Principal nourishes STEM education

A focus on technology and science has created a community around Kingsgrove North High School.

Image: Kingsgrove North High School has a new purpose-built Innovation Hub.

Kingsgrove North High School is reaping the benefits of an innovative approach to STEM education at the school with the opening of a new purpose-built facility.

The school recently opened an Innovation Hub, which was two years in the building thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Principal Angelo Stasos has been pushing the boundaries with STEM delivery since 2017 when it offered Year 9 students an elective in the area for the first time.

Since then the interest in STEM among students has grown and the school now offers STEM learning opportunities for students from Year 7 to 10.

With the growth in interest, Mr Stasos saw the need for a flexible learning environment to support the teaching of STEM at his school so he went about creating the Innovation Hub.

The Hub includes state-of-the-art technologies including 3D printers, drones and a range of robotics to support the school’s STEM program. The school even has its own 3D holograph on display that the students can program themselves.

The space is fitted out with a range of furniture options with lounges, stools, tables on wheels and stackable chairs creating a flexible workspace. The teachers love the flexibility of the room so their students can work independently, in small groups, as well as a whole class.

Deputy Secretary Murat Dizdar, who attended the official opening, said it was fantastic to see students being provided STEM learning opportunities that would lay a strong foundation for their future career aspirations.

“It’s critical that we invest in STEM education as it encourages students to understand and apply data as well as develop solutions to complex, real-world problems,” Mr Dizdar said.

“The flexibility of the space and furniture in the Innovation Hub encourages collaboration among the students which is a necessary aspect of applied learning.”

Mr Stasos has also used the hub as a way to connect with local primary schools and help the transition from Year 6 into high school.

Primary students attend STEM Fundamental workshops facilitated by Kingsgrove North High School teachers to learn coding basics to operate a range of robots and drones.

The primary students access the room on Tuesdays when most of the Kingsgrove North High School students are doing sport.

Mr Stasos also established the cross-school STEM learning community in 2017 with three local primary schools, which has now grown to eight.

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