Full STEM ahead at Montello Primary School
12 March 2021
A very special launch event took place at Montello Primary School on Wednesday 10 March, with the official opening of its Makerspace/STEM room. Late last year, it was announced that Montello Primary was successful in receiving a Schools Plus Grant (funded by Google) to continue to develop their Makerspace/STEM Room. Montello Primary are the first school in Tasmania, and only the fourth in Australia, to receive a grant funded by Google.
Following a formal assembly (attended by a number of special guests including local politicians, Google and Schools Plus representatives), the year 4, 5, and 6 students participated in some Google inspired activities, including virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics.
And a pretty heartwarming addition to this story: Google purchased 200 donuts from local company BeaDough Donuts to share at the event. BeaDough was started by 16 year old local Sunny during COVID last year to help his family with the bills. Sunny arrived in time to enjoy watching the children devour the donuts!
Read the words of Principal, Denise Wotherspoon, to get a full sense of the exciting things happening in STEM at Montello Primary, and what this opportunity means to their school community.
“We are extremely pleased – and proud – to have been successful in our application for a Grant through Schools Plus – funded by Google – to further develop the area in our school known as the Makerspace, where all things STEM take place – science technology engineering and maths! This grant creates a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience real 21st century learning.
STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators…as proved by the Matty and Murphy story. For those who don’t know, last year we joined an amazing program called Young Leaders of Tasmania, where grade 6 students visited the North West Support School and were mentors for a group of students there. Matty and Murphy made a strong connection, and on hearing about the difficulties Matty had applying his deodorant, Murphy came straight back to school and used a computer assisted design to create a piece of equipment on our laser printer to assist Matty in his dilemma.
This is the first of many projects we will undertake in assistive technology for students at the North West Support School. STEM Learning is very hands-on and our students love it! Our after-school Coding Club has gone in leaps and bounds this year and we know that this Grant will help us progress these activities further in the future.”