Year 2 students Mack L and Harvey O with their programmable Beebots.
Last week students, parents and staff at the Primary school celebrated all things technology at an inaugural whole school Invention Convention.
In line with a world-wide initiative to further develop a focus on STEM subjects, the Australian government has recognised that there is a shortage of STEM skills in the workplace, leading to a new Digital Technologies curriculum which schools must implement from 2018.
Head of Primary School and facilitator of the Invention Convention, Mrs Antoinette Wilson, said, “We are passionate about STEM at our College and make sure we embed it into every learning area, rather than treating it as a standalone subject.”
“A good example of this can be seen at one of our Invention Convention stands, where students are given instructions in Indonesian, which when translated are codes for them to program into BeeBots which direct the Bots to a specific geographic location on a huge floor map of Indonesia.”
Technology integrated with Indonesian - Mrs Natasha de Klerk (Kindergarten Teacher), Lucas B (Year 3), Lola S (Pre-Primary) and Chloe B (Year 5)
“We are building foundational technology skills such as inventing, designing, coding, problem solving and critical thinking in our students, starting from our youngest learners onwards,” Mrs Wilson said.
The Invention Convention was launched with an address by Mechatronic Engineer at IMP Innovative Solutions, Mr Ryan Wilson, who captivated students with his view on future trends in robotics.
Students and parents then hosted and visited over 16 subject stalls including a drone demonstration, a flight simulator, a 3D printer, building electronics circuits, programmable Lego, and homemade marble mazes. Students from Year Five and Year Six each made their own incredible inventions including an automatic waffle maker and portable privacy protector. The day continued with a digital technology treasure hunt and enjoyment of the greatest invention ever; ice cream.
Year 5 student Amelie P with her invention, the automatic waffle maker
Principal of the SCEA Institute of Teaching and Learning, Mrs Mathilda Joubert, said, “Children are digital natives and natural consumer and users of technology.”
“We want to inspire them to be producers of technology. Rather than only playing games, we show them how to create games. Rather than watching movies we are teaching them how to make movies.”
“Technology is a powerful tool for expressing our God-given creativity,” Mrs Joubert said.
The Invention Convention is just one example of how Mundaring Christian College stimulates students to be at the fore front of technology as they embrace both the new Digital Technologies curriculum and our future world.