STEMfest at St Catherine's

Students in Years 8 to 10 from St Catherine’s Catholic College in Singleton recently showcased their works from their iSTEM – integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics – course for the first-ever event of its kind called STEMfest.

STEMfest saw students present details of these works from their iSTEM course which is part of the ME program. This program is funded primarily by Regional Development Australia (RDA) which is aimed at equipping students with skills and expertise that will prepare them for a 21st century career.

The works ranged from a water volume sensor for water tanks to an under-blanket that detects if a baby were to roll during the night to minimise the possibility of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome.

Other works included a garbage bin that will alert you via messages when it requires emptying, a mailbox that alerts you when you receive mail, a soccer goal post that will calculate and display the speed of a ball when kicked, a buttonless doorbell and a portable wind-powered mobile phone charger – there was lots to see!

Family and friends of the College community who attended the event were also treated to demonstrations of drone flight, the use of mind-wave devices which map and display brain activity on a TV screen and robotic demonstrations with humanoid robots coded within the iSTEM course.

If that wasn’t enough there was also a display of aerodynamics and flight which saw the construction of balsa planes, the movement, blindfolded through a maze with a device created through Year 9 iSTEM called blind assist that alarmed the user if an obstacle was in their path redirecting them through. This was created using sensors and Lego EV3.

“STEM, being such a growing field, has gained significant traction within St Catherine's and continues to do so.

“STEMfest was a successful event which increased the profile of and the interest in STEM within the St Catherine’s Catholic College community”, said teacher, Aaron Campbell.

Acting College Principal, Mrs Kristen Southwell also said,"The inaugural STEMfest was a wonderful showcase of the innovative ideas and designs that students have been working on during 2017. The products on display were a wonderful integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and reflected the passion and enthusiasm students have for their studies, and their care to make our world a better place."

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Gabrielle Sutherland Image
Gabrielle Sutherland

Gabrielle Sutherland is a Marketing & Communications Officer for the Catholic Schools Office and a regular contributor to and Aurora.