THERE'S no doubt Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education has become vital to helping prepare students for future careers as well as ensuring important industries progress.
But when STEM learning is combined with the ethos in Catholic schools, that's where we really have the potential to Make a Difference!
And the evidence was clear yesterday – as more than 50 student teams from Catholic schools Australia-wide joined in the STEM Making a Difference (MAD) National Showcase hosted in Melbourne.
Challenging students to not only be innovative and creative in the world of STEM, but for their efforts to have the potential for real-world implications, one could not help but to be in awe of their awareness of issues in society and creativeness in developing solutions.
Brisbane Catholic Education Deputy Executive Director Dr Doug Ashleigh said, “the empathy shown by the students towards societal and environmental issues and the people affected or potentially affected was heart-warming".
“We were all extremely proud at BCE of our five STEM teams who were selected from 46 in the Brisbane Showcase to represent us nationally, and who also took home some amazing recognitions," Dr Ashleigh said.
St Vincent's Primary School, Clear Island Waters with Vision Buddy:
St Eugene College, Burpengary with BeachMate:
St Teresa's Catholic College, Noosaville, with Check-in App:
All Saints Parish Primary School, Albany Creek with The Multi Bin:
The initiative involved months of work by students in Years 3 to 12, who presented their projects with working models or digital prototypes, along with the submission of a video pitch showcasing and explaining their idea.
Dr Ashleigh said it's through the integration of STEM learning and the catholic identity values that can help engage students more into this exciting field.
“Particularly through initiatives likes STEM MAD, it gives students perspective and a deeper meaning into what they're learning, why and how they might apply this in the real-world," Dr Ashleigh said.
“Having the students look deeply into some of the societal issues we're facing, use the design thinking process to develop innovative and creative solutions, and then to also take the next steps to investigate their solutions' viability by consulting with real-world specialists – this is how we really engage our students."
Read more about this year's BCE STEM MAD experience:
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
Turrbal and Yuggera Country
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101