STEM Punk Innovation Sports Competition

Innovation Sports is an Australian first competition that brings together Design Thinking, Creativity and Technology in a sporting environment with Minecraft as the building tool.

STEM Punks invited 8 schools in the SEQ region – each team had 4-6 students, the students were given the task of what to build on the day, all students used the same equipment (provided by STEM Punks) to ensure equality.

Six girls from Year 5 & 6 competed in STEM Punk’s Minecraft competition in Ipswich. The girls spent the month prior to the competition, during lunch time on Tuesdays, to work through the design thinking process in tackling a challenge to design and create a solution to a ‘kick off’ issue/problem in Minecraft. The girls did very well and received positive feedback from the judges. They did not make the finals; however, they gained so much experience in teamwork, collaborating and communicating and then watched other teams present their solutions.

Between events and after the finals the girls thoroughly enjoyed the many hands-on activities in the World Science Festival which was present. The girls launched rockets, became immersed in virtual worlds to ‘walk a plank on a skyscraper’, hold spiders and a scorpion, create using 3D pens and augmented reality and well as designing and making a carrier for a zipline!

Overall, it was a fabulous day with many learning opportunities.

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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!