STEM resumes in schools for 2019

STEM excellence: Students working together to build a balloon powered car. Photo supplied.
STEM excellence: Students working together to build a balloon powered car. Photo supplied.

Upper Lachlan Shire schools will again showcase the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) program this year.

The pilot program was introduced last year.

In 2019, STEM will launch at Mulwaree High School, Bradfordville Public School, and Wollondilly Public School. They will be introduced to the Industry School Partnership Program on May 21.

Project officer at Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDA), Camilla Staff said, the program allows industry and primary and secondary students to connect and solve real-world problems.

On May 8, around 150 students from six schools attended the first of this years' programs at Crookwell High.

At the launch were GoTerra, a start up business in Canberra that transforms food waste into stock feed using maggots. Students got up close to the maggots and learned about the business.

"Connecting students with inspiring role models like Olympia (from GoTerra) forms the foundation of this program," said Ms Staff.

"It's great that our local industries are so keen to be involved in this project and take time out of their day to work with students and help build their skills for the future."

Also at the launch, students in groups of 3-5 participated in two challenges.

STEM: Ingrid Clements, Felicity Abbey and Rebecca Dark from Crookwell High School with Camilla Staff from RDA Southern Inland. Photo supplied.

STEM: Ingrid Clements, Felicity Abbey and Rebecca Dark from Crookwell High School with Camilla Staff from RDA Southern Inland. Photo supplied.

In the first challenge, an engineering design process, students had to build a swing out of limited materials that could hold up an egg. In the second challenge, students had to build a balloon powered car.

For the rest of the year students will work, alongside industry mentors, to answer the question: how can we enhance our use of renewable energy in everyday life? The children said they wished they had electrical devices like, electric fishing rods, hoverboards, robotic horses and flying cars.

RDA will again facilitate the relationship between schools and industry to provide students with age-appropriate STEM skills and real-life STEM applications.

Industry partners including the community engagement officer at Gullen Range Wind and Solar Farm, Isabel Nelson, and Olympia and Elena from GoTerra.

The program is funded by the NSW Department of Education.