Minden State School will be having fun with robotics on June 20.
Minden State School will be having fun with robotics on June 20.

Big wins for Minden State School with fair and STEAM program

MINDEN State Schools' annual Science Fair, hosted for local schools and the wider community is nearly upon us with the event happening on Thursday June 20.

The biggest difference this year however is a name change, with the event now known as the STEAM Fair.

STEAM, previously known as STEM is the acronym given to the educational focus and inclusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics in classrooms, across all subjects. It is a way of learning whereby academic concepts are delivered via real-world scenarios and students are encouraged to engage with science, technology, engineering, art or mathematics in order to resolve the challenge and make connections between their real-life, school and beyond.

Traditional classrooms and the ways in which learning occurs within them are changing. The new direction of modern life calls for creativity, innovation and inquiry which means students need to be presented opportunities to explore challenges, play, learn and discover for themselves through real-world experiences.

This means the formal structures of lessons as we once knew them need to adapt and incorporate fluidity and flexibility. STEAM seeks to enable students to learn in a very hands-on, interactive environment, breaking down many long held views about what learning looks like in the traditional sense. While the name of the fair may have changed, the opportunities available for creativity, exploration and learning haven't.

Each year, participating students from Minden State School, Glamorgan Vale State School, Patrick Estate State School, Tarampa State School and Coominya State School engage in a variety of interactive demonstrations and activities presented by teachers from Minden, Lowood State School and Faith Lutheran College. Presentations are also delivered by State Police, Fire and Ambulance, Energex, Local council, SEAT, Tracker Ants, local volunteers and donators along with contributions with many other science organisations.

With STEAM as a focus, electronics and robotics are of prominence during Fair planning this year. Science teachers from Faith Lutheran contribute to the day with a wider variety of robotic equipment for students to observe in action and experiment with. Along with Robotics, the day will include a variety of demonstrations and rotational activities for students to work through, along with a tactile, hands-on display including a private collection of old fashion toys combined with items borrowed from local Museums.

Distance to Museums and costs involved in getting to these facilities are the driving force behind the creation of this initiative. Hosting such a broad range of STEAM based activities from such a wide range of community resources allows students exposure to the world of science, without the expensive entry fees.

Students are encouraged to participate in challenges throughout the day, providing them with an opportunity to conduct independent research and apply scientific method to the challenges presented, for example kite-making, paper plane construction, bridge building. We look forward to a day of fun, learning and scientific discoveries next Thursday week.