Once considered more traditional and stand-alone subjects, Science, Engineering and Maths are experiencing a remarkable transformation as the concepts of STEM and STEAM take hold. STEM, as an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, was first used by Science educator Charles Vela in the USA in the 1990’s (*1). With Art added to the mix to form STEAM, the concepts have spread worldwide and inspired schools to start bringing these disciplines together to better prepare students for the future workforce. 

This dual commitment to trans-disciplinary, project based collaboration and future skills development are making STEAM an example of best practice that is transforming the relevance of Education just at a time when the fourth Industrial Revolution and all that it means for work, society and learning, is kicking off.

The Foundation for Young Australians has conducted analysis of 2.4 million job apps for their New Work Order Report (*2) and uncovered seven job clusters which students can aim for rather than taking a more linear, traditional career path. From this research, they concluded that three of the clusters are the most likely to provide employment in the future. These are:

  • Technologists (Technology, Engineering and Science)
  • Carers (Health and Well-being)
  • Informers (Education and Training)

Taken together, these show that human and communications-focused skills fused with technology skills are an increasingly vital combination.

This combination is actually one that St Peters, and the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum it employs, has been delivering for many years. The IB curriculum is based around a trans-disciplinary and often project based approach (*3). Spaces such as the St Peters Spark Lab at Indooroopilly have been running STEAM Club in lunchtimes—in it students can investigate and participate in hands-on science challenges. Facilitated by eLearning Officer Rachael Yates, the challenges have included building structures out of pasta and marshmallows, as well as creating a pendulum out of paper, a ruler and string.

A range of teachers will soon be participating in a STEAM Learning Project where robotics, coding, creativity and engineering tools from iWorld Australia, Kano, Robobloq, Strawbees and more are trialed by students. It's safe to say that it's a very exciting time to be in the Primary Years at St Peters. To learn more, click here

News article courtesy of St Peters IT/eLearning Team

*1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science,_technology,_engineering,_and_mathematics

*2 https://www.fya.org.au/report/the-new-work-mindset-report/

*3 https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/resources/stem/