Welcome to STEM with Mrs Menelaou & Mrs Fernandez!!
STEM Teachers @ MHPS:
Silvia Menelaou (eLeanring Learning Specialist) - Silvia.Menelaou@education.vic.gov.au
Nerissa Fernandez - Nerissa.Fernandez@education.vic.gov.au
What is STEM?
STEM stands for: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It covers a wide range of disciplines and skills, which are increasingly in demand in our rapidly changing world. STEM skills and knowledge are important for all stages of our learning, jobs and everyday lives.
The Department's STEM in the Education State plan brings together all of the actions that will help us to deliver the vision for improved learning and outcomes in STEM. It is also the start of a conversation about where to head next in early learning, education, and training, and how to involve our communities and businesses in this important work.
STEM education and training covers the specific knowledge and skills found in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. It also covers the interrelationship between these areas, allowing learning to be delivered in an integrated way, helping a deeper engagement in the four disciplines.
For younger children, scientific and numerical concepts are embedded in several outcomes in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF). This supports early childhood professionals to work with families to advance children's learning from birth to eight years.
For Foundation to Level 10 (F–10) school students, STEM knowledge and skills are embedded within the Victorian Curriculum, in Mathematics, Science, Design and Technologies, and Digital Technologies. STEM education also develops capabilities such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration and ethical decision making.
All Year levels (F-6) have weekly STEM Specialist classes.
SEMESTER 2, 2022
During Term 3, the Foundation students will be focussing on the Digital Technologies Curriculum. They will be learning to follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve simple problems. Meaning, they will be learning about Algorithms: what is an algorithm? How can we use an algorithm to program a robot?
Students will work with the Bee Bot robot which is a programmable floor robot. Bee-Bot has a simple and child-friendly layout which is a perfect starting point for teaching sequencing, directional language, basic commands and programming to young students. Helps understand algorithms and simple program creation and execution.
Students will explore different floor maps and tasks by programming the Bee Bot’s with algorithms they will be working out to complete a challenge. Students will also learn to “Debug” an algorithm which might not be working or incorrect. This means they will go back and fix their error and try again.
In term 4, students in Foundation will be completing a Design and Engineering Challenge: The 3 Billy Goats Gruff. In this challenge children act as engineers in order to help the three Billy Goats build a bridge. The bridge will have specific building specifications and be strong enough to support three soft toys. They will investigate, plan, build, test and improve a design and then demonstrate how their design works.
During Term 3, the Grade 1/2 students will be focussing on the Digital Technologies Curriculum. They will be learning to follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve simple problems. Meaning, they will be learning about Algorithms: what is an algorithm? How can we use an algorithm to program a robot?
Students will work with the KUBO robot which is the world’s first puzzle-based educational robot, designed to make coding easy and fun for students of all abilities. It enhances creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills, preparing students for the future.
Students will explore different challenges and tasks by programming the KUBO with algorithms using the KUBO tiles. Students will also learn to “Debug” an algorithm which might not be working or incorrect. This means they will go back and fix their error and try again.
During Term 4, the students will be investigating 'forces'. In particular, pushes and pulls. Students will understand that an object remains still unless an external force is added to it to make it move. They will investigate how a variety of toys work and will finish the unit by designing and creating their own toy using craft materials, while following the engineering design process.
We can't wait to see their creations!
In Term 3, the grade 3 and 4 students will be introduced to Dash & Dot. These are programmable robots that will help students learn the fundamental concepts of problem solving and computer science. The students will need to develop a number of ‘block code’ algorithms to complete a series of puzzles on the ‘Blocky’ app, a drag-and-drop visual programming tool. This will help them begin to think of the possibilities of programming robot behaviours and reactions. Students will be given the opportunity to extend their understandings of block programming and use their creativity to complete a series of harder challenges using Dash & Dot.
In Term 4, the grade 3 and 4 students will investigate forces and motion. They will investigate how forces and the properties of materials can influence a designed solution. Students will use this understanding to work collaboratively and apply the engineering design process to design and construct a marble run using recyclable materials.
In Term 3, the grade 5 and 6 students are engaging in the science and engineering practices of making observations and asking questions to make sense of the phenomenon of electricity. They are learning about two main forms of electricity- static and current, and that electrons can move between atoms, leaving atoms in a charged state. They will gain an understanding of the difference between electrical conductors and insulators.
Students will participate in a number of hands-on activities to understand ‘static electricity’ by inducing an electrical charge on various objects and experimenting with electrical repulsion and attraction. They will explore ‘current electricity’ and necessary conditions for the existence of an electric current. Students will construct simple electric circuits.
The unit will culminate with students applying their knowledge and understanding of electricity in a design project. They will setup electric circuits using batteries, wires and motors and apply the engineering design process to design and construct a prototype of a theme park ride with moving parts.
In Term 4, the grade 5 and 6 students will will be working with a beginning 3D design software called TinkerCad. They will learn the basics of creating digital 3D models that could be printed on a 3D printer. They will work their way through several tutorials to learn the basics of the program, before designing and 3D printing a model of their own.
SEMESTER 1, 2022
Grade Prep/Foundation Students:
Students in Prep/Foundation classes will be completing Digital Technologies lessons in term 1. They will be focussing on identifying and exploring digital systems (hardware and software components).
In term 2, students will complete Cyber-Safety lessons that focus on exploring how people safely use common information systems to meet information, communication and recreation needs.
Grade 1/2 Students:
Students in Grade 1/2 classes will be completing a design challenge called "The Great Egg Drop" in Semester 1. This challenge poses the question: "How can we drop Humpty Dumpty without breaking/cracking him?"
In this unit of work, groups of 'engineers' (students) will work together to explore, learn about and construct a contraption that will protect a raw egg when dropped.
This unit of work incorporates content from: Science, Mathematics and Design and Technologies curriculum.
Grade 3/4 Students:
Students in Grade 3/4 classes will be completing a "Creating Nesting Boxes" challenge in Semester 1. This unit of work explores Environmental loss. Native birds and mammals need hollows in old trees for nesting. Environmental loss reduces the number of nesting holes for these animals, leading to increased competition for nesting holes and decrease in the population of individual species. In extreme situations, this may lead to species becoming endangered or extinct. So this challenge poses the question: "What can we do to address this problem in our local/school environment?"
This unit of work incorporates content from: Science, Design and Technologies and Mathematics curriculum.
Grade 5/6 Students:
Students in Grade 5/6 classes will be completing a "Design and Race a Robot Chariot" challenge. The challenge is for students to design and produce a robot racing chariot and program a Sphero robot to compete in a robot race over a certain distance. Students will learn about chariots and how they were used and built. Then they will be posed the challenge and need to create their own chariot that can hold a Sphero robot which they can program/code to race about a set track.
This unit of work incorporates content from: Design and Technologies, Digital Technologies and Mathematics curriculum.