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STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is an educational approach that supports real world, problem-based learning through the development of rigorous, critical thinking skills, teamwork and an understanding of the ‘design process’.

STEM empowers our students to creatively suggest solutions to problems and is a vehicle for authentic learning that engages the diverse needs of our learners.

At St Ursula’s we understand that becoming a lifelong learner involves gaining the skills to think about problems and find creative solutions. We must cultivate natural learning dispositions, curiosity and inquiry in our students so they can adopt a flexible approach that will accommodate the pace at which the world and knowledge is changing.

STEM is based on capabilities – described as 21st century skills – which underpin the Australian National Curriculum.

Our approach to STEM

At St Ursula’s, we take a ‘fail forward’ approach to STEM. We want our students to come to see – and appreciate – failure as part of the learning cycle, particularly when working to resolve complex problems and develop sophisticated solutions.

Our STEM program works across three key learning areas – mathematics, science and technology – integrating these to help students learn key STEM skills including independent thinking, digital literacy and teamwork.

Our current STEM-based initiatives include:

  • The Plot – our STEM garden provides an outdoor venue for a variety of learning activities that use STEM skills to solve real-world problems. It also provides a ‘plot to plate’ learning experience for students in other areas of the curriculum.
  • Festival of Big Ideas – in collaboration with Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School, we recently held our first Festival or Big Ideas during National Science Week. This will now become an annual event. Our aim with the Festival is to take our students on a fun STEM journey, to ensure they are as prepared as possible for the challenges of future study, work and life.