STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – covers a wide range of disciplines and skills, which are increasingly in demand in our rapidly changing world. STEM skills and knowledge are important for all stages of our learning, jobs and everyday lives.
STEM education and training covers the specific knowledge and skills found in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. It also covers the interrelationship between these areas, allowing learning to be delivered in an integrated way, helping a deeper engagement in the four disciplines.
For younger children, scientific and numerical concepts are embedded in several outcomes in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF). This supports early childhood professionals to work with families to advance children's learning from birth to eight years.
For Foundation to Level 10 (F–10) school students, STEM knowledge and skills are embedded within the Victorian Curriculum, in Mathematics, Science, Design and Technologies, and Digital Technologies. STEM education also develops capabilities such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration and ethical decision making.
The Digital Technologies curriculum enables students to become confident and creative developers of digital solutions through the application of information systems and specific ways of thinking about problem solving.
Students acquire a deep knowledge and understanding of digital systems, data and information and the processes associated with creating digital solutions so they can take up an active role in meeting current and future needs.
The curriculum has been designed to provide practical opportunities for students to explore the capacity of information systems to systematically and innovatively transform data into digital solutions through the application of computational, design and systems thinking.
The curriculum also encourages students to be discerning decision makers by considering different ways of managing the interactions between digital systems, people, data and processes (information systems) and weighing up the possible benefits and potential risks for society and the environment.
The Digital Technologies curriculum aims to ensure that students can:
Senior Library Program
The senior library programs aim is to further consolidate student literacy reading, comprehension and digital literacies. Students participate weekly at the Wheelers Hill library, located in the City of Monash.
With parental consent, students are encouraged to take out a library card so they can benefit fully and create deeper linkages in their local community.
Students can then access their e-smart class Blog and learn the process of how to browse the catalogue and borrow items of interest.
The Café program is designed to enable students to perform daily living skills with more independence. It provides an opportunity for the students to learn skills associated within a café, home and school setting.
The Café Program is aimed to be a functional living skills program for up to 10 students, with a ratio of 2:1 student to staff. The program targets students in their last 2 years of the senior section (13 and 14 years) who have the potential to learn and work at an independent level. Emphasis is placed on students developing relationships, improving their abilities and facilitating access to their community.
The overall goal of this program is to support students in running their own ‘school café’ providing drinks and food to their peers, teachers and broader school community. Social interaction and communication is core to the program. The students work on using appropriate greetings/farewells, gaining other people’s attention, making requests, using others names, asking for help, and addressing complaints.
The program is lead by a classroom teacher, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapist in conjunction with classroom assistants. The session begins and ends with all students meeting together for group time. During this time the students are encouraged to discuss and role play appropriate social interactions which are then practised throughout the rest of the session.
In addition, the students are given the opportunity to extend their understanding of practical concepts such as hot and cold, dirty and clean and other relevant concepts that are encountered in an actual café/restaurant setting.
Kevin Heinze Gardening Program
Kevin Heinze GROW program is an initiative that works with children and adults of all abilities to provide, enhance and promote the benefits of horticulture based therapy.
The aim of linking students is to provide them with a meaningful community access program that allows them to experience a natural garden environment, interact with others and build relationships. The program is conducted once a week in Doncaster.
In addition to the allocated teacher and classroom assistant, two gardening facilitators assist student learning onsite. We are also often joined by a specialist therapy dog ‘Jasper’ and his handler Chris.
Furthermore, the Kevin Heinze program exists alongside a separate visiting teacher gardening program that students have the opportunity to participate in; this program occurs fortnightly at Monash SDS. Having both programs working in tandem assists to reinforce key content areas and further enhance skill based learning.
All Abilities Inter School Basketball Program
The Southern All Abilities Basketball League (SAABL) is a very successful disability basketball program, established and run by Schools from the community. The Southern All Abilities Basketball League has expanded its weekly competition usage from four courts to six courts.
The SAABL has grown into a vibrant team competition with over 6 other divisions for all skill levels.
Playing competitive basketball gives children with disabilities an opportunity to develop greater strength and skills, make new friends and learn about teamwork. The emphasis is on creating a supportive, social, inclusive and fun environment.