Building a local workforce

Problem solving: Gloucester High School students work on ways to make the strongest bridge out of newspaper during class in 2017. Photo: Anne Keen
Problem solving: Gloucester High School students work on ways to make the strongest bridge out of newspaper during class in 2017. Photo: Anne Keen

It’s all about building up capability and a future work pipeline.

That’s how Gloucester High School relieving deputy principal, Mik Wisely describes the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Pipeline Program.

“It’s about building a workforce that will stay in the community,” he explained.

The program has been designed to help support the iSTEM program the school kicked off this year; the “i” meaning integrated, where the four disciplines are used together to help students find solutions to problems.

It’s about building a workforce that will stay in the community.

Mik Wisley

With the help of recent funding from the AGL’s Gloucester Independent Community Legacy Fund, the school is able to build on the program in conjunction with Dungog High School and Bulahdelah Central School.

Together the schools will be working toward teaching students how to use technologies that are already in the workplace. 

The funding will go toward purchasing the equipment needed for the students to successfully complete the iSTEM program.

All three schools are due to purchase 3D printers shortly and Dungog is looking to get a laser cutter which can be shared between the schools.

Shared technologies will be physically moved between the schools or students be will taken to the equipment with the funding supporting the cost of travel.

Funds will also offer professional development opportunities for the teachers to help further develop the students skills.

GHS teacher Samuel Cornall completed a drone piloting course at NSW TAFE which taught him how the technology can be used in agriculture. 

He will then forward this knowledge onto the teachers at Dungog and Bulahdelah so they can use it within the classroom.

iSTEM is a School Developed Board Endorsed Course (SDBEC) which has been approved by the NSW Education Standards Authority and forms part of a student’s academic record in NSW.

Incorporating mechatronics, aerodynamics, engineering, 3D CAD/CAM, aerospace and motion modules, iSTEM presents maths and sciences to students in ways that challenge not only their understanding of these key subjects but also their ability to manage projects and work in teams.