Introduction to S.T.E.A.M.

As of 2018, Wheelers Hill Primary school has introduced a revamped whole-school S.T.E.A.M. program designed to enrich student learning and develop computational and algorithmic thinking across the school. This program is intended to seamlessly integrate Science, Technology, Engineering the Arts and Mathematics while encouraging trial and error, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

 

The Robotics Curriculum

Our S.T.E.A.M. program includes the introduction of a robotics program that will be taught to all year levels and is targeted to their specific learning level. As well as enrichment opportunities, these sessions demonstrate how robots are used in today's society to help people solve challenges, ensure quality and refine processes. Students will build simple robots and explore how they can develop algorithms and programs that use conditions, sensor data and mathematics to navigate and respond to environments.

 

Junior School

Foundation (Prep) Year - Developing Algorithms and Primo Cubettos

  • Guided programming of 'human robots'

  • Writing instructions

  • Introduction to coding logic with Cubetto robots

Year 1 - Developing Algorithms and Primo Cubettos

  • Programming 'human robots'

  • Understanding how computers interpret instructions

  • More complex coding logic with Cubettos (including simple conditions)

 

Middle School

Year 2 - Sphero SPRK+

  • Drawing instructions for a robot

  • Basic problem solving

  • Developing simple yes/no (conditional) questions to make programming decisions

Year 3 - Sphero SPRK+

  • Creating a series of simple instructions by repeating instructions

  • Problem solving to navigate environments

  • Introduction to conditional programming

Year 4 - Sphero SPRK+

  • Real-world problem-based application of STEM skills

  • Creating a series of instructions with iterations

  • Problem solving to navigate environments

  • Conditional programming

 

Senior School

Year 5 - Lego Mindstorms EV3

  • Sequencing instructions

  • Using mathematical operators in programming

  • Introduction to sensors (Gyroscopes, touch, ultrasonic and colour detectors)

  • Exploring basic conditional programming

  • Directed development of real-world robotic solutions

Year 6 - Lego Mindstorms EV3

  • Using mathematical operators in programming

  • Use of more than one condition to create robotic solutions that react to their environment

  • Understanding and integrating a range of sensors into a program (Gyroscopes, touch, ultrasonic and colour detectors)

  • Replicating real-world robotic solutions

  • Problem-based learning

 
 

Our S.T.E.A.M. Specialist

Our school's S.T.E.A.M. specialist teacher has worked as a freelance programmer (developing games and websites) for 7 years before taking on teaching. He has a wealth of experience with Flash game development, HTML, JavaScript and PHP (including AJAX), along with CSS and MySQL.

 

Since leaving the freelance world, he still programs in his spare time to keep up-to-date with programming practises and web standards. He is a Level 1 and Level 2 Google Certified Educator, Certified Apple Teacher and Apple Teacher - Swift Playgrounds and Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator.

 

Over the past 7 years, our specialist has taken time to investigate and refine how coding can be effectively taught to students at a primary level in a truly deep, effective and attainable manner. He has spent many hours developing a rich and holistic ICT curriculum, along with a robotics program that covers the most fundamental skills required to develop programs and create algorithms.