Source: Engineers Without Borders
One of our initiatives for 2017 has been to increase the opportunities for our students to be involved in both STEM and STEAM activities that link to real world problems.
The visit by the Engineers Without Borders students from UNSW was an excellent example of the type of projects we are looking to link with. The students worked across all Year 8 Science classes.
Each of the classes had a group of four engineering students to explain the project. They provided background information around a scenario faced by people who live in some of the poorest regions of our planet before going on to explain the challenge for the day.
From there the class was divided into groups, taking on the challenge with limited equipment. Each group had to use a range of skills to come up with a design that could withstand the test they would face at the end of the session.
The test involved placing their construction into a container of water and filling it with marbles. The construction that stayed afloat under the greatest weight was deemed the most successful.
This type of activity connects the students with real world situations faced by people around the planet. They are authentic learning experiences, enabling the students to see the importance of collaboration and communication in the learning process.