Pannawonica Primary School – TDS STEM Innovation Partnership

♪[music]♪ – [Ben] Our school’s purpose is about
ensuring that nobody is left behind or forgotten. And we’re quite mindful of the
fact that we are isolated and we don’t want that to be a perceived
barrier to our students’ education. So it was really important for us that we
engaged with it heavily because we wanted to ensure that our students here had just
as much access to students anywhere in the metropolitan area. It was at the time I
think a group of four of us that formed a STEM committee. And we started by building
a STEM strategic plan that looked over the next three years and what it was
we actually wanted to achieve. – [Tanya] Once we defined our school’s
STEM vision and our purpose then we were tracking our STEM projects back
to, “Is that really part of our vision? Is that really part
of our purpose?” ♪[music]♪ – [Tanya] That’s alright. – [Boy 1] Keep going. – [Ben] For us STEM is the art of
integration, and it’s integrating those curriculum areas along with those general
capabilities to design an open-ended project-based learning experience for our
students. But the key importance in all of that is before we ask our students to
engage in a project, we actually have to explicitly teach them the content. And we
have to explicitly teach them those 21st-century learning skills because
then when they come to the project, we know they’ve got the
skills to be successful. – [Tanya] cardboard? – [Child 1] No. – [Tanya] Rope? Which we’ll
need for the pulley. Beautiful. – [Carolyn] They actually come up with what
they need, so “We’ll need recycled material. Where are we going to
get that?” “Oh, we can buy it. Is that recycled?”
“No, it’s not.” – [Tanya] Do you see
how easy that is? – [Woman 1] Yes. – [Tanya] And that you
could probably do that… – [Kim] They’ve got a planning tool, so
I’ve been able to sit down and plan with Tanya, who’s been driving it as the
coordinator of it. It was nice to just have that planning document so that
we could all talk the same language, but it also allows us our own entry points
of where we’re at and how far we want to take a project. But it also gives us
someone else to bounce ideas off. – [Boy 2] We’re going to need
some on the sides, too. – [Boy 3] Yeah. – [Carolyn] The resilience level in
failing at something was quite low, so now it’s like, “Oh. We failed. What
can we do?” And then they’ll sort it out. They’ll think of
another solution. – [Kim] They don’t just accept the first
thought that comes into their mind. They’ll talk about ideas like they’ll ask
each other questions and you’ll hear them going, “Oh, that’s a really
good idea. I didn’t think of that. Let’s try that.” My little ones love it
because it’s an opportunity for them to shine. I’ve got one in my room who
finds reading challenging and writing challenging, but his creativity when he’s
given a STEM challenge is mind-blowing, and he loves it. And he blossoms because
he’s just got that freedom and his world doesn’t rotate around
reading and writing. – [Boy 4] It’s good fun and we use
different strategies every time. – [Boy 5] I like the gears. – [Boy 4] Yeah, the gears. – [Ben] The biggest support that
TDS has offered is obviously given our, again, relative isolation, the opportunity
to have that face-to-face interaction with other like-minded schools who are
also working in the STEM space. And getting to work with other schools who
are doing that at the same time has really built our capacity. – [Carolyn] It gives each student the
opportunity to gain self-confidence in their own ability. – [Boy 6] Tape around the top first. – [Ben] It’s just getting back to thinking
about what is really good integration and how to create those really rich assessment
opportunities for the students that make learning meaningful. – [Kim] Excited to learn, continue
to learn and add to what I can do and what I’m about to learn how to do. – [Carolyn] It just makes it all the
better when they finally nail it. Their faces are just beautiful. ♪[music]♪

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