Creativity through inquiry, STEM and Music


My walks through the learning spaces at our fabulous college never fail to impress and leave me in awe of the range of exciting, challenging and engaging learning taking place. A snapshot of just one such walk-through last week privileged me with seeing how our secondary students were collaborating, as were our teachers to make music through using our newly purchased keyboards. The engagement value was very high and complemented our Carranballac rock music experience last Friday.

Year 5/ 6 students have been working on the 'E' part of STEM (Science, Technology, ENGINEERING, Maths) whilst mobilising their innovative creations. Exploring concepts such as friction, velocity, angles, properties of materials used and a good dose of persistence and trial and error, students joined forces to create, among other things, pinball machines. Trying to get a ping-pong ball to track through a designated path proved to be tricky but rewarding as the students approximated closer and closer to achieving success with their design.

Further, Year 1 students were also engaged in the Mathematics part of STEM whilst enjoying the sandpit as their place of learning. The focus of their lesson was to share collections and were introduced to the idea of having a remainder learning through a picture storybook, Divide and Ride by Stuart J Murphy. The teacher read the story which described a group of students going to a theme park and dividing themselves into carriages. The students used the problem solving strategy ‘act it out’ to recreate the story in the sandpit. Outlines of carriages were drawn in the sand and students divided themselves equally into the carriages and then identified any carriages that held an incomplete group, which became the remainder. Who would have thought that fun in the sandpit would equate to a very serious maths lesson?