STEM thriving in Brisbane Catholic Education schools

​​BCE STEM MAD national champions – twins from St Vincent's Primary School, Clear Island Waters

​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. 

Congratulations to: 

St Vincent's Primary School, Clear Island Waters with Vision Buddy: 

  • Best Assistive Device Award Primary Winner 
  • STEM MAD National Award – The Future is STEM Primary National Winner ​

St Eugene College, Burpengary with BeachMate: 

  • Communications Award Secondary Winner 
  • Best Integration of Technology Secondary Finalist 
  • STEM MAD National Award – Secondary National Winner 

St Teresa's Catholic College, Noosaville, with Check-in App: 

  • Catholic Ethos Finalist 
  • Wellbeing Award Secondary Winner 

All Saints Parish Primary School, Albany Creek with The Multi Bin: 

  • Best Engineered Product Award Primary Winner 

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:  

The STEM MAD National has been supported by the Catholic Network Australia (CNA). 

For the full list of category winners, including the students' submission videos, visit the CNA website. 

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