The Helix Building has been abuzz this week with Year 10 students engaged in the STEAM+ experiential learning program.
This learning challenge uses Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics and anything else they care to tap into, to develop a solution to a big problem in our world.
A design thinking framework is used, to guide students through a collaborative process to solve the given problem. It is an exciting program and allows students to learn by creating.
College parents Cameron Adams and Lisa Miller assisted us in training our student facilitators and staff in the execution of a Design Sprint. This is a common industry practice that occurs over 5 days with distinct time allocations for each component.
Cameron is a co-founder of CANVA and has worked for Google and both of these multinational tech companies use this process regularly. The Day 1 focus was on Understanding the problem, Day 2, on mapping the journey towards a potential solution, Day 3 focused on a chosen solution and sketched what this may look like. Day 4 was making day, when students built a prototype that demonstrates how their solution will work. On Day 5 teams get to test their ideas on audiences and thereby evaluate their proposed solutions.
The content component for 2021 borrows from the National Science Week theme of Food: Different By Design. Students were challenged with the contrasting issues of excessive food wastage and the fact that 1 in 5 Tasmanians do not have enough food. In sixteen working groups, named – Team Alpha through to Team Papa, after the NATO phonetic alphabet, the Year 10s have spent the week using the Design Sprint Process to address the Food challenges.
To support students through this process, there have been presentations from experts in our community and Scotch Oakburn staff. In addition to Cameron Adams giving the keynote on Monday morning, students and staff have also heard from College parents Jonty Barnett, co-owner of Eden Foods and Archana Brammall from Sweetbrew Café, both innovators in the way they reduce food waste.
On Tuesday morning we welcomed Collegian Marcus Dornauf (’06) who owns Hillwood Berry farm and College parent Sam Reid, director of Willie Smith Cider, who shared further ideas with students on innovative ways to produce food effectively, without producing waste.
Wednesday focused on prototyping and Ed Crick, founder of Flick the Bean and Udder Way shared the creative ideas behind his successes. Design teacher Rob Bastick then focused on the nitty-gritty of prototyping.
Thursday morning Collegian Tara Howell (’08) from Blue Derby Pods Ride addressed the students about how to promote and market ideas before the students launched into creating their prototypes.
On Friday students presented their final ‘elevator pitch’ to their peers. The day finished with the opportunity for students to explain their ideas to parents and guests.
The learning that our Year 10s are experiencing builds and refines workplace skills in innovation, inclusivity, managing timelines and work flow, on difficult tasks. The benefit of this is that student confidence in a range of skills improves enormously in a short amount of time.
Throughout the STEAM+ experience students have had the opportunity to develop their competency around five of our learner attributes. They began the week by self-evaluating their ability to be agile, to collaborate, to self-regulate, to be innovative and to be an effective communicator. They will re-assess themselves at the end of the week.
We are witnessing the development of agility as students develop their learner resilience and the confidence to challenge the status quo. By being more respectful of other’s opinions and becoming more productive they are developing their collaboration skills. By resisting distractions and meeting deadlines students are learning to self-regulate. By creatively thinking outside of the box and taking calculated risks they are learning what it means to be innovative; and while listening carefully to others and calmly discussing their point of view, students are becoming more effective communicators.
Throughout this week we have been heartened to witness the willingness of Scotch Oakburn’s next group of TCE students to work together and learn in a different way. This group of young people have strengthened their existing skills and dispositions and discovered some they did not know they had.
Stuart Walls Head of Senior School
Teachers earn debating win
On Monday 9 August, the tradition of the legendary Staff vs Student debate returned!
The formidable staff team of Mrs Sharon Beattie, Mrs Katy McGuinness and debutant Mr Andy Müller were challenged by the veteran student team of Jack Chesterman, Jordan May Shephard, and Dean Power. Debating the topic that “The teaching of Shakespeare should be compulsory”, the students took the affirmative side with the staff on the negative. Both teams put their best foot forward in what was a thrilling – and very entertaining – debate. Ultimately, with a margin of only one point, the teacher team proved that with age comes wisdom and were able to claim victory.
We would like to thank Mr Stephen King for helping organise the venue, Ms Helen Dosser, students Millie Duigan and Alex Munro for their adjudication, and the victorious team of teachers for their role in helping us celebrate what has been an unforgettable debating season.
Jack Chesterman Year 12
Amelie Hughes (Year 10) won Runner-Up and Charlotte Ball (Year 9) won Highly Commended for the 2021 Whitlam Institute’s What Matters Writing Competition this week in the Year 9-10 section. T
he girls tweaked speeches they had made and submitted them on a whim not realising that their voices really did matter. Over 58 schools were represented in this national competition with a record number of 432 entries from Tasmania. As Tim Bullard, Secretary of the Department of Education, said: “Yes, youth are the leaders of tomorrow and the future, but we need their voices now!”
Both Amelie and Charlotte are congratulated for their courage and eloquent writing.
Katie Lester Person-in-Charge of Public Speaking
From the Futures Centre
1-31 August RMIT Digital Experience & Campus Open Days