Video transcript – STEAM learning at Paddington Public School

Tania Riley, Principal:
Hi. My name is Tania Riley and I'm the principal at Paddington Public School. And I'd like to talk about how our STEAM/makerspace initiative has successfully supported students to develop their skills around future-focused learning, particularly in the areas of critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication.

Jeff Johnson STEAM/makerspace teacher:
Hi, my name is Jeff Johnson and I'm Paddington Public School's makerspace teacher. I was asked by the principal in 2015 if I would like to lead the makerspace programme. I was so excited because I'm really passionate about science and technology and also engineering. So, of course, I said yes straight away.

Student 1:
The makerspace is kind of big, spread-out room where you can do loads of things, so loads of people can be in different places at once and there's loads of tips and quotes on the walls to help you design your car or design your building.

Jeff Johnson STEAM/makerspace teacher:
So how does it work in here? Well, each term I sit down with all the teachers on each stage, and I found out some of the concepts that they'll be learning over the term, specifically in science, the science outcomes and also some other KLAs as well. And then what I try and do is align what I'm running in the Makerspace with what they're doing in the classroom. So, for example in stage three at the moment, the students have been looking at renewable and non-renewable energy sources and different types of non-renewable energy. We focus specifically on solar energy. We did a lot of research in solar energy. We found out why solar energy farms are situated in central Australia, and also around the coastal areas. We looked at how solar energy works, solar panels. And students got really excited by the idea of creating, making their own solar-powered car. We went into some concepts of how cars can be energy efficient, so through aerodynamics, through their size, through their weight. We're looking at the wheel size, and the types of material that the wheels are made out of. Looking at all these concepts, students are more able to then put together a design. And once they got the design on paper, they selected one of those designs in teams, and started using the Google SketchUp programme to put their 3-D design into place. Once they created their 3-D design, they then printed these out and labelled, and wrote down some of the materials that they would be using to make their solar-powered cars. They then went into their actual making process. So they started making their solar powered cars. It's through this process that they find that they might meet some points where they fail. And that's exactly what I want them to do because it's when they fail, that they really start to learn. Why did this not work? What went wrong, what can I then do to improve my design, to improve my car, to design a different way. So they then have to go back, try and figure out what it is that needs to be fixed. And from there, they can make improvements to their cars or whatever the project might be. So you can see that they're starting to follow a kind of cyclic process once they're in that engineering process.

Student 1:
Project based learning has helped me persist and be organised on long term projects.

Student 2:
I love that there's always something new to learn about. And there's topics that everyone can be interested in.

Student 3:
Project based learning has really helped us with our skills and teamwork, and I have loved being able to work toward the goal in STEAM and being able to experience all the fun things and challenges along the way.

Student 4:
I like it when we finish the project and when we test it out because if it works, then we feel really happy. And if it doesn't work, then we can look at why it didn't work and then we can improve it. And then it will work.

Student 5:
I personally like building a project the most because the lessons are so practical and they make learning fun.

Student 3 :
It kind of gives us a chance to say what we think and figure it out ourselves rather than just it just being told to us.

Tania Riley, Principal:
Success of this initiative has been evidenced by improved student engagement levels across the school, K-6, particularly in our year five and six grades and with girls as well as boys.

End of transcript

Return to top of page Back to top