STEAM

STEAM at NSA is based on the idea of educating students in five specific disciplines and integrating concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects - science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM empowers practical and project-based learning that students can touch, feel, hear, see, smell, build, and draw. 

STEAM at NSA aims to inspire inquiry and curiosity. Students at all developing levels are encouraged to ask questions to promote creativity and exploration. We deliver the STEAM curriculum as inquiry instruction which encourages active hands-on experiences. These experiences support building student skills in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and reflection.

In the Early years students are encouraged to use technology to support their learning. This includes using Interactive Whiteboards, OSMO on ipads and the Virtual Reality room. Students are also encouraged to construct patterns, towers and vehicles using various construction blocks including Lego.

In Middle years students are introduced to coding using robots. Some of the robots used are Beebots, Ozobot, Dash and Dot.

Bee-Bot - a robot with 4 directional keys (forward, backward, turn right, turn left) that can be used to program up to 40 commands.

Ozobot - can be programmed using textas in four colours

Dash and Dot – uses block based programming via tablet over Bluetooth. Also has a microphone, speakers, motors, lights and a distance sensor.

In later years STEAM lessons involve building models and problem solving. STEAM lessons allow students the opportunity to understand the connection to the real world. Students attempt weekly challenges in the Makers Space, use the Lego Wall to build various scenes and code robots like the sphero spark+, mbots, Cue and Probots.

Students at the Lalor campus have access to 3D printers and 3D printing pens. Students begin by using Maker’s Empire, a 3D design program on a PC or ipad and are extended through the use of TinkerCAD and Fusion360. Students at NSA use the Engineering Design process to design their own 3D objects.

ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS

ASK – what is the problem?

RESEARCH- find out as much as possible about topic.

EXPLORE- the possible solutions

PLAN- choose your design

CREATE- make your design/ prototype

TEST evaluate its effectiveness in providing a solution to the problem

IMPROVE – redesign to make improvements as required.

Some of the other resources available to the Later years students are listed below;

Makedo – a simple to use, open-ended system of tools for creative cardboard construction.

LittleBits - an open source library of modular electronics, which snap together with small magnets for prototyping and learning. 

LEGO WeDo2.0 - developed to engage and motivate elementary students’ interest in learning science- and engineering-related subjects. This is done through the use of motorized LEGO® models and simple programming.