With the Maryborough Energy Breakthrough celebration event to be held over the weekend of November 23 – 26, preparations have been ‘ramping up’ in education settings all over the state and beyond. As one of the biggest educational events in Australia, forging strong partnerships between public and private sectors, Energy Breakthrough presents dynamic and unique opportunities for students, particularly in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Often when discussing Energy Breakthrough, people’s focus is on the event- the machines and the ‘racing’ component but the educational opportunities and outcomes presented in the lead-up to the event is often where the magic really happens for students and their educators. Whether at primary or secondary school level, to develop a vehicle to enter in the Maryborough Energy Breakthrough event a rich STEM curriculum focus is required and whilst for some educators, this is a wonderful opportunity, for others, this is what can hold them back from embarking on an Energy Breakthrough curriculum unit of work.
On the 27th October, over 250 students from 16 schools came together at La Trobe University’s Bendigo Campus for a free “preparation workshop”. The energy and the buzz in the slick McKay Lecture Theatre was palpable and the students, their teachers and team managers were eager to hear about how they could prepare for the Display & Presentation, Design & Construction and Trial elements of the RACV Energy Breakthrough. Each component supports learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Experts from La Trobe University, engineers at Cyient and staff from Bendigo’s Science and Technology Centre led workshop sessions that were not only informative, but also ‘hands on’ so that students and teachers could experiment with the concepts they were investigating. Schools also came alway feeling affirmed that not only were they on the right track but that they had ideas to take back to the classroom to enhance the work that they had already done.
Check out a couple of the video clips on the day at: Energy Breakthrough Workshops
For teachers and students alike, there was excitement as they were guided through ensuring that they had the knowledge and understandings ready for the November celebration event. It is this partnership approach that ensures that schools can feel supported enough to embark on such a large undertaