STEM in Primary

STEM in Primary
A blog for those interested in primary school STEM education

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Scientific Method

Stuff this week - The Scientific Method

In simple terms studying science is about attempting to understand the world. As it happens kids are naturally curious so they regularly wonder about why things are the way they are in the world. You can foster this interest by encouraging them to use the "Scientific Method" to conduct experiments to answer their questions.
The scientific method follows these steps:
  • Ask a question
  • Gather information and observe (research)
  • Make a hypothesis (guess the answer)
  • Experiment and test the hypothesis
  • Analyze the test results
  • Present a conclusion
It is a fairly simple process and yet one that can engage and cement understanding of fundamental concepts. So when presented with an assignment from school or homework try and think of a way that you can turn the task into an experiment that is fun to do.
Recently my daughter was looking at the properties of materials so we decided to test which ones would catch on FIRE! Small children and burning objects, what could possibly go wrong! It was a great success as she observed how some would burn, some would melt and some would not burn at all. We also videoed the results and were able to play it back in slow motion to see exactly what was happening. From there I showed her how to edit videos and include them in a PowerPoint. It was a fun filled and educational afternoon.
So take the next opportunity you have to teach your kids about the Scientific Method, this video from the Khan Academy is a good starting point. Also you can keep your eye out for the various state based and national young scientist competitions. Happy science-ing!

Stuff in the news

Robots will wipe out backpacker jobs within five years - This article covers the automation of jobs as well as the slow pace of adoption of coding and robotics into schools. An article from the Brisbane Times 27 April 2017.

Stuff to buy

Snap Circuits - Makes learning electronics easy and fun! Just follow the colorful pictures in the manual and build exciting projects,
*At this point in time I earn no money from any product I list and I am not affiliated with any other company.

Stuff in education

Teachers say major change needed to stop students drifting away from STEM subjects - In an era where children and teenagers are using technology at unprecedented levels, why are they no longer keen to study the subjects that underpin it? An article from ABC Online 2 May 2017
Microsoft thinks Minecraft can help STEM education - Microsoft has announced a new version of Windows, with a suite of programs aimed at promoting coding and collaboration in classrooms. An article from 2 May 2017

Stuff to do Australia Wide

Australian STEM Video Game Challenge - For grades 5+.The Australian STEM Video Game Challenge will ask participants to develop games in response to a central theme or idea. Registration open 1 May and submissions close 25 August.
Young ICT Explorers -  A non-profit competition, which has been created by SAP to encourage school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related projects. Registrations are OPEN. See the YouTube video here!
CSIRO CREST Program - CREativity in Science and Technology. Engage your students with open-ended science investigations and technology projects through the CREST program.
Edutech 2017 - EduTECH is the LARGEST education event in Asia-Pac and the Southern Hemisphere. 7-9 June 2017 in Sydney.
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Young Engineers Australia - Provides an engaging, hands-on learning platform using LEGO® and K’nex® assembly kits
CoderDojo - A volunteer run programming club
Code Club Australia - A network of coding clubs for kids aged 9 to 11.

Stuff to do in Brisbane

Robotronica 2017 - Robotronica is a groundbreaking one-day event showcasing the latest developments in robotics and interactive design. QUT's The Cube 20 August 2017 
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Brisbane Library Service has purchased the very flash NAO Robot and is showing it off in various libraries.
The Cube at QUT has a number of changing programs. 
Brisbane Planetarium - Features entertaining and informative shows for adults and children
Flying Fox Studios - A studio offering programs in the arts, music and construction areas from babies to teenagers in Brisbane
It's Rocket Science School Incursions - Educational and fully interactive project based rocket science incursions for primary and secondary schools in a safe and empowering learning environment.

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