STEM Education Leaders Program
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Engineers Without Borders
Valley View Secondary School
The purpose of this case study is to evaluate and reflect upon the engagement levels as a result of involvement in the Engineers Without Borders program at Valley View Secondary School in 2013. Engagement levels will be evaluated through a range of different tools including survey, observation, photographic evidence and student and teacher feedback. Future directions will also be discussed including adjustments for implementation in 2014 and planned methods of data collection to ensure continuity of assessment beyond 2014. This data collection will include student surveys, video evidence and interviews with students. This information will be collated and presented to leadership to highlight the continual development of the program and to celebrate the successes of the program and our students
Promoting STEM Careers
Dr Rogan Tinsley
Blackwood High School
Three strategies will be used with a Year 8 cohort to promote awareness of and aspiration towards STEM careers. Baseline data with be collected from an intervention and a control Year 8 class. The control class will receive standard instruction in Mathematics and Science. The intervention class will receive:
1. Instruction focussed on the “Science as a Human Endeavour” strand of the Australian Curriculum. Specifically, learning activities and tasks will draw on my experience from my industry placement. This was a one-week placement at SAGE Automation, during which I learned about many aspects of the business, including design, coding, manufacture and installation of control systems. The experience has been used it to inform my classroom teaching. Outcomes include the production of new tasks in Year 8 and 9 Mathematics which link to skills used in industry. We have on ongoing relationship with the company, and SAGE engineers will work with students for occasional activities (eg Hour of Code).
2. Inclusion of an eight-week cross-curriculum unit on forensic science. I have taught this unit previously, in which students work through evidence from a crime scene, using mathematical and science skill. They also explicitly learn the role of these disciplines in police and forensic work
3. STEM careers promotion using RiAus STEM Career Packs to increase student awareness of career pathways.
Following the interventions, both classes will be resurveyed. Again, the focus will be on awareness of and aspiration towards STEM careers, with the expectation that these will have increased in the intervention arm.
Motion Commotion - multi-disciplined learning
Henley High School
This unit plan will be produced for all Year 10 classes to incorporate the topic of Motion in the following subjects:
Science/Physics – in 2D motion, Newton’s Laws, Speed/Time/Velocity.
Maths – solving linear and quadratic equations algebraically and graphically.
PE – in ball sports the analysing of parabolic paths and also the motion in the muscles.
Design and Technology – by using different energy sources, the construction of the fastest robotic car.
History – can research the history of Isaac Newton and the period in which he lived in.
The assessment of students will be based on tests, assignments and projects. The results will be interpreted through the use of statistical analysis and the comparison of the results of students who participated in the program and those who didn’t. Also surveys will be conducted to collect the opinion of the students.
Cartesian Cartoon Capers
Seaton High School
As an introduction to Cartesian co-ordinates, year 8 maths students will use the ‘Scratch’ software platform to create an algorithm and program. Their programs will cause a sprite to move through quadrants in a specified sequence that draws planar shapes, whose lines are described by linear relationship rules. This activity will be supported by the use of excel for creation of tables of values from rules and equations. A pre-activity questionnaire and post reflective literacy component will complement the unit.
An expected outcome of this unit will be the transference of specific maths knowledge to a broader, generalised understanding of the range of possible applications. i.e. maths is not just about sums in a workbook, but is how we learn the tools and processes used in many different everyday applications and careers.
Points to note: It is envisaged that this unit of work will become a common assessment task for the year eight cohort at Seaton High School.
Some success has previously been achieved with a year 10 maths studies Directed Investigation on Algorithms, using consumer maths as a basis to extend student understanding of the topic being a specific example of the broader concept of iterations, recurrence relationships and algorithms
All-girls robotics class
Australian Science & Maths School
Females represent a smaller part of the STEM workforce. Participation and retention of females in STEM fields of learning and work is a longstanding national and international issue. The need to revisit female participation in STEM is being driven from a larger concern about Australia’s low productivity and key skill shortages that are putting the country’s innovation and economic competitiveness at risk. This study will explored psycho-social effects of subject areas to which males or females were over or under represented and looked at single sex classes in coeducational school setting as a way to close the gender gap. Thus we could use this approach to close the subject ‘gender-gap’ in STEM and girls can have more freedom to explore their own interests and abilities in single-gender classrooms. The case study will focus on TfEL domains 2.1, 2.2 and 2.4 which focus on democratic relationships, learning culture and challenging environment. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from students and staff. This will enable us to capture some useful data and see how the girls and teachers progress in the all-girls environment.
The primary research above will be cross reference and compared with current literature.
Recording & Reflecting on STEM at MOC
Mark Oliphant College
The goal of this case study is to study some implemented STEM activities across the school.
