At Epping Primary School, we are proud to offer our students a STEM Program. STEM uses a Project Based Learning approach to integrate skills and content from the areas of Science, Technology (Design and Digital), Engineering, and Maths.
During STEM lessons, students will be guided to participate in hands-on activities designed to awaken curiosity and encourage perseverance. There is a strong focus on developing higher order thinking skills by emphasising collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, brainstorming, research, and problem solving.
Students in grades 1 – 6 will participate in weekly, 60 minute sessions held in their classrooms, led by our STEM teacher.
The Launch Cycle by John Spencer is who we follow closely when planning for STEM. Below is the student-friendly LAUNCH Cycle. This is an acronym to help make it easier to understand:
L: Look, Listen, and Learn
In the first phase, students look, listen, and learn. The goal here is awareness. It might be a sense of wonder at a process or an awareness of a problem or a sense of empathy toward an audience.
A: Ask Tons of Questions
Sparked by curiosity, students move to the second phase, where they ask tons of questions.
U: Understanding the Process or Problem
This leads to understanding the process or problem through an authentic research experience. They might conduct interviews or needs assessments, research articles, watch videos, or analyze data.
N: Navigate Ideas
Students apply that newly acquired knowledge to potential solutions. In this phase, they navigate ideas. Here they not only brainstorm, but they also analyze ideas, combine ideas, and generate a concept for what they will create.
C: Create a Prototype
In this next phase, they create a prototype. It might be a digital work or a tangible product, a work of art or something they engineer. It might even be an action or an event or a system.
H: Highlight and Fix
Next, they begin to highlight what’s working and fix what’s failing. The goal here is to view this revision process as an experiment full of iterations, where every mistake takes them closer to success.
Launch to an Audience
Then, when it’s done, it’s ready to launch. In the launch phase, they send it to an authentic audience. They share their work with the world!