STEMmates has been carrying holiday programs for the last 3 years. Our recent school holiday program focused on aerodynamics and rocketry. These courses can be considered STEAM courses – or the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, plus Art.
These interesting, fun, and hands-on STEAM courses compliment the Earth and Space Science, as well as Physical Science strands of the school Science Curriculum – whilst at the same time giving students the opportunity to make their own artistic designs, as a complement to the Visual Arts strand of the Arts Curriculum.
Aerodynamics is the study of the properties of moving air and the interaction between the air and solid bodies moving through it.
Many people believe that aerodynamics might just be restricted to the aviation industry, but this is not the case. Aerodynamics is also used throughout the fields of aircraft design, automotive, naval and nautical engineering, even architecture.
Buildings are also affected by the way the wind moves around them, which may affect their structural resistance and other components. Certain shapes or features may even result in strange noises, known as Aeolian noise, excessive vibration of the buildings and unnatural pressure situations.
This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental principles of aerodynamics and flight as well as the application of these principles in the design, construction, and operation of small flying model planes & kites.
So many kids dream of growing up to become an astronaut. So, letting them build their own rocket is a great way to get them interested and launch them on that path. The rocketry course gives students a hands-on experience of designing and crafting their very own rocket ship. Students need to figure out solutions and create their rocket using trial and error. They also learn about safety and hazards and how weather and wind affect the flight path.
Both courses cover the historical understandings and development of aerodynamics and rocketry.
Students learn concepts of airflow and lift in the design and construction of paper planes, concepts of prototypes and model testing using the scientific method, concepts of airflow, lift, and torque in the design and construction of kites and rockets made of wood, paper, and plastic and even artistic design considerations of their crafts.
Students even battle their skills against each other in small competitions to see how fast their planes, kites or rockets can move. They are allowed to pit the strengths of their flying machines against one another. In addition, students are encouraged to have a little taste of competition in order to motivate them to strive for the best result. A skill that is so essential for the jobs and economy of the future.
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The first engineering school in Australia opened in 1861 with 15 students enrolled. From handwritten notes to online lectures and task-based learning, learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has definitely come a long way. 150 years later, STEM is being recognized around Australia as a force to be reckoned with. Since its humble start, the government has allocated a lot of resources to make sure that STEM subjects are given their due importance.
The Australian government has put aside AUD$64 million as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NIA) to fund STEM initiatives in Australian schools. Some of these initiatives include, Embracing the Digital Age and Inspiring STEM Literacy. They have also put aside $1.5 million to introduce Artificial Intelligence in Schools.
In 2015, the Australian government set up the National STEM School Education Strategy, which is meant to continue until 2026. The Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) is another initiative that was started in 2018 and continued for a second year this year. The program initially targeted 97 preschools, 400 educators and 4000 children around the country and then progressed to 110 preschools in 2019.
The future of STEM in Australia
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that STEM will still be important into the future. They predict that jobs of tomorrow will need problem solving skills, digital skills and creative thinking. With the amount of money that the Australian government has put into STEM in recent years, it is definitely a worthwhile investment.
Today, many universities and STEM related industries see life-long learning as an imperative skill. They have coined the term, ‘micro-credentialing’ – where people need to go back to school for shorter courses but have to constantly upgrade themselves to keep up with the trends. As technology changes rapidly and continues to become more and more complex, employees too, need to constantly upgrade themselves.
STEMmates for the future
STEMmates is proud to be one of the beacons of STEM in Australia. We endeavor to make sure that every child that comes to our courses is inspired and encouraged to continue their STEM journey.
Our hands-on classes and activity-based workshops are designed to spark excitement in the eyes of our young learners. Our courses also teach students essential soft skills that are crucial for their future lives. Our aim is to get them ‘career-ready’, even when they are as young as 7 years old.
We can only imagine what lies ahead for the future of STEM. But we need to make sure that our children hit the ground running. Make sure that your child is prepared for what lies ahead.
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blog post spoke about how crucial parental involvement can be in a child’s education, especially in their formative years. Educators also play a huge role in determining how a child will develop in school – setting the tone and pace for further development in their later years as students and learners. Here, we look at some ways parents and educators can work together to create a bond and thereby helping to make a safe space for the children in schools.
The education system has recently come under fire by a former head of the Australian Education Union. Angelo Gavrielatos, a current director of Education International, has observed that Education is undergoing “Uberfication” – a term coined from the rise of Uber, which has seen drivers who do not have a taxi license providing taxi services.
Late last year, a program to improve the equity of gender and diversity in Australian research institutions was accredited by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE). The accreditation recognised increased career opportunities, better working practices, career progression and an increased proportion of women in STEM, or the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related subjects.
Not all children are made for academics. Many children hate the idea of going to school, sitting down for hours on end and studying. Especially if the subject they’re learning doesn’t seem interesting enough for them. Gone are the days when we were just told that we had no choice but to go to school and we had to study whatever our parents told us to. Children nowadays have choices, and voices and boy, do they use them!
Technology has given children the power to find information from sources other than school, which may sometimes not be beneficial for them. But they look for information that excites them. How then can we make them study important subjects and make it their decision to do so?
Constructivism is a theory of ‘constructing’ or building understanding and knowledge through experience. Every time we experience something, we create with it impressions, ideas and memories in our subconscious. Sometimes, experiences make us disregard past experiences or even change our views on similar notions we had of certain encounters.