Full STEM ahead!

Mr Hendrik Snyman, an international consultant on Energy, spoke to the AEP students about the future of STEM.

The world is changing at an unprecedented rate, so how do we prepare our boys for the future? With statistics citing that by 2027 there could be as much as 75% of jobs devoted to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based activities, there are calls from industry, business leaders and governments, both nationally and globally, to embrace these areas in our schools. CBC Fremantle is fortunate to have been focussing on these dynamic and exciting areas of education for some years with the Academic Excellence Programme initiating an integrated learning project to teach skills for the future.

It is interesting to note that the top 10 skills identified in the Future of Jobs report presented at the recent World Economic Forum (Davos, 2018) are:

  1. Complex problem solving
  2. Critical thinking (including ethical debates – what is true/good/wise? What is factual and what is fake?)
  3. Creativity (initiative and entrepreneurialism, innovation, curiosity and imagination).
  4. People management (and communication)
  5. Coordinating with others (cooperation, collaboration and leading by influence)
  6. Emotional intelligence
  7. Judgement and decision making (accessing and analysing information, discerning which solution is best)
  8. Service orientation
  9. Negotiation, and
  10. Cognitive flexibility (agility and adaptability, ability to transfer skills and learn new skills).

Professor Judy Anderson, Director of the STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy, University of Sydney, advocates that concepts and content are best learnt through explicit teaching and learning of the traditional distinct STEM disciplines, however, we need to include an integrated experience for the above skills to be applied and learnt.

CBC and STEM

The CBC Journey document states: "We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences, so that through critical reflection and engagement each person is hope-filled and free to build a better world for all."

We want our students to thrive and have a passion for life-long learning; we want them to live lives of purpose and meaning, we want them to achieve personal excellence. With this in mind, over the next semester, the Academic Excellence boys are taking part in a STEM integrated learning project.

The project is about the boys learning the critical future skills in the context of solving real world problems and challenges using their knowledge and content of STEM. It is also critical to note that the Arts are not ornamental but fundamental and will be integrated at every level.

The first STEM afternoon was held on Tuesday and Mr Hendrik Snyman, an international consultant on Energy, launched this project by explaining that, although STEM subjects are the basic building blocks of the future, STEM is not enough! With a million engineers graduating in India alone last year, we have to prepare our students to have more than STEM content and knowledge in order for them to compete globally. He spoke about purpose, trust and integrity and critical and creative thinking skills as being key.

The AEP boys will be meeting every Tuesday afternoon after school in the Maths Rooms (202 and 201) to work on this project. Girls from Iona's Gifted and Talented Programme will be working in collaboration with the boys in virtual groups on digital platforms. The project is exciting and innovative and we hope we will push the boundaries to future proof our students!

Ms Marilyn Schmidt
AEP Coordinator