Questacon, Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre, and Raytheon Australia and have marked 10 years of partnership by announcing the development of a pilot of the Engineering is Elementary program for schools.
The new program draws from a highly successful science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative created by the US-based Museum of Science. The Australian Engineering is Elementary program will provide teachers with a framework to deliver content aligned with the Australian Curriculum that engages teachers using hands-on problem solving through engineering solutions.
Raytheon’s sponsorship will fund the professional learning for up to 40 teachers in Canberra and South Australia who will implement the program. Teachers will participate in a series of workshops and be given resource kits, in-class support and access to online support materials including activities and class observation videos.
“As Australia’s leading systems integrator, we play a critical role in motivating young people to continue their studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia.
Questacon delivered the first of the Engineering is Elementary workshops to teachers in Adelaide from 28-29 August. Teachers participated in a series of workshops where they undertook engineering activities such as tackling the process of making playdough using chemical engineering principles. Following the workshops the teachers were provided with resources and materials to implement their own Engineering is Elementary lessons in the classroom.
Following the initial phase, a Teacher Educator Institute Workshop will be rolled out to additional teachers who will receive training, resources and materials to facilitate their own Engineering is Elementary program in their schools.
“Every year Questacon continues to engage, connect and inspire all Australians through programs delivered across the country,” said Prof Graham Durant AM, director of Questacon. “Raytheon’s investment in Engineering is Elementary will support primary school teachers in delivering real-world STEM examples and challenges for students to solve in the classroom.”
Raytheon has previously participated in Questacon programs including Innovation Factory – Invent and Play, a travelling exhibition which toured science centres around Australia attracting over 600,000 visitors and the Schmidt Studio, Questacon’s state-of-the-art digital broadcast studio which has reached 13,512 students at 387 schools.
So much to do, so little time. It is a trite phrase, but when I found myself as the only DigiTech teacher in the school, it suddenly gained a lot more meaning.
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