A unique feature of learning at Calamvale Community College is the challenging problem-based learning undertaken in the STEAM. Students work collaboratively to solve real-world problems using advanced understanding and skills in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. Classes in STEAM take place in a dedicated space, equipped with new technologies in virtual reality hardware and software, laser scanning and 3D printing, and a fully equipped workshop with more traditional tools.
STEAM incorporates a range of identified 21st century skills, such as critical and creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, effective communication and personal and project management skills. Units of work are expertly crafted by a team of specialists in these fields, and are comprehensively mapped to the Australian Curriculum in each of the discipline areas. This combination of transferrable, real-world skills and deep learning within and between the disciplines place our students in the forefront of this field, and prepares them for successful senior secondary and tertiary studies in a range of fields.
The STEAM process
Students utilise Design Thinking as a guide to solving the problems posed in this subject. They work through this model as a team, tracking their progress through a negotiated project management timeline. This process incorporates undertaking EEIs (Extended Experimental Investigations) to explore the Science elements of their task, making complex mathematical calculations required for aspects of design, and working through multiple cycles of ideation, prototyping and testing, involving critical and creative thinking.
STEAM Residential scholarships
In 2017, Calamvale Community College inaugurated a Scholarship program for girls to undertake a 3-day residential program in a chosen area of STEAM. The aim of this scholarship is to promote STEAM careers to high achieving girls. This year, three students from Year 8 APEX were awarded the scholarship, and undertook 3-day workshops in advanced mathematics, genetics and psychology. In 2018, this scholarship opportunity will again be offered, and will be open to high achieving girls in Years 5 to 8. Details about the application process will be available in early 2018.
Students learn the knowledge and skills which underpin STEAM in extra-curricular activities and electives. Currently, students in Junior School have opportunities to be involved in creating projects using Lego Robotics, WeDo and create their own inventions the MakerSpace. Students across the College also compete in the ACER Video Game Challenge, honing their programming skills by creating games around this year’s theme of ‘Reactions’. Students in Junior Secondary can also choose to undertake Robotics or STEAM as an elective during school time.