STEM Integration Work
The subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are embedded at Baler Primary School by all classes utilising a cross-curricular approach and often incorporate English and the Arts learning areas as well. Teachers do this by creating project based learning tasks that provide opportunities to foster critical and creative thinking skills in real life scenarios, thereby exploring STEM learning areas and concepts. The combination of these subjects deepens students’ understanding and often creates palpable enthusiasm for the project work they are engaged in.
We have been exploring the use of different materials to create designs to represent real places, animals, objects and toys. We had a ‘Box Construction Day” where the children designed and constructed their very own creations! First we researched different designs and ideas for boxes and recycled materials – then the children got to work creating. Some made robots, car parks, car washes, houses and even an iron ore mine! It was fantastic to see the children explore the different materials to create their designs.
During our recent History and Social Sciences (HASS) unit, the Year One students have been learning about features and characteristics of our local environment. We have been discussing the natural, managed and constructed features of Port Hedland and its surrounds. As part of this unit we completed a STEM project to create dioramas depicting the natural, managed and constructed places within our local community. Students choose to create either, the Salt Pile, Six Mile Beach, Pretty Pool Beach, Karijini or the bush landscape around Port Hedland.
In Year 2 we have been discussing habitat loss and the impact it has on birds. We went out to explore the school grounds and recorded the types of birds and the frequency in which we saw them. We then went on to plan collaboratively with a partner and make our own creations come to life for them to live in. We created their homes out of recyclable materials and hung them in our rainbow garden.
Due to the COVID19 virus the students from Year 3 were asked to design an attraction that would be an incentive for people to holiday in Port Hedland and spend their money. They were asked to invent a STEM project that would help boost our economy since we have all been isolated in our own towns. Each student independently devised their own project which consisted designing an attraction that would entice people to our town. We had lots of fantastic ideas that the students first designed and then went to work making 3-D models of their specific Town Attraction.
As part of our Talk For Writing we have been reading stories about giants. The students designed and created catapults from recycled materials to catch giants. We then tested them to see how far we could catapult an object.
The Year 5’s were given a project where they had to design a product which would benefit and improve the life of a person living on another planet similar to Earth. Each group had to solve a particular problem which a person was experiencing. These solutions were 3D designed and printed.
Exploring an English Talk for Writing topic, students were required to create a bridge out of natural and recycled resources to avoid the ancient terror that stalks the deep dark waters and make it to the other side of the river safely.
Background and guidelines:
Slowly, I approach the river. Once swift and coursing, now stagnant and foreboding. The waterfall, once the giver of life, now dead and still. Only the slime keeping the large and hefty stones company through the endless nights.
They speak of an ancient terror. One that stalks the deep dark waters. Something. Somewhere. Waiting.
Not even the trees gently waving in the breeze can take away the ominous feeling. I know they are only there to lull visitors into a false sense of safety. They beckon you ever closer.
Despite this, my only salvation lays across this water. And so I must find a way to cross…
Students were required to cross the river and make it to the other side to safety. There were some strict guidelines students had to follow including:
- There is only one way that will be accepted- you must build a bridge.
- The bridge must be made of natural materials (sticks, leaves, vine, etc).
- There will only be one man made material available for use in your bridge- rope or twine.
- Scissors, rulers, and iPads are only to be used to help you plan and/or construct- they cannot be used as part of your structure.
- Your bridge must be able to support the weight of a … so it must be wide enough to be able to fit and balance the …
- Your bridge must be long enough to cross the river but still fit within the box setting.
- Your bridge needs to have character and thought. A couple of sticks tied together will not be accepted.
- Time limit: 90 minutes construction time.