These students show that STEM is about both creativity and science, writes Nathan Scolaro
Students are bringing together creativity and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in the classroom to construct all kinds of innovative projects, from apps and robots to vehicles and buildings.
Incorporating design thinking, group work and practical tasks in STEM educations helps students develop essential skills that can be applied to a range of real-world projects and challenges.
Preshil in Kew has designed programs to help young people connect their understanding of STEM to their lived experiences.
Principal Josh Brody says one such example is Playworlds, where kindergarten and primary school students actively participate and apply the skills they are learning to genuine problems that have been introduced within their play.
“Teachers intentionally introduce problems within this shared imaginary space that motivates the children to draw on their existing STEM understandings and creatively work out solutions together,” he says.
Knowing how to use STEM skills rather than simply understanding them empowers students at Preshil to make more meaningful contributions to the world, Brody says.
“We are already seeing great success with this in our Changemaker Program in our secondary school, which aims to empower students to become agents of positive change in their communities.
“Students are encouraged to think critically, collaborate effectively, and bring their unique perspectives and passions to bear on real-world challenges. Ultimately, the goal is to equip the next generation with the tools and mindset to make a lasting difference in the world.”
Brody agrees that STEM provides an incredible launching pad of the creative mind. He says that as children explore scientific concepts through their play, they continually draw on their imagination and creativity to implement concepts in new ways.
“STEM, creativity and collaboration consistently lead children down unexplored paths and to the development of new ideas.”