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Press Release – STEM Blitz at NWCC

Press Release - STEM Blitz at NWCC


STEM education is really taking off at Norwest Christian College. Recently,Year 9 Engineering students from the College competed in the Australian Aeronautical Velocity Challenge (AAVC), an initiative of Wollongong University. During the competition, teams are charged with designing and constructing a rocket and launcher using basic craft materials, including plastic soft drink bottles. The AAVC is one of many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) integrated projects at the College, which provide authentic and challenging learning opportunities for students.

STEM Extension Groups challenge students at all levels within the College. Beginning in the Early Learning Centre, STEM activities are designed to combine lateral thinking and collaboration to solve problems. Students learn to combine elements from all STEM strands to conduct scientific and mathematical investigations.

Kindergarten students experimented by designing paper aeroplanes and predicting how far they would travel before take-off. Students learnt about aerodynamics, redesigned their aeroplanes and flew them, before recording their experiences and what had been learnt. “I predicted my second aeroplane would fly further,” said Rose, “And it did. Another two metres!”

Mia shared her experience of another STEM project. “I love imagining ideas. I experimented with parachutes which had a plastic figure hanging from them. We made six parachutes, some small and some big. I thought a bigger surface area would make the parachute float down more slowly.” Alex, Ryan and Judah all agreed that “STEM is fun!”

Year 1 student, Ellenie, entered the Young Scientist Challenge and using scientific methodology, researched “How Glow Sticks Glow.”

Stage 2 Extension Group students are currently working on an integrated STEM challenge to build a marble run and Stage 1 Extension Group students have a similar task, determining how best to slow the marble down without it getting stuck. Orlando and his partner Reuben tried different ideas and collaborated to make marbles slow down.

Mrs Cathie Thomas, Primary STEM Leader, said, “Students are amazing. They share ideas and listen to each other, are enthusiastic but persevering, appreciate ingenuity and experiment with solutions, collaborate and show real joy in learning.”

STEM education at Norwest Christian College develops curiosity among students, engages them in innovative learning, and develops creative and critical thinking skills and emotional intelligence as they work in teams to achieve desired outcomes.

Craig Laffin OAM
Director of Development

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