St Patrick’s host second regional STEM Showcase for 2021
17 November 2021
Students from St Joseph’s College in Albany, St Bernard’s Primary School in Kojonup and St Matthew’s School in Narrogin joined students from host school, St Patrick’s School in Katanning in November for CEWA’s second regional STEM Showcase of 2021.
Following the success ofthe Term Two showcase hosted by Nagle Catholic College in Geraldton, the latest STEM Showcase gave students from schools across the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions a unique opportunity to build relationships and learn together.
St Patrick’s School Principal, Brett Wilkie, said the event provided the students with an opportunity to analyse and consider local and societal needs in the context of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills and knowledge they were developing.
“It (the showcase) promoted the idea that the students are active citizens who can make a difference in their community,
“It exposed them to important skills that will be invaluable to their future while engaging them with their peers from other schools,” Mr Wilkie said.
Student-developed projects shown on the day included a design for an eco-friendly shopping centre for Kojonup, an inclusive and accessible motocross and mountain bike track, a water filter design to help people experiencing homelessness access clean drinking water, and two separate projects countering habitat loss for honeyeaters and possums.
The showcase was possible thanks to collaboration between staff of the schools and CEWA consultants from Perth and the Bunbury regional office. Their aim was to give students a new forum to apply their critical thinking skills for academic and personal growth in a range of areas including sustainability, community engagement, wellbeing, religion, creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship and technology.
The ‘Design Process Model’ was employed for the showcase, with students required to follow the steps of Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test to create the projects that they showed.
CEWA Numeracy Consultant, Benjamin Saulsman, outlined the benefits of the design process model for the students:
“In addition to the development of innovative thinking and creative problem-solving skills, the model requires students to view an issue from multiple viewpoints,
“This encourages them to appreciate others’ points of view and empathise with the required skills to positively influence, as Christians, the rapidly changing world”, he said.
The Katanning-hosted showcase reinforced CEWA’s commitment to creating opportunities for all students to engage with STEM learning, which has been broadly recognised as important for the workforce of the future, and for environmental sustainability.
The STEM Showcase series has created opportunities for students to learn collaboratively and has played a part in CEWA schools striving to give students the chance to engage in quality
STEM learning, regardless of their location across WA, or their gender, in line with the United Nations’ calls for gender equality in education and in STEM fields.