Last month the Victor Harbor High School opened its new multi-million dollar STEM Works program.
STEM Works is a government program which has provided funds to 139 schools across South Australia to provide physical spaces which will enrich teaching and learning.
The program departs from conventional classroom settings in favour of integrated learning areas. These may consist of small group learning area rooms, individual breakout spaces, laboratories, collaborative learning spaces and outdoor learning areas.
At Victor Harbor High this has translated into two key areas of improvement, The Middle School area and a rearranging of an existing building into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) inspired area.
The budget provided by STEM Works was $2,500,000.
Victor Harbor High School Principal Amanda O'Shea the refurbishment has significantly enhanced existing buildings by creating larger, flexible learning areas and create links and connectivity to adjacent spaces.
"The design has catered for direct teaching and traditional learning, collaborative learning, team teaching with the ability to have double-classrooms, opportunities for breakout spaces, practical activity and direct outside links," Ms O'Shea said.
A new verandah will provide a covered link to existing science facilities and be complemented with outdoor sinks and screen walls for weather protection.
This development has also meant the opportunity for leadership and teaching staff take advantage of professional development about interdisciplinary learning, access to new resources related to both ACARA and SACE and further opportunities to undertake building their expertise.
To this end two programs have been established The Elf program and Shark Tank with very successful outcomes for students. Both of these programs encapsulate the vision of STEM in action.
The Education Department vision is to: Inspire innovation, entrepreneurial skills and understandings, . Stimulate imagination with creative tasks and Challenge students to think as problem solvers and presenters of their results.