Maitland students share their tech-spertise

High school students are helping mentor primary kids in STEM lessons, but as Sven Wright discovers it’s a learning experience for everyone.

Image: Building connections: Maitland Grossman High School students helping out in a STEM class at East Maitland Public School.

Maitland Grossmann High School students have been sharing their expertise in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) with East Maitland Public school students.

Year 9 and 10 high school students have been visiting the Year 6 primary students on a weekly basis, acting as mentors in technology and non-technology STEM sessions overseen by teachers.

Teachers and students completing these activities are not only learning, but having fun doing so.

Teachers at the public school were thrilled to have STEM-minded student helpers and the secondary students were excited to be able to visit one of their former primary schools and help mentor the next generation of high school students soon to come through.

Another benefit from the program was that by building connections like this between schools students are able to transition into high school with confidence.

In addition to the STEM Days, East Maitland Public School has been running term-long STEM projects for Years 3 and 4 on Thursday afternoons.

The schools have continued the partnership with secondary student mentors offering their assistance each week. Both schools look forward to a highly anticipated project showcase later in the year.

East Maitland Public School’s Principal Steve Morgan said the benefits of the program went way beyond supporting primary students’ current learning about STEM.

“Having such enthusiastic older students giving them a glimpse of the exciting stuff you can do with STEM is a real inspiration for ours, who end up thinking more closely about what they might do in future,” he said.

“Plus it’s great to have good material presented in a subtly different way by people who’re so much closer in age.”

Maitland Grossmann High School’s Principal Neil Fara said it was very much a two-way benefit.

“While ever they’re supporting the primary students, ours (high school students) are clarifying their own grasp of the principles, quite apart from gaining the satisfaction of seeing younger students building their understanding of how the different elements of STEM fit together.”

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