Gladstone High school and surrounding regional schools have had the opportunity to be a part of the science, technology, engineering and math program (STEM), run by Kelly Engineering.
The program has been implemented into the schools’ education throughout the past year, in hopes to encourage the children to explore careers involving engineering.
The students were taken to Kelly engineering to look at the machinery and then they had to design their own trailer that could possibly benefit farmers.
Luke Ellery, production manager at Kelly Engineering, says he was surprised to see how creative and diverse the children's ideas were.
He says a lot of the kids have agricultural backgrounds, therefore they were able to use their prior knowledge to create practical designs.
He believes that STEM has opened many new pathways for women, considering there is a stigma around engineering as a male dominated industry.
“It was interesting, it was amazing the different types of techniques and questions they asked regarding how the product was built and their different ideas. I have already seen some out of the box ideas today for sure,” Mr Ellery says.
“There are some real applications for what they have come up with and it will be interesting to take ideas back to the engineering team to see what they think.”
Robyn Staker, Year 5, 6 and 7 teacher at Laura Primary School, says the intentions of STEM were to engage the students and possibly encourage them to take on careers involving science, technology, engineering and math.
She says hopefully STEM has motivated the students to have more of a positive attitude towards math and science.
“Our intention was to as the Department’s focus is on STEM, to engage students and hopefully in the long term get them to take on careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”
“For me it was doing something outside of the box, something I wouldn’t have designed myself. We have learnt from each other and have collaborated our ideas and my students have taught me more than I have taught them,” Robyn Staker says.
“I think if they go to high school with the right attitude about these subjects, that certainly helps. They are familiar with some of these ideas and when they come to high school they are ready to continue them and develop them even further. I guess it is about having a positive attitude to these subjects and enjoying success.”
Robyn has found that her class has been very engaged from the start presenting good ideas.
Brett Parker, Year 7, Gladstone High school, took part in the STEM activity and created a trailer that incorporated a sheep feeder on the back to make it easier for farmers.
“I designed a sheep feeder with a crane on the back to make it easier for farmers to move the sheep feeders off of the trailer,” Brett Parker says.
He also says that he believes STEM will be able to help him in the future, considering he wants to be an air-force pilot when he leaves school.
“I probably would use STEM in the future. It would be great for learning and my career. I would like to be an air-force pilot when I grow up.”