Welcome to the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at Port Melbourne Primary School. This year we are running specialist days of STEM, which the children are embracing with the passion and critical thinking of engineers, mathematicians and scientists of the future. Each day consists of Coding in the morning of the STEM day and Engineering / Science focus for the remainder of the STEM day.
STEM is based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach allowing students to apply their problem solving skills to real life scenarios.
TERM 1, 2019: PHYSICAL SCIENCE: MAY THE FORCE SHINE
Welcome back for another exciting year of STEM exploration and critical thinking!
This term we will be investigating the wonderful world of physics with a focus on forces and light. We will explore how things move and how they affect the movement of other objects. This knowledge will then be used to design and create playgrounds, marble runs or animal runs that excite the users.
TERM 4, 2018 CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: LIVING THINGS
This term P-2 are exploring the life cycle of plants. Students are using microscopes to learn about the parts of a leaf, explore the life cycle of fruit and vegetables and plant seeds to understand what plants need to survive and thrive. Years 3-4 are learning about the process of photosynthesis and creating prime environments for growing their own vegetables. Years 5-6 are applying their knowledge of photosynthesis, what living things need to survive to create a way to survive on Mars e.g. a way to grow food, make the air breathable etc.
Students are also continuing to work on their coding skills with P-2 focused on giving and following clear instructions through dance, programming robots and exploring drag and drop games on studio code. Students are building on their knowledge of loops and exploring bugs.
The 3-4s will move on from creating loops and work on finding and solving bugs, they will apply their knowledge of Cartesian planes and the x/y axis (what’s happening behind the scenes of the drag and drop coding programs). They are also working on creating a game on Hopscotch.
Year 5-6 will continue to apply their knowledge of Cartesian Planes and the x/y axis. They will consolidate their understanding of bugs, locating and correcting errors, work on the games they have created through Hopscotch and explore coding in Scratch and Studio Code.
PMPS School-wide Coding Program Aims are as follows:
- Design – write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
- Use sequence – selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
- Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs (Aims taken from Harvard Graduate School of Education in line with the Victorian Curriculum).
TERM 3, 2018 – CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE,
STEM in Term 3 draws out student creativity in our unit ‘Creating a Sustainable Future’ for Port Melbourne P.S, Australia and the World!
Foundation – Year 2 explore the different types of waste we produce and the impact it has in our local community. Students will explore what happens to rubbish and different ways to reduce it. Students will then use the engineering process to design and create waste reducing inventions.
Years 3 – 6 explore how waste impacts our environment on a national and global scale. Students will apply their understanding of sustainability to explore how scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives. Students will engage in the engineering process to design and create inventions to help create a sustainable future, by participating critically and acting creatively in determining more sustainable ways of living.
Students watched the Video ‘Three Seconds’, an epic presentation of where humanity stands today and how we must all work together to make it to the fourth second (click here to watch it again) to gain insight and inspiration into why we must create a sustainable future.
TERM 2, 2018 – ELECTRICITY AND CIRCUITS
What an electrifying start we’ve had to STEM in term 2! The students have been exploring what electricity is, where it comes from and what uses electricity to move (including us!). They have investigated circuits and created a variety of circuits to light bulbs, fans and play music. Children have used a variety of materials to make circuits with fans, bulbs, paperclips and foil. We have even had some students make a circuit using an apple!
Students have also continued to develop their understanding of coding by using simple instructions and algorithms to create loops.
STEM days have students focus on developing their questioning skills and used a great deal of critical thinking to solve problems and connect their prior knowledge to new information and challenges.
Have a look at some of our term 2 circuit adventures below!
If you have any questions or would like more information on our STEM program, please have a chat with our STEM Coordinators Haylie Saarinen and Michelle Sneddon