STEM is an acronym which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In STEM, students at Heathcote Primary School learn through interactive, hands on activities to foster an enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Previous areas of studies have included robotics, environmental sustainability, engineering construction, states of matter and biological adaptation.
We have started STEM this year with a focus on sound and how it is produced. Students have investigated vibration and pitch. Using three bottles filled with different levels of water, the challenge was for students to orchestrate “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. This activity allowed students to concentrate on producing three different pitches (or notes). Students extended their knowledge of sound to create their own musical instruments. With an understanding that vibration is required to create the sound for their instruments, everyone was given the opportunity to create a percussion, woodwind or string instrument. Students proudly paraded their creations around the playground.
We have now begun our investigation into light. The junior unit were read The Three Little Pigs but in the world of STEM the poor little pigs hadn’t had a chance to place curtains on the windows and were always being woken up by the light through the windows. The students’ task was to predict which material would provide the best sleep for the pigs and then test different fabrics using a torch and a shoe box.
The senior students performed a series of experiments to try and understand some properties of light. Some of these properties will become important in a few weeks’ time to engineer a solution to a problem.
STEM is an exciting area of study and we strongly encourage students to contribute to future lessons with their own ideas and passion.