Gooloogong showcases STEM

Gooloogong Public School’s students were made teachers for the day, taking their families through a STEM showcase afternoon last Friday.

Principal Mitchell Welham, said the day was about community engagement and exposing the students to new technologies and 21st century learning.

“We’re really looking at new and different ways to bring parents and community into the school,” he said.

“Showcasing learning, rather than showcasing sporting achievement or artistic achievement. Letting the kids be the teachers and show what they’ve been learning.

“Problem solving and creative thinking for students is a big push by the Department of Education at the moment. It’s something we want to expose these kids to and equip them with when they go to high school.

“It’s something that we noticed is a little bit lacking and we really want to promote that with them and explore further.”

Mr Welham said STEM learning was being recognised as an important part of future job prospects.

“It’s a big part of everyone’s job now,” he said.

“So having that skill set on how to problem solve, how to use technology and use it responsibly starts at school.

“We’re integrating that technology into other subject areas as well, like using VR to spruik imagination for writing. Taking the kids underwater and having them do some writing is a really powerful experience you don’t get from just watching a movie,” he said.

Mr Welham said the afternoon would not have been possible without the support and partnership of Charles Sturt University, the NSW department of Education, TFE solutions and the school’s P&C.

“We received a donation of $1000 from Charles Sturt University to go towards STEM within our school,” he said.

“With that money we brought Ozobots and that was supported by our P&C as well.

“The VR kit is a Department of Education initiative through a STEM lending program so we’ve been very fortunate to have the VR kit.

“Next year we’re looking at upgrading our technology at the school. Looking at upgrading our interactive whiteboards, our laptops and then at some point purchasing our own VR headsets. 

“For us it’s about embedding this learning within the school.”