Queensland Academies : Innovators in Education
The Queensland Academies played a key role in the development and organisation of the first ever Department of Education and Training STEM Girl Power Camp, held in March 2016. Twenty –two Year 10 girls, representing each of the seven regions in the state were selected to attend this camp, which centered around the World Science Festival and other inspiring STEM based activities . The girls collaborated with a team of girls from the Science, Mathematics and Technology campus – gaining an understanding of the diverse and exciting opportunities for women in STEM through a series of festival events and workshops, including a hands on laboratory experience at the SPARQ-ed facility at the Translational Research Institute.
Innovation Thinking – Smithsonian Style
2015 Smithsonian Fellow Dr Kathy Mackey has been very passionate about sharing her learning from Washington DC where she spent three months working with the Smithsonian Centre for Learning and Digital Access.
Based on her experiences- she has been facilitating workshops for students and teachers from our partnership schools based on Innovation Thinking as we celebrate the World Science Festival. Innovation Thinking is a broader cycle of inquiry that allows students to use and embrace STEAM problem solving and is based on some wonderful research being undertaken by the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Innovation Thinking builds on the design cycle and explores economic and historical applications including the pre-conditions for invention, how we learn to recognise the unusual and to see new connections and possibilities. This process allows all learners to navigate challenge and embrace the rewards of intellectual risk taking.
The Queensland Academies have hosted several workshops, including one in collaboration with the Global Tropic Futures Young Scholars Program in Townsville and a teacher professional development session at Benowa State School.
During the workshop students and teachers:
- Worked in teams to remix and repurpose objects from the collections of the Smithsonian and local museums and galleries Museums. These included such diverse resources as a printing press from the Smithsonian Postal Museum to a piece of coral from the Queensland Museum.
- Designed an innovative solution, product or service and create a short presentation based on the issue of global warming
- Received feedback from a panel of senior students.
A great outcome of these workshops is to see the levels of collaboration between students who have passions and skills in engineering, history and business as well as all things STE/AM. The Queensland Academies are looking forward to developing more of these programs as a result of this Fellowship.