STEMville Amusement Park

STEMies is an afternoon club where the girls come to define themselves as makers, inventors, and creators. It provides a safe place for girls to give ideas ‘a go’ and to learn that it’s OK for things to not work first time. By iterating and making changes to improve designs, the girls develop a growth mindset, realising that by persevering and working hard many things can be achieved.

During home-based learning in Term 2 STEMies Club members were invited to use DC motors, battery packs, wire and switches (kits were picked up from school) to design and make a ride which we could include in an amusement park. I posted You Tube clips of card-board rides which had been motorised, with this inspiration the girls started making……a few Dads also got behind the idea! Girls sent photos of their progress which inspired others to give it a go!

Once school returned the rides were brought in and the girls started to put the park together, those who hadn’t made a ride then started and others who had, made food stalls, toilets, entrances and exits, people, picnic tables, trees, decorations. The girls wrote up ideas on our shared whiteboard wall names for the park. After voting “STEMville Amusement Park” was founded!

The girls had plenty of challenges in designing and creating the rides, how to make the circuit with a switch, where to place the motor, to balance the ride….not too heavy or too light….too fast or too slow!

Overall, it was lots of fun as it grew and students around the school would come to see what had been added. The final evening for Term 3 STEMies,

teachers were invited to see the park. The girls enjoyed sharing their journey in ‘making’ with an audience.


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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!