Riding the TIDE wave

Riding the TIDE wave

St Catherine’s School in Toorak is dedicating to delivering science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and design programs to girls at all year levels.

The School is at the forefront of these innovative streams of learning, which leading educationalists say will hold the key to success in our rapidly changing world.

“In fact, we are equipping our students with the skills necessary to flourish in careers and industries not even imagined,” St Catherine’s Principal, Mrs Michelle Carroll said.

The School has introduced a new Year 9 and 10 elective called the Augmented and Virtual Reality World, thought to be the first of its kind in Australia.


Alex Borlenghi, Head of Digital Learning and TIDE – technology, innovation, design and engineering -, said: “Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are developing at an amazing rate and we feel that it is worthy of inclusion into our School’s program. The elective is designed to allow our students not only to explore and investigate current and future uses of VR and AR, but also to produce their own content.”

Through the use of VR and AR technology, students have been exploring the streets of Pompeii without leaving the classroom, and history lessons have been transformed with interactive World War II posters.

“Our students are being taken beyond the textbook through state-of-the-art technology to learn complex and unforgettable lessons firsthand,” Mrs Carroll said.

“The activities provide ‘hands-on and minds-on’ lessons for our students as well as making the learning fun and highly engaging.”

Students at St Catherine’s can also learn computer coding, develop electronic circuitry, do hands on 3D design and construction, explore forensic science, investigate renewable energy by making solar powered boats, and devise their own scientific projects through alliances with the Australian Academy of Science and the CSIRO.

Students in Years 1 to 6 can share enthusiasm for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in morning sessions that explore challenging activities to extend thinking.

In Year 3, students extend their knowledge with visits from Senior School STEM specialist teachers each week. In Year 5, students also engage in a weekly “genius hour” that allows them to research any topic that interests them, developing collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking.

St Catherine’s offers day and boarding school education for girls. It has a population of 750 students from the Early Learning Centre to Year 12, with up to 50 students from rural and international communities.


The Weekly Times

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