DEC Scan Journal : Volume 34 Issue 4
2015 Volume 34, Issue 4 34 Contents Editorial Reflections Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews skills, connect with peers and mentors and explore pathways to higher learning and career opportunities. Background Whitebridge High School is a co- educational, comprehensive high school located within the city of greater Newcastle in NSW. Of the 1056 students in Years 7–12, four percent identify as Aboriginal and five percent are from language backgrounds other than English. The school strives for continual improvement and provides a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. In 2013 the Imagineering faculty, ran a series of student led engineering Challenge Days, focusing on creative thinking and ICT skills. The program targeted all students in years 7–10, as well as selected gifted and talented students (GATS) from partner primary schools. Approximately 20 teachers and 10 local businesses collaborated to generate the challenges and support this STEM initiative. The challenges were designed to motivate and encourage students to develop an interest and love of design and innovation. The program was highly successful and has since become a regular event in the school calendar. This year, as part of the initiative, a robotics and coding enrichment program for Yr 5 students from surrounding primary schools was held in our school library (The Hive). During the session students actively engaged in constructing LEGO® robots and coding them to perform several tasks. What stood out most was the level of engagement. These students were no longer passive targets of learning. Instead, they were active innovative learners, helping each other with each new discovery. Reflecting on this amazing workshop, it was very clear that students at Whitebridge could also benefit from access to robotics and coding experiences in The Hive. Before the program began, students in Years 7 and 8 were only given a brief introduction to robotics and coding through Technology (Mandatory) at school. Looking for ideas, to increase student exposure to the disciplines of technology and computer science, the idea of an online coding and robotics club was attractive. However, some expertise was needed. The Imagineering faculty was approached and asked if they would collaborate with library staff to develop a robotics and coding Club (RoboHive). When they agreed, it was very exciting. As well as benefits for students, it was a wonderful professional development opportunity to develop a learning space within The Hive that was accessible to everyone, regardless of their formal subject selection. The inspiration for Whitebridge’s RoboHive: Year 5 students from primary schools around Whitebridge HS attending a coding and robotics enrichment program in The Hive. As well as benefits for students, it was a wonderful professional development opportunity to develop a learning space within The Hive that was accessible to everyone, regardless of their formal subject selection.
Volume 34 Issue 3
Volume 35 Issue 1