In the STEM Connections project, Simonds Catholic College focused on improvement of the school environment. Students were asked to design and build a vertical garden. The design brief ensured that Science, Technologies and Mathematics were all well-represented in the project.
The school chose an interdisciplinary approach but with domain-specific teaching. Careful staff planning led to some adjustment of existing programs to ensure that relevant content was addressed simultaneously across learning areas. Teachers then made connections between learning areas explicit in their classrooms. Relevant activities were embedded throughout the project to develop transfer of knowledge and competencies across domains.
The project involved the 25 per cent of Year 9 students who study all STEM disciplines. It ran over 10 weeks (approximately 20 hours). The school worked with two industry partners: a horticultural engineer and an environmental scientist.