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2017 (3) 19 October 2017

What a Rube! 
One of my favourite time-wasting pastimes is watching people set off Rube Goldberg machines on You Tube – Damian Perry

History lesson (from the Rube Goldberg website): Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was an engineer turned cartoonist famous for his depictions of convoluted inventions that take a very roundabout way of solving a problem. One of the most famous on-screen examples is the start of Back to the Future.

Last year at St James College, Will Maby and Phil Thomas came up with a way to get students to demonstrate the concepts of kinetic movement, transformation and transferral of energy in a fun, practical way. Read More


Computer failure
The evidence suggests that far from improving student outcomes, our focus on IT has been detrimental – Ben Lawless

Australian schools have seen a huge push in recent decades to bring more computing and IT use into classrooms. Has it produced positive results? The evidence suggests that far from improving student outcomes, our focus on IT has been detrimental. 

This article discusses the consequences of IT on student performance, cognition and beyond the classroom. Read More

What gives you the right …to talk to me about STEAM?
This is a question you probably haven’t asked me, even in your head. I thought I’d pre-empt the question. The quick answer is: I’m not. I don’t “teach” Science or Maths subjects. I do head up the Technology Department at St James College, and teach Media and PhotoJournalism, Engineering and Design along with my DigiTech load.

But I am qualified, because I am curious. I want to improve myself as a teacher. I spend a great deal of time taking mini-courses, listening to podcasts and reading articles. It gets me into trouble. It gets me editing email STEAM reports. Read More


Secure charging for Spheros and iPads
Sphero charging case will keep little robots rolling
PC charging and secure storage specialists PC Locs has launched the Sphero Charging Case to support school Sphero programs of all sizes, big and small. The charging case helps teachers to charge, store, secure and carry six Sphero SPRK+ robots quickly and easily.

The open architecture design means the user can see that the Spheros are in their place and charging while they are securely locked away. 
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STEAMing home
Stop and really think about how many productive weeks you have until Christmas. I count 5 in this ten week term. However, if you have some spare time in this insane term, why not try some of these?

DLTVSTEAM based game design day
Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria are running a day-long workshop designed to give you some great processes for creating STEAM games in the classroom. It’s only $110 for DLTV members, so get in now
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Prime Minister's Excellence in Science Teaching prizewinners
In the outdoor classroom at Mount Ousley Public School in Wollongong, primary students are watching and recording bird sightings. They’re down at the beach assessing the level of marine debris. They’re reading, or just thinking, in the butterfly garden. 

“The outdoor classroom is probably my favourite place to be,” – Neil Bramsen Primary School prizewinner. Read More

Search is on for the next round of Indigenous STEM leaders
The Indigenous STEM Awards recognise, reward and celebrate the achievements of ATSI students and scientists as well as the integral role schools, teachers and mentors have in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in pursuing STEM education and careers. Read More


Hailebury has lots of Micro:bits
With over 1000 Micro:bits across Haileybury's campuses in Melbourne, students in Years 5 to 7 have been using block code editors and the Micropython scripting language to create innovative solutions in areas including entertainment, health and fitness, security and navigation.

Haileybury students are among the first in Australia to receive Micro:bit devices as part of the Computing and Digital Technologies Program. Read More


Cyber, the next wave of STEM learning
Cyber education is in its infancy in Australia. Few in education know what Cyber education is and how it links with national STEM strategies and the Curriculum Digital Technologies. There are misconceptions and knowledge limitations.

For example, the misunderstanding that cyber security is confined to cyber safety or that the term ‘hacking’ is understood to be a ‘black hat’ criminal activity. 
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