The Australian Curriculum supports STEAM learning initiatives through the Science, Technologies, The Arts and Mathematics learning areas and through the general capabilities.
In creating Ascot's vision for STEAM learning, we consulted with our broader community and were guided by the Department's Schools of the Future: A strategy for STEM in Queensland schools to embed the mindset, toolset and skillset of inquiry within teaching and learning. Ascot State School is proud of our distinctive STEAM Education program that is embedded across all Prep to Year 6 classes.
Teachers work alongside a Head of Department: STEAM, to engage children in meaningful and relevant STEAM experiences. Our teachers integrate STEAM knowledge, understanding and skills into learning through an interdisciplinary approach that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.
STEAM education provides students with authentic learning challenges that foster skills such as:
- respect and cooperation
- problem solving
- critical thinking and
- communication skills
Ascot has two distinct learning environments that support students with their STEAM learning – a STEAM Lab and Makerspace, fitted out for our junior students to engage in robotic learning, play and discovery and also a Science Lab, fitted out with flexible bench space, furniture and equipment for students to conduct scientific investigations and experiments.
Our students are privileged to access a range of current and emerging technologies to support their STEAM learning, including 3D printing; use of virtual reality headsets to design and construct their own 3D worlds; flying and coding Tello drones; and access to educational robotic devices and software for both junior and upper primary students, including beebots, Dash robots, Spheros, Scratch programming, Ev3 robots, Spike Prime robots and Microbits.
Students have access to our STEAM Lab and Makerspace during their lunch breaks to explore and develop their curiosity further. Our Year 6 elected STEAM Seniors are pivotal in assisting our younger students in this space during this time.
Ascot hosts an annual STEAM Week, where we celebrate STEAM education across the whole school. All students participate in incursions, class activities and lunch time activities where we highlight the importance of Science, Technologies, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics.
Ascot provides extra-curricular opportunities and experiences for students who exhibit excellence or interest in pursuing this area of learning further. We provide opportunities for students to participate in STEAM competitions such as First Lego League; Fuse Cup; Lunchtime Minecraft and Coding Clubs; and cluster opportunities with nearby schools.
Through STEAM education, our students are encouraged to take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!