Heathdale flower 06th June 2019

Is STEM Just a Fad?

Hot button education topics come and go, but will STEM education change the world?

Heathdale flower

To be honest, sometimes in education, fads come and go. In newsletters past I’ve written about starting to focus more on STEM Education at Heathdale Melton. You may well be asking whether STEM is just another buzzy topic, or will educating students in this way truly make a difference to a global world?

All good questions. STEM is a way of thinking. It is about skill building and the use of how Science, Technology, Mathematics, and the Engineering and Design process, can be used to create possible solutions to problems. 

For example: In a traditional classroom, students might be asked to research ways to stop litter going down the stormwater drains. They present a poster to the class, explaining what they consider to be the best solution.

In a STEM classroom, students would be asked to design, build, test and re-design if necessary an actual solution to the problem of litter going down the stormwater drain. It’s not just about robotics and coding – these are part of a bigger picture. STEM learning requires critical thinking, engaging and relevant learning experiences, and perseverance.

You are all aware that the future of jobs is uncertain. In this fast-paced, technological world, many of the careers your children will one day have may not even exist yet. Therefore my focus will be on ensuring children possess problem-solving skills, innovative and creative thinking, and digital skills. Future generations need to learn how to think critically and flexibly in order to adapt to this rapidly-changing world. 

You may also have read that recruitment and retention of women into science, maths and engineering is also less than their prominence in medicine, law and business. Women are 12% less likely to go into a maths-heavy STEM degree than men. By starting STEM early at Heathdale we hope to encourage girls to confidently pursue careers in this area. 

Many countries are now outperforming Australia in their Maths and Science trends. It is ever more important that we train our children for their future in a global and technological economy. It is not our plan to replace traditional Maths and Science classes as they absolutely have their place. However, it is our plan to add onto these classes by embracing STEM education. 

Our parent partners are an incredibly valuable part of our school community. And I trust you would agree it’s critical we get this right for the future of our kids. So if STEM is an expertise of yours or a family member, help us embark on our new journey and partner with us in this exciting space by emailing me at yharvey@heathdale.vic.edu.au