What is STEM?
OLR is proving it is at the forefront of the introduction of STEM into primary schools. STEM, which refers to the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, has been identified by the Australian Government as an area for future growth and innovation.
A dedicated STEM Lab opened two years ago, which is run entirely by volunteer parents and teachers. It gives students the opportunity to engage creatively with various cutting edge resources, including the popular Dash and Dot robots and Little Bits Electronics to make simple circuits with lights and buzzers, as well as learning engineering concepts through tower building competitions and creating various structures and machines. The open ended nature of the tasks and engaging resources tap directly into a child's innate curiosity and creativity, whilst teaching them about the technology which drives our world. The Coding Club has given children the opportunity to progress at their own pace and level through various structured coding platforms.
At least 75% of the fastest growing occupations of the future will require STEM skills and we need to prepare children for these jobs by including STEM education at the primary school level. In late 2015 Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, released a position paper urging primary schools to embrace the digital technology age. "In a rapidly changing world, which is increasingly dependent on science, technology and mathematics, we need to be producing students with a high level of literacy in these areas - the keys to the future. It all starts in primary schools".
"We aim to prepare our students for the future, by engaging them in learning experiences in areas that provide a foundation for the challenges and opportunities they will face as they get old." says OLR Principal, Andrew Oberthur.