Travelling with STEM Punks

Last month I had the opportunity of travelling with Jonathon Nadler from STEM Punks to assist with workshops in three schools. STEM Punks is continuing its multi-year partnership with Inland Rail. We visited regional Victoria and worked with Year 7 to 10 students from Wangaratta High School, GALEN CATHOLIC COLLEGE, and Catholic College Wodonga. Using Design Thinking and STEM problem solving techniques to scaffold exploring, defining and prototyping with Micro:bit and Minecraft, to understand Australia’s largest infrastructure project. It was terrific to have teams from Inland Rail involved. They provided on the spot information and feedback on the students’ precinct designs.

This was written on the Inland Rail website:

Through hands-on engagement, the program connects industry with schools to raise awareness of career pathways and job opportunities within the STEM field, helping to future proof of the industry’s workforce needs. The STEM Punks program has been developed by industry professionals and teachers to align with the Australian curriculum.

The in-school delivery of the program is based on Inland Rail-related problem-solving scenarios and Inland Rail staff attend to provide real world connections for students with STEM professionals and share their knowledge and experience of working on one of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects.

I found the experience to be extremely positive… authentic project!

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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!