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Since 2009, the P&F Community Grants program has funded over $300,000 for more than 40 projects fostering opportunities for students to partake in a comprehensive, holistic educational experience.

The Community Grants Program was established to provide financial assistance to parent support groups who seek to develop and improve the educational experience of St Peters students. The Program allows for total annual grants of $75,000, split into two rounds of funding with $37,500 on offer in each round.

Two such grants have provided St Peters students with innovative Science, Technology and Arts (STEAM) educational experiences that extend beyond the classroom.

The Visual Arts Department received a P&F grant to fund a two-day event that enabled students to combine Science and Art studies with a Melbourne- based company called the Scale Free Network (SFN), a group of scientists and artists who support STEAM by bringing Science and Art together.

“I believe it is a positive step that the P&F have been willing to fund this type of project,” Julie Seidel, Curriculum Leader of Arts at St Peters Indooroopilly, remarked.

The grant for the SFN program provided students and staff from Science and Visual Art with a unique opportunity to bring both subject areas out of the classroom into a more public space.

Through the Scale Free Network, students created drawing studies of water and other microorganisms using micrographs and video filmed through the microscope to produce unique works that were presented at VAPAr, the College’s Visual Art and Performance Review.

Julie hopes the program will pave the way for similar initiatives in the future. 

“There is considerable enthusiasm for developing STEAM projects at the College and this model can be enhanced and developed,” Julie said.

“The financial support, resources and facilities that this program provided will continue to benefit the students and art staff well after the event,” she explained. 

The Robotics Club also applied for and secured a P&F Community grant to purchase additional robotics equipment for student use.

Simon Canfield, from St Peters Exceptional Learners Department, heads up Robotics as an extra-curricular activity for 150 students in Years 5-12.

The rising popularity of robotics has placed an increasing demand on St Peters to provide new equipment.

“The grant allowed us to purchase up-to-date equipment for all of our students from Years 5-12,” Simon explained.

“Anything to do with technology means constant improvement and change. This grant has meant that we can modernise our equipment, purchase new playing fields and upgrade our storage,” Simon said.

Simon explained the Robotics group caters to all levels of interest and abilities and there is an increasing interest amongst Year 7 students who undertake a subject in Digital Technology as they learn how to program a robot to complete a series of challenges.

“Some students are brand new and have never built a robot, some are competing in international competitions and getting top five places,” Simon said.

“With a growing interest in robotics at St Peters, improved by outstanding results at a national and international level, we are able to provide further challenges for our students,” he said.