As the building works begin on our STEAM lab and we think about exciting STEAM learning opportunities for our students in 2018, it is important to stop and think about why learning in the lab will be so important for our students.
Building the STEAM Lab means more to us than just developing student capacity in science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths. It is about engaging, inspiring and transforming the way our students connect with their learning. We want them to be able to think scientifically, take risks, learn from and embrace failure and collaborate with each other to explore problems, find solutions and express themselves creatively.
In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.
The STEAM lab will be a place where students are able to build things, take things apart, tinker with things, plan and perform experiments and apply and learn concepts through hands-on activities. Whilst some activities require the use of coding and technology, plenty of other will rely on recycled materials, cardboard or lego.
Encouraging students to take risks, be creative and accept mistakes as part of the learning/creative process can also transform the way they work in other subject areas back in the classroom. For example, when writing, we want students to develop an understanding that writing, re-writing and re-writing again is essential to the creative process.
At this stage we are well on track to have the Lab ready to use for the beginning of 2018. All teaching staff will be involved in a whole day Professional Development session on STEAM Learning on the first day that teachers return next year (29th January, student free day). This PD will take place in our lab and be taken by Swinburne University. We will then continue to build staff capacity throughout the year with regular Professional Development.