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Tag Archives: Project-based learning

Junior Students Inspired to Pursue MC Robotics Club Opportunities

Over 70 students Years 4-6 have flocked to an opportunity to join the MC Robotics Teams in 2019.  On Thursday at lunchtime, Mr Chris Swafford hosted an information session for students to check out the VEX IQ robots, learn about the MC Robotics program, hear about the various team member roles, and use the robots to navigate the course and its obstacles.

It was a fantastic turnout to the first information session, about the program which will run throughout Terms 3-4.  VEX Robotics competitions fall within the STEM and Digital Technologies curriculum, and delivers hands-on, project based learning through which the engineering process is taught – and experienced – in a uniquely engaging way!

The program will feature intraschool competitions between MC teams, which will test the students’ skills before progressing to competitions against other schools later in the year. 

We acknowledge the support of the Macquarie College PTA for their contribution to the investment in the robot devices.

   

 

Year 9 Design and Technology Projects Completed

Year 9 Design and Technology students have had an energetic start to the year. Students broke the ice getting to know each other, working collaboratively and learning about broad design concepts with the bridge challenge activity which was made from skewers and marshmallows. Students then moved into their first individual task of the year, designing and creating a door hanger. By keeping the design brief broad, students have been able to explore a variety of materials and techniques as well as develop a project that met their specific needs. Students have now moved onto their next challenge which is creating personal accessories out of a variety of alternative materials. 

Year 9 Industrial Technology Update

Students had a great start to their Industrial Technology course learning about all about timber. Students will spend year 9 primarily working with timber and move into year 10 to learn about metal as a way to explore different materials within the subject. The introductory project in year 9 was to design and construct a laminated chopping board. Students have spent the past few weeks learning how to use hand tools as well as power tools to create their individual projects. Students achieved a high level of success and are now working on their major project for the year which is their model toy truck. 

 

STEM Academy Workshop Inspires Staff

The University of Sydney hosted an intensive three-day workshop in Newcastle recently, for members of it’s STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy program.  Macquarie College delegates Mrs Michelle Cottier (Head of Mathematics),  Mrs Deb McCord (Head of Science) and teacher Mrs Stephanie Chaumont participated in the highly interactive program. 

Participants were tasked with the STEM project of making our own solar cookers. After splitting the group into Math teachers and Science Teachers, the Math teachers were given a formula to follow were the Science staff were given a task to cook a piece of frozen pizza using a pizza box and other materials. Using our understanding of reflection and absorption we were able to successfully cook our pizza, crispy bottom and all.

The math teachers worked with an equation to create a parabolic mirror, that had a focus point for the sun’s rays to concentrate on. The math teachers were able to cook a bunch of different things.  Mrs Cottier chose to heat a pencil, which she successfully heated to the point of generating smoke.

The STEM Academy is a 12 month program for teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, to help advance the level of STEM learning opportunities throughout Macquarie College.  Watch this space for some more news in coming weeks about STEM developments and student projects.