Mount Compass Area School, Questacon partner for STEM school program

Four of Mount Compass Area School’s teachers are working with science centre Questacon to put together a program which brings engineering into the classroom.

The school is one of nine involved with the creation of the program, principal Kevin Mooney said.

“Christina Hoeper, Callie-Ann Schahinger, Michael Hansen and Jessica Sullivan are engaged in developing this exciting initiative of real science in our primary classrooms,” Mr Mooney said. 

The ‘Engineering is Elementary’ program was developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, and after seeing its success in the United States, Questacon is working with schools in South Australia and Canberra to get a pilot up and running.

The program involves hands-on problem solving through engineering solutions, engaging students in STEM-related work, and is supported by defence contractor company Raytheon Australia.

Questacon director Professor Graham Durant said Raytheon’s support would provide professional learning activities for teachers.

“Every year Questacon continues to engage, connect and inspire all Australians through interactive programs delivered across the country,” Prof Durant said.

At training this year, teachers completed engineering activities which are presented to students, such as tackling the process of making playdough using chemical engineering principles.

Questacon’s learning programs senior manager Jared Wilkins visited the SA schools to support the teachers in the deliverance of the program and to hear what the students think of it.

Mr Mooney said over the Christmas break, senior science teacher Chad Gramola would be part of a residential program at the Australian National University, working with the CSIRO and Questacon to create resources for teachers in STEM.

​”Chad is one of 70 teachers chosen from across Australia as part of the STEM Academy X,” Mr Mooney said.

“This initiative will connect Mount Compass Area School Science and Technology programs with other schools across Australia.”


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