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Thursday, 22 Sep 2016

A-Maze-ing – STEM units inspire robotics challenge

New STEM units have inspired 52 Covenant Christian School Year 5 students to develop design criteria to produce a maze and use software to code a "bot" to move through the maze.

The project was based on the school’s 10 week trial of the new BOSTES STEM units.

The outcome of the students’ work was the A-Maze-ing event with groups of students racing their robot around the maze.

Over the term the students developed and used their knowledge of the mathematical concepts of angles and length. They measured and constructed angles, applied angle relationships to find unknown angles, and selected and used the appropriate unit and device to measure lengths, distances, angles and duration of travel.

The new BOSTES STEM units combine Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into single units of study based around project based learning. They draw on existing curriculum content and rather than teaching the subject content separately they are contextualised and woven together to develop deeper knowledge and understanding.

The units seek to change the way individual STEM subjects are taught by providing real world applications. There are units being developed for kindergarten all the way to the senior years of high school. Examples of some units include students in Year 1 learning the basics of coding - by devising a dance and then teaching it to their classmates as a sequence of moves.

There are 4 units published so far and 8 more due to be published in December 2016 to be taught in primary schools from 2017. There are also 9 STEM units at various stages of development for high school students as part of this program – all of which will also be available to be taught next year. The robotics challenge is for students in Years 5 and 6 and is called A-Maze-ing.

BOSTES thanked and congratulated the school, which is located in Belrose, for their A-maze-ing work with the new STEM units.

For more information, contact:
Mark Tyler
Inspector, Technology Education
(02) 9367 8454