As we look forward to our Business and Careers Expo on 2 September, we decided to have a go at becoming builders, architects and engineers in a range of STEM projects. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Rather than teaching these as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into ‘interdependent’ learning opportunities based on real-world applications. Students were provided with materials - ice block sticks, rubber bands and rolls of tape only.
In the morning block, students were builders, creating the tallest or most original building. After designing plans and collaborating with classmates, results were announced:
Tallest building - Declyn and Keanu 33cm
Most intricate design - Harry
Most interesting concept - Lizzie and Asharntay
Cosiest building - Lauren
Tallest tower - Adam 30cm
Tallest wall - Tori and Jorja 33cm
Best two-storey tent - Chelsea and Finn
Sturdiest structure - Stella
Cutest design - Bella T
Best design using no tape - Holly
Strongest design - Nathan, Asti and Baylee
Most perseverance - Evie and Bella F
In the middle block during electives, students were architects, learning about blueprints, birds’ eye views and labelling. The afternoon gave students the opportunity to be more creative and make designs of their own choosing. Catapults were popular, and many followed basic instructions on YouTube to make a successful prototype. Check out our short video.
My tower was the tallest. It was 33cm. It fell over a few times so we had to fix it. Tori
My building won’t break. Nathan
My building is actually a giant lounge chair. Lizzie
Mine is a bunny shape. Bella T
Watch the catapult video here
Key competencies used by students were participating and contributing, and relating to others. These skills don’t always come naturally. We have to learn to listen and take on others’ ideas and to keep trying when it gets hard.
Students enjoyed the day of STEM. Ministry of Education website Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) states that students who participate in STEM learning:
think outside the box
feel safe to express innovative and creative ideas
feel comfortable doing hands-on learning
take ownership over their learning
work collaboratively with others
understand the ways that science, maths, and technology work together
become increasingly curious about the world around them and feel empowered to change it for the better.
Keywords: STEM, electives, Mall in the Hall