St Catherine’s is committed to the continual development of our innovative STEM programs to expose our students to STEM related concepts and, through exploration, develop within each of our girls a passion and confidence for STEM.
One of the most significant challenges facing society, education and the young people of today is the changing nature of work. With many industries and traditional career paths disappearing largely due to automation, globalisation and the constant change created by technological innovation and the internet, there has been an unprecedented and corresponding push in education to revitalise interest in subjects related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Currently, there is a significant disparity between the numbers of young women enrolled in STEM qualifications – only 19 per cent. While women make up 60 per cent of the non-STEM based course qualifications. As an all girls’ school, St Catherine’s believes it is vital to engage girls in STEM based learning opportunities.
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning which blends the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into a cohesive learning paradigm.
STEM focuses on these areas together – not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. The underlying purpose of STEM education is therefore to equip students with critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and communication skills, necessary for future success in a wide range of occupations.
STEM curriculum at St Catherine’s:
- focuses on real-world issues and problems
- guided by the design process
- immerse students in hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration
- involve students in collaborative co-construction of knowledge
- require children to apply knowledge and skills to solve problems and naturally inspire them to seek further knowledge and improve their skills
- allow for multiple right answers and re-frame failure as a necessary part of learning.
Students in the graduating class of 2016 were offered tertiary places in STEM-related fields, revealing a positive trend for St Catherine’s girls to aspire to careers in the science industry.
STEM Programs offered at St Catherine’s School
|Junior School||Senior School|
|STEM in the Mornings (Years 1 to 6) allows students to share their enthusiasm for STEM through intriguing and challenging activities that extend their thinking||TIDE (Technology, Innovation, Design and Engineering) Program (Years 7 to 8) further expanding students’ knowledge in STEM the TIDE Program involves students in activities including coding and solar boat construction and engineering.|
|Year 3 Specialist STEM Program – extends and enriches student knowledge and understanding of STEM through exploration of projects, tasks and creative activities||Years 9 & 10: The Augmented and Virtual World|
Students have the opportunity to learn about the development of augmented and virtual reality systems and their growing use in daily life. Students use and explore a variety of virtual and augmented reality technologies in order to gain an understanding how these technologies work.
|Year 5 Genius Hour – student led research and enquiry session that develops critical thinking and investigative skills as well as creativity, collaboration and communication skills||Years 9 & 10 Digital Girl: Online Design|
The subject looks at our place in the world and our responsibility in contribution to an online world. The course is divided into three areas: Navigating the Web, Engaging Online, and Creating and Communicating.
|CSIRO CREST Program – CREativity in Science and Technology encourages students to design and implement their own scientific investigations||Years 9 & 10 Clinical & Forensic Psychology|
Within Science, Psychology aims to describe, explain and predict human behaviour; in doing so it relies on scientific procedures. This course provides a challenging yet accessible introduction to the science of Psychology with an emphasis on the different fields of Psychology. It focuses on Clinical Psychology, in particular, the brain, sleep and dreaming, as well as the role of the Forensic Psychologist.
|Australian Academy of Science & Australian Government Primary Connections Program – available from Prep to Year 6 the Program develops students’ knowledge, skills, understanding and capacities in both Science and Literacy to ask the big questions about why and how things are||Science Academic Honours Program|
The Science Honours Program is designed to extend students’ understanding and interest in the physical sciences.
|Computer Coding||Mathematics Academic Honours Program|
The Mathematics Academic Honours Program aims to develop breadth of mathematical experience through exploring problems beyond the confines of the syllabus, develop analytical and problem-solving skills and foster a sustained enthusiasm for Mathematics.
|3D Design and Construction|
|Forensic Science – (Years 5 and 6) utilising scientific techniques students collect and analyse evidence, including fingerprints and footprint casting, as well as honing their problem solving and critical thinking skills|
STEM in the News articles of interest