Centre for STEM | PHOTOS

As Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) continues to be a key focus for regional schools, Hincks Avenue Primary School is two weeks away from officially opening their STEM Centre.

The centre, which was allocated $1 million under the state government’s STEM Works program in 2016, features wet and dry activity areas, active walls surfaces, a 3D printer, and a fully-functioning kitchen.

The facility has enabled students to create designs using the 3D printer, including a T-Rex head, build small robots, and cook up meals in the kitchen.

A ‘chill out’ room is also included in the centre, where those students who are upset or angry can take a moment to relax and regain their composure.

Principal Dominica Thomson said students had shopped at the supermarket for ingredients, brought them back to the school and then used the kitchen to cook a meal.

“Now that we’re in the 21st century, our learning environments need to reflect areas where kids are learning what they need to in the right way,” she said.

“Having a STEM building which has everything available for students is great. It allows them to have everything they need at their finger tips.”

There are designated wet areas in the centre, with one being a space for art and graphic design, while another is for physical sciences. The facility also includes three classrooms and a ‘make a space’ area.

Ms Thomson said the size and shape of the STEM Centre was similar to the environment of professional working spaces.

“It makes the learning contextual and real life for the students, so that they understand what they’re doing here they can transfer to working life as well,” she said.

“Real world problems can’t usually be answered using one discipline. Problems around food shortage, drought, water regulation and sustainable products require creativity, affordability, artistic appeal, maths, design and science.”

Students will be given the chance to provide feedback about the centre, as well as their own reflections on their STEM learning.

The centre will officially be opened on Wednesday, September 12.