Competition inspires young innovators

Competition inspires young innovators

13 June 2023

Events and initiatives Public school life

Primary school students got the chance to tackle challenging real-world scenarios as part of a dynamic interschool STEM competition.

Students participating in Keen2STEAM.

Students showcased their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the Keen2STEAM Interschool Competition on 2 June. 

Year 3, 4, 5, and 6 students from Churchlands, Mount Claremont, Floreat Park, Rosalie and Wembley primary schools faced off at the Churchlands Senior High School.

Aligned with the United Nations sustainable development goals and the science, technologies, and mathematics curriculums, Keen2STEAM presents students with real-world challenges, calling for the application of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Throughout the day, teams of four students collaborated to tackle four STEM-based challenges centred around the theme of Australian natural disasters: fire, flood, and climate change.
Doctor Bruce Webber from the CSIRO STEM Professionals in Schools program delivered an engaging presentation on the relationship between climate change and fires and floods in Australia, encouraging them to approach the challenges with enthusiasm and creativity. 

Churchlands Primary School Senior Teacher and STEAM Coordinator Libby Goodwin said the event was a wonderful opportunity for the students. 

“It was so rewarding to see students actively engaging in the STEM challenges and demonstrating a high level of creative and critical thinking throughout the day,” Ms Goodwin said. 

Students participating in Keen2STEAM.

“Providing this opportunity in an interschool format supports our aim of challenging students and encouraging them to become 21st-century learners.

"The cherry on top was the chance to learn from experts like Dr Bruce Webber and experience STEM opportunities in a high school setting.” 

In the science challenge, students conducted an investigation to determine the effect of ash on soil permeability in the aftermath of a bushfire. 

The technology challenge required students to utilise flow charts and coding skills to program robots for the rescue of livestock threatened by fire. 

The engineering challenge encouraged students to envision a future affected by rising sea levels and construct a high-density, high-rise structure.

The mathematics challenge involved calculating the area of burnt land, determining the number of plants needed, and estimating labour costs and time required for post-bushfire revegetation efforts.

The participants also got to interact with Churchlands Senior High School students specialising in STEM subjects, exploring various projects such as virtual reality and 3D printing. The most popular project among the primary school students was an impressive Lego ball contraption created by a talented Year 12 student.

Churchlands Primary School teams took out first and second place in Year 3/4 and won Year 5/6. A Floreat Primary School team finished second for Year 5/6. Churchlands Primary School was also crowned the overall champion school for the day.