Students, parents and teachers in the Pilbara took part in a hands-on STEM workshop with Scitech’s ‘Innovate and Create’ evening.
The April event at Baynton West Primary School demonstrated the importance of STEM education in the regions, helping to promote critical thinking and problem solving in students.
Over the course of the evening, teachers and Scitech staff worked closely with families to build programmable robots capable of moving, singing and dancing.
Students and their parents used craft supplies alongside MindStorm robotic technology to build their EV3 Robots. During the workshop, new STEM teaching practices were employed to improve teacher confidence and student engagement in the classroom.
Parent Bec Smith attended the event with her 4 children and said the evening helped bridge the STEM knowledge gap between students and parents.
“I think it created an environment which was low pressure and fun to learn about technology and things that our kids already know about,” Ms Smith said. “It was great having the opportunity to learn alongside them.”
“For me, that was the first time I sat at the computer doing the coding part of it. The kids really enjoyed it and certainly asked if we will be doing it again which was awesome.”
Bec said she was impressed by the impact the evening had on her children, saying it had really pushed them to engage with STEM outside of school.
“We’ve got my parents coming up tomorrow from Victoria and they are quite infirm,” she said. “One of my kids has been designing a robot which can go and get them drinks and is controlled by a remote control!”
Baynton West STEM leader and Year 4 teacher, Jesse Weston, says the school’s teachers have also experienced impact from the program. He believes the program has already helped to build teacher confidence when it comes to working with new technology.
“The ‘Innovate and Create’ night provided a new perspective on technology and the ways teachers could implement a range of technology into their classroom,” Mr Weston said. “I found this event was a valuable learning experience for everyone involved and a great opportunity for parent engagement in student learning.”
“The student’s imaginations were ignited by the nights activities and they brought that passion into the classroom which changed their attitude towards trying new technology.”
The ‘Innovate and Create’ event is run by Scitech in partnership with Chevron’s Pilbara Teacher Support Program. Baynton West Primary School have been working with Scitech as part of the Pilbara Teacher Support Program for a number of years.