STEM Centre





May 2017 update


What is STEM?


STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons.

Students apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it, the ability to compete in the new economy.

Kew High School is working to provide additional professional development opportunities for staff to enhance STEM education as well as providing a space where STEM learning can be most effective. A space where students can make things, experiment and work together on STEM projects and activities. To achieve this goal, we want to build a STEM Centre.

So, this is what has happened so far:

  • The school is developing a strategy for STEM education at Kew High
  • Mr Bernie McGrath has been appointed STEM Coordinator.
  • Sam Wakelam has been appointed student leader in STEM.
  • Our leading educators have been to visit several schools that have implemented STEM teaching to observe how these schools are doing this as well as looking at their specifically-designed spaces for STEM.

The following activities are planned for 2017:

  • A Day of STEM is planned for Semester 2 during which all students will be involved in STEM activities for the day.
  • A Girls in STEM program
  •  A Digital Technologies Expo assisted with funding support from the federal government through its Digital Literacy Grants Program.

Work is moving ahead on designing a STEM Cell (Room/s) for teaching STEM at Kew this year.

STEM Centre design: Bernie McGrath and Sam Wakelam are consulting with staff and students on design options for the new STEM Centre. They are seeking feedback on what the STEM Centre could look like, what we would like to do in it and what we currently are prevented from doing.  








Nov 2016 update


The Centre is more than just a building, we are aware that we are creating an educational springboard for our students to thrive in the future world of work. The educational leaders within the school are preparing the pedagogy that will drive the transformation of STEM learning within the school. In doing so we are informing ourselves of the requirements of new learning spaces, meeting Christine Redman from the University of Melbourne and other leaders in STEM. In 2016 we had our first "Day of STEM", inspiring our students with robotics, engineering and new concepts. We have also created a new educational leadership position of STEM Lead Teacher, Bernie McGrath and appointed a new STEM Student Leader, Sam Wakelam.


We have engaged with the community to understand and connect with STEM. Most notable was the visit of Professor Ian Chubb, former Chief Scientist of Australia, to Kew High to talk to students and staff about the value of STEM learning both to students and the country. Ian was generous with his time and the students were enthralled by his insight and anecdotes. We continued our close and productive relationship with the local Community Banks, and Bendigo Bank representatives. We met with the three local members of parliament that represent our student catchment, and were visited by Maggie Farrell of the Australian Industry Group who engaged with our leading teachers to consider how STEM may connect with local industry. Professor Geoffrey Brooks visited Kew High on several occasions in his role as Guest Mathematician. Professor Brooks held the position of Pro-Vice Chancellor (Future Manufacturing) at Swinburne University and as of October 2016 assumed a new position as Director of the Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing (China).


In 2017 in order to raise the profile of stem in the school we will provide a collaborative space for staff to interact/brainstorm STEM ideas and programs as well as trial resources and practices in preparation for proposed STEM centre. Students will be able to meet and work with our Stem Captain or on group projects using STEM resources such as the 3D printers with teacher guidance and supervision. There will also be a space to support lunchtime clubs in the classrooms in close proximity. It is envisaged that this will raise the profile of STEM at Kew High School.


In 2017 our year seven program will incorporate STEM units of work for the first time. A number of staff will work across the STEM Learning Areas allowing for a team teaching approach and the sharing of expertise and resources and allowing for the trial of new technologies.


The STEM Centre working group will continue its commitment to STEM, progressing the STEM agenda further in 2017.