The rationale for the development of this Strategy at Kambala is the ever-growing importance of STEM in the world. STEM skills and jobs are increasing; with women continuing to be under-represented in these areas (National STEM Strategy 2016). The development of the Kambala STEM Strategy created purpose and vision for our STEM focus, with three key pillars forming the backbone of our planning and execution.
The three pillars focus on embedding STEM into teacher practices and the curriculum, student led initiatives and co-curricular opportunities and finally connections and immersion in industry and exposure to Women in STEM.
Embedding STEM into the curriculum can take on many forms, from incorporating technology such as robotics or coding into lessons, planning curriculum that develops STEM skills such as problem solving or critical thinking, to making links between STEM subjects and their subject area. Students are exposed to STEM projects throughout their time at Kambala.
As well as having delegated Digital Technologies lessons, students in the Junior School engage in a range of STEM based projects.
- In Transition students develop STEM skills by embarking on problem solving activities linked to both their Science curriculum and their current reading books.
- Year 1 utilises Osmo in order to support literacy and numeracy development as well as Ozobots to drive narratives for EALD development.
- Year 5 embark on a STEM project around Natural Disasters and Bush Fires which incorporates Digital Technology, Science and HSIE components.
- Year 6 carry out a STEM term in partnership with Science in which they design and prototype a solution to environmental problems.
The Senior School benefits from the STEM Champions program in which staff have been appointed to work with their departments in order to embed STEM skills into their curriculum and this can be seen to be evident in the traditional STEM subjects of Science, Technology and Maths but also in a variety of others such as History, English and Geography.
Cross curricular activities
The notion of different departments working together to create exciting and informative experiences is integral to the development of STEM skills and making links between the STEM subjects.
Therefore there has been the development of STEM cross curricular activities, with Year 8 taking part in three days of Bridge Building and Year 7 taking part in three days of a Mission to Mars run by the Science, Technology and Maths departments. Skills that are developed in each area include engineering a bridge, scale drawing and building and budgeting the projects.
STEM clubs are offered for the following year groups:
- Transition STEM Club
- Year 5/6 Coding Club
- Year 3-6 STEM Club
- Year 5/6 Science Club
- Senior School STEM Club
Student Led initiatives
We are very lucky to have two passionate and driven STEM Prefects, with drive to engage girls in STEM.
The Prefects, along with their committee, organise Junior School STEM week, as well as the Senior School taking part in competitions and excursions such AI for Good and the Newcastle Science and Engineering Competition.
Further initiatives include creating a Sundial page in which students can ask Women in STEM questions about their careers and work with the Environmental Committee.
Links with Industry
The Kambala STEM Industry Immersion Program is an initiative for Year 10 girls to experience working in a STEM industry for two full weeks. The aim of the Program is to give students an insight into industries they may not have had chance to investigate before, as well as developing their STEM skills and experience of a workplace team
Opportunities are available at Qantas, Langfield Farm (Agronomy), Aileen Sage Architects, Northrop Engineers, Accordant, Flying Yogis, Charter Hall, The Centenary Institute, Vision X Ray group, SpeeDX and Nine.
Students completes a problem-solving project during their time in order to apply their learned skills and give back to their employers.
Additionally, students in Year 10, 11 and 12 are able to experience the Women in STEM forum, in which three women come to talk about their career and how to get in to the industry. Students are able to ask questions or register for a lunch afterwards in order to find out more.