The focus of the study is on the following activities:
- STEM Club (Yr 6 to 10 students)
-Project Based Learning (PBL) involving STEM integration across other subject areas (Yr 10s)
The evaluation of the outcome will occur through evaluation of data, which can be available through:
• Common test scores
• Classroom observations
• Teacher surveys/interviews
• Student surveys/interviews
Blackwood High & Primary School STEM Program
Blackwood High School
Blackwood High is about to commence the third of our primary school STEM programs at BHS. This is a program open to Yr 6/7 students in our feeder schools who may apply and be selected. It is a STEM extension and enrichment program for those students with a keen interest in that area- in order to foster this enthusiasm and encourage them to continue to pursue studies in these areas. It is a 10 week program that runs for 3 hrs per week. The approach is an inquiry and problem-based one and the course incorporate a range of technologies such as the STELR kits, Robotics and Data logging. At the end the students present a model or prototype designed to solve a real-world problem.
Advanced Technologies Enrolment Strategies
Henley High School
With the successfully implementation of Stage 1 Advanced Technologies at Year 10 and the proposed introduction of Advanced Technologies at Stage 2, this case study will look at current enrolment and the main factors as to why students chose or will choose the subject. The case study will also explore new initiatives and strategies to promote and target the STEM minded students through the subject selection process for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 Advanced Technologies.
Student perception of STEM and STEM careers
Aberfoyle Park High School
A class of year 8 students will participate in a series of community of enquiry sessions in response to stimuli videos around STEM and STEM careers. A survey will be conducted before and after the program to gather data around student perception of STEM and STEM careers and things that might attract or put them off getting involved in STEM.
Transforming the School STEM Culture
Aberfoyle Park High School
Area of focus for this study are:-
How is STEM perceived in the classroom by students?
What pedagogies have teachers used to teach STEM subjects?
How has technology influenced pedagogy in the classroom?
What are students’ opinions on a career in STEM? How do students perceive the connection between what happens in the classroom and their future careers?
What Professional Development have teachers had access to and how has this influenced pedagogy in the classroom.
Data will be collected in a number of ways which will then be disseminated and analysed to develop strategies that will select best options for action.(short and long term plans)
Craigmore High School
Students will work collaboratively with Lego robotics kits to design ‘drawing’ robots, which they can program to draw various quadrilaterals.
Students will be introduced to the properties of quadrilaterals and angle properties before they start the design process. As a group, they will investigate the properties of the quadrilaterals and design and program a robot. They will evaluate the effectiveness of their robot and propose and implement any changes required to draw more accurate quadrilaterals.
Students will complete a pre- and post-topic survey to measure their attitude and engagement in the topic. Students will also complete a pre- and post-test to measure their growth in understanding in the topic. Term grades and end of topic assessment results for this class will be compared to control classes who have not had exposure to the Lego Robots.
Increased awareness of Engineering pathways
Golden Grove High School
Golden Grove High School is situated on a campus with 2 other independent schools that share facilities to help increase student engagement at school. Golden Grove High School is a category 6 school with a total cohort of approximately 1420 students.
I am working with a number of colleagues at creating an engineering unit for years 9 and 10 with the purpose of increasing the awareness of engineering and other vocational trades. This unit will be designed in a way that increases their engagement in related STEM subjects. The purpose of these units is that all year 9 and 10 students complete this during their normal science curriculum long term. We will be looking at trialing the unit with at least 3 classes during 2014.
Using Co-Design in Senior School Mathematics
Australian Science & Maths School
Extension work often focusses around more work, without specific direction or personalisation for the student’s needs. This case study looks at using the principles of co-design for five students who have completed their 20 credits of mathematics by the end of their first semester in Year 11. Data collection will focus around student’s interests, goals and actions to develop a semester-long, co-designed mathematics program tailored to extend each student. Scaffolding and choices will be used to ask students to develop an accredited or non-accredited course with mathematically connected content, although the focus could be on acceleration into Year 12 Mathematics, broadening knowledge into mathematics topics not covered by the traditional curriculum, or extending into interdisciplinary topics and applications that have a mathematical basis or component. Students will be assisted to design topic content and outcomes that meet their interests, needs, goals, accreditation requirements if applicable and be supported through to completion of their programs. Final data collection, achieved through semi-structured interviews and records of student and teacher planning tools, will consider how effective the program was at meeting students’ goals, interests and need for challenge and advancement, partially constructed around TfEL elements 2.3 (negotiating learning) and 2.4 (challenging students to achieve high standards with appropriate support).
Year 10 Challenge
Unley High School
The issue of global hunger poses challenges to our society, which demand interdisciplinary and communal efforts to solve. Within the overarching theme of global hunger and food sustainability, six specific challenges were identified for presentation to a cohort of 120 year students. Students elect which challenge they are motivated to solve, and work within teams of up to 20 students and three supporting teacher mentors to find possible solutions to the challenge. Students are engaged in a number of different activities to first research, clarify and then solve their challenge. Activities include gathering secondary and primary data, field trips and expert speakers, conducting scientific experiments and drafting proposals. At the end of the week, each team presents a portfolio which details preliminary research, early findings (possibly a proposed solution to the challenge) and a case for further research. Students are evaluated by a panel of community members and ideally experts within the field of STEM research. Students evaluate their experiences in the challenge in a survey. This year for the first time, we will be introducing an evaluation related to the DECD Skills and Capabilities and a survey for teachers regarding the professional development value of participating in the challenge.