills and practical application in STEM development and education for students.

“The Kwinana STEM Network has been incredibly valuable in supporting teachers to integrate STEM more effectively into their classroom teaching, giving students the opportunity to develop a better connection and deeper understanding with STEM and 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, creativity, design and critical thinking,” Mr Kronja said.

“We are able to empower teachers through this program so they have the skills to ensure students can have that solid foundation for successful STEM learning which can hopefully take them beyond school and into their career.”

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