STEM at Domremy
24th July 2017
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a strategic priority for our students and our teachers are continuously linking many of the curriculum STEM related subjects to authentic, real life scenarios.
Last term we hosted children from some of the local primary schools for a STEM gifted and talented day, where the Year 4 primary students mentored by their Domremy buddies, created and launched catapults.
Last week, Year 8 students took part in a STEM day at the College. The day signalled the beginning of a topic in which students will work in groups to design and create a model of a sustainable and eco-friendly house. During the day an architect presented to the students on the design process. The owner of a sustainable house in Chippendale also spoke to the students about the features of his house that make it eco-friendly, including the use of solar panels and compost toilets. The day ended with volunteers from the University of NSW running workshops with the students on the theme of sustainable housing.
The College sees the importance of challenge and persistence in mathematics and this is introduced early to Year 7 students and incorporated into the Year 7 mathematics curriculum. The wide variety of STEM careers that are and will in the future be available to our students, is highlighted through various other initiatives, such as a Year 10 STEM day run by women engineers from the University of NSW; having Year 10 students visit the University of Sydney to listen to and do experiments with women scientists; or enrichment opportunities, such as the life changing study tour to NASA to participate in the HASSE Space Schools in the USA where girls take part in a hands-on program of teamwork and growth skills all the while involved with simulated missions, forensics or marine biology training.
Additionally the College takes part in the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Titration Competition; the STARS enrichment programme for Science; attendance at the Sydney University Annual Science Lecture series; and contemporary technology training offered through the College’s technology program which involves 3D printing, coding and robotics, including competing in the Robocup Challenge.
Matthew Couani, Science Co-ordinator at the College says, “We’ve got girls choosing the maths and science subjects more and girls choosing the higher maths more. We’ve purchased 3D printers and a whole set of Lego Robotics kits which are used in our Lego Robotics program, and we are encouraging girls to be involved more in areas such as coding and programing, both the theory and practical elements of both competencies.”
Mr Couani adds that it is the immersive STEM experiences and extra curricular opportunities that inspire and challenge his students most. He says that “If just one of those experiences is what catapults them into a STEM career, then they will be well placed to enter rapidly changing workplaces, and that is also what we are aiming to prepare them for at school.”