STEAMing ahead at Parkes Public School

Parkes Public students are getting ahead of the curve, taking part in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (STEAM) courses.

The school is one of 160 schools Australia-wide, the only one in Parkes, participating in the Digital Technologies program.

The program is aimed at increasing design and production skills, computational skills, systems thinking, project management skills in students.

As part of the program the students are taking part in activities such as coding, 3D printing, robotics, unplugged coding, Mindstorm Lego, design and virtual reality setting them up for careers that don't yet exist, by allowing them the freedom to learn through investigation.

The students are currently participating in the Department of Education STEMshare project which allows schools to borrow tech resources for a term, giving them access to different technologies.

Teacher Zoe Ruckley, Erin Woolstencroft, Michelle Richardson and Clare Bowkett all see major benefits from the students taking part in the program.

"It's an amazing opportunity for our students," Ms Ruckley said.

Ms Woolstencroft said the classes allow the students to adapt to changing technologies in a team environment.

"Technology is changing so quickly and so is the way kids learn," she said.

"It's important that we can all learn together."

Fellow teacher Ms Bowkett said STEAM shows kids how to cooperate and problem solve.

"It's awesome to watch kindergarten intuitively use the design process," she said.

"STEAM has many parts and all students can find an area to excel in," Ms Richardson said.

"When students succeed their confidence soars," she added.

Students involved in the program also see the benefits.

"STEAM is about working together," student Sophie Pearce said.

Year 5 student Kyian Cottier loves using ozobots even with the challenges of the programs.

"I loved using the Ozobots and making and designing roads for the robot to travel on," Kyian said.

"It was difficult making the track work properly. I was good at drawing the lines."

Year 1 student Vander MacDonald Miller likes being able to draw her own person and get them to move.

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