Leveraging STEM skills to brighten Hobart’s future

FOLLOWING three months of brainstorming, Glenorchy Primary School students saw their hard work come to fruition as they presented their ideas at the nbn Futurists’ Fair.

The group of year five and six students participated in the NBN Co STEM+X initiative where they used science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills to raise awareness about bringing plastics into school via lunch box items.

The students created an app called ‘Plastic is Not Fantastic’ for teachers to track how much plastic is coming into their classrooms and set a weekly goal to reduce it.

Glenorchy Primary School principal Wendy Potter said she was “thrilled” to see what they presented at the Futurists’ Fair.

“The STEM+X initiative is a unique opportunity for students to come up with a real life idea that bridges personal passions and technology to solve a problem that will brighten their community,” she said.

“The students have been working extremely hard over the past couple of months and it’s been a privilege to see them grow in confidence and in key skills for learning.”

On 22 May, students video conferenced into NBN Co headquarters in Sydney and virtually presented their idea to STEM advocates.

The panel included NBN Co chief network deployment officer Kathrine Dyer, Australian Business Community Network (ABCN) chief executive officer Allegra Spender, and Scott Gaunson and Brett Stanford from the YouTube channel ‘How Ridiculous’.

NBN local manager Tasmania Russell Kelly said STEM was a new way of thinking to solve a problem.

“Modern technology is providing opportunities for those who haven’t had them in the past and across the country, jobs of the future are increasingly becoming digital,” he said.

“We want to encourage the community, students and parents to recognize what they’re passionate about because, using STEM, it can be a pathway for their future.”

Launched in February, the initiative saw students from eight schools across the country tasked with developing an idea to help brighten Australia’s or their community’s future by attempting to solve real life challenges.

The initiative, in collaboration with ABCN, was developed in order to get students excited about the possibilities of learning STEM skills by combining it with their hobbies and passions.

How Ridiculous will visit the winning school for a day of STEM-filled fun in July.

In addition, the eight participating schools will receive a tech prize pack to support the development of STEM education programs.

Glenorchy Primary was one of two schools in Tasmania participating in the STEM+X initiative.

Caption: Advanced Skills teacher Alex Hunter with members from the ‘Stem Squad’, from left, Jakob Ransley, Eitan Gomez, Ethan Lavulo, Shrish Sodhi, Sofia Nyve, Indianna Cole and Parastou Hami.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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