Video transcript – The impact of a STEM culture
Emily Signorini, Head Teacher STEM:
At Casula High School, we are very future focused because we have to be.
We know that we must arm our students with the skills they need to be competitive in a global market.
Student: Jeremy, School Captain:
Casula High School has an enrolment of approximately 800 students including over 60% of non-English speaking background and over 20 Aboriginal students.
All staff and students are encouraged to be change leaders and embrace a growth mindset.
"I never lose, I either win or learn," by Nelson Mandela.
Casula High School believes that STEM education is not only about the deep understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics but also about accompanying skills such as problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
We know that 75% of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills and that these skills are highly valued by employers. Therefore, our establishment of a STEM culture has included professional development for all staff across all learning areas.
In 2016, all staff enjoyed taking part in a Can We Code professional learning workshop. 96% of staff wanted to continue learning about coding and its application into their learning areas.
I like coding because it's challenging and I learnt how to be more patient and when I'm older, I would like to have a job that involves technology and coding.
This Casula Code Factory is professionally resourced with state of the art computers, robotics, and coding equipment.
Just as importantly it is arranged as a student-centered, futures learning space to allow for effective collaboration and problem solving from all students.
Even our parents have enjoyed attending workshops where they have set up Raspberry Pis to code circuits in Python and use of 3D printers.
A partnership that began as a grant has flourished into a significant relationship. This has been due to the hard work of the salesforce.org volunteers who have provided continual tours of their workspaces for our students, helped our students build robots and use Raspberry Pis. They have run professional learning for our STEM teachers. They have showcased their success and professionalism at our own International Women's Day events and many more.
This commitment of manpower has enabled our students to not only have the knowledge of coding but also understand where a career in STEM can take you.
What I really enjoy about STEM is the freedom you get during class time.
That's what I wanna strive for in the future as a job.
What I really wanna do in the future is a computer engineer so I think this subject will help me a lot.
One of our recent projects was to build a robot without wheels and I really enjoyed that because we got to be creative with our robots.
Our engagement with coding as a part of STEM education has been inspired by one of our expert mathematics teachers Mr Raffaele Fantasia.
Mr Fantasia began entering students into the NCSS Python Challenge back in 2014.
Mr Raffaele Fantasia:
And I decided to run this extracurricular program due to my passion for real-world mathematics and my desire to arm students with the coding skills they would need for the future. Students self-nominated to be part of the group and we worked over a series of five weeks to complete the challenges.
So it was an international competition and we've been continuing it every year. So back in 2014, we started with just one small group of students of three students, and we grew that to three groups in 2016 with one of those being specifically an all-girls group which we had a lot of success with.
I like the tech girls of superheroes because it's very challenging.
We get to make an app and we also got paired up with a mentor and I like visiting her in her office.
I really enjoy the first Lego week. I like coding the Lego and working as a team to solve the challenges.
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