The National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) School Education Strategy (2016 – 2026) highlights the importance of skill development in interdisciplinary, critical and creative thinking; problem solving and digital technologies, which are essential in all 21st century occupations.
Hills Grammar Year 7 students are focussed on sustainable energy practices. They have been required to investigate energy usage for heating water, design and construct a solar water heater and design a strategy for more sustainable energy use at home or school.
Samara Mundi commented, “One of the most important and interesting things that we have learnt in the STEM unit was the science of energy; it affected how we constructed our designs, the materials and colours that we used, because we all had to know if they harnessed solar energy or reflected it.”
Plaabon Das and Melanie Dobson agreed, “This unit was very enjoyable because of the cooperation within the group. If we combine as a group and use our previous and newly discovered knowledge, it can help provide more information and ideas for our solar heating devices. Building our water heater was the most enjoyable part of the unit.”
Making connections across these disciplines, examining real energy bills and working collaboratively in indoor and outdoor learning spaces, the groups are in the final stages of testing for their upcoming showcase.
Images: Year 7 Hills Grammar students working on their solar heating devices