In very exciting news, Melville Senior High School has just been announced as a finalist in the Australian Education Awards for The Best STEM Program. The winners will be announced in Sydney on 6 November 2020. This follows another STEM win for Melville Senior High School, as in late 2019 the school was fortunate enough to be named the WA Governor’s STEM School of the Year in Leadership Excellence.
ICT Manager, Ms Dee Lewis, the Teaching and Learning Team and ICT Committee comprised of members from all learning areas have implemented a whole-school Online Learning Plan to teach-the-teachers 21st Century teaching strategies. All staff then follow this plan and find inspiring STEM initiatives pertinent to their area, as STEM is not limited to science, technology, engineering and maths. At Melville Senior High School, the push to conceptualise STEM thinking across all learning areas encourages more critical thinking and analysis from the students, leading to better learners in the long term.
The school prioritises infrastructure and a stronger Broadband connection, boosting the ability for STEM activities to operate at the high standard they do. The ICT infrastructure was able to facilitate through a successful 2019 NAPLAN Online. The team supports all staff to build capacity in using CONNECT (WA Education Department Learning Management Software), to build on the student’s focused iPad program and create an engaging digital program for all students.
Parents and students alike are invited to complete workshops which help to engage with online homework the schools online community. These workshops help to create good digital citizens in both students and parents, and parents often note how grateful they are for Ms Lewis’s running of the program. As a parent herself, Ms Lewis understands what aspects of CONNECT program are most essential for parents to be well informed in and offers this unique perspective.
Specialist Program Aviation students are learning to fly drones and obtain a drone license, leading to some fantastic aerial photography opportunities for the students. Melville Senior High School is also well known in the electric car racing circuit, with our regular participation in the EV Challenge. The EV Challenge members take part in the co-curricular program to both design and build electric cars to race at the EV Challenge. This program gives the students a huge sense of achievement, as it is not lead by teachers but the students themselves. The educated engineering staff are around to encourage and provide insight, however the problem solving nature of building the car is up to the students, creating a fantastic team work environment. The Graphic Design Media Specialist Program is very accustom to the use of 3D printers, as the school houses more than 3 in different departments. The students in the Graphic Design Program are able to use programs to engineer their own designs. Students in the program describe the most exciting part about the 3D printers is “seeing something you thought up in your head created in real life”. With laser cutters, robotics, coding being a regular appearance in a students daily timetable, Melville Senior High School really is the school of choice for the local and wider community.
Melville Senior High School achieved Top Performing School status in three STEM ATAR courses and has a higher than average number of students completing STEM subjects. This is due to both the dedication of students and enthusiastic staff who use innovative measures to teach traditional content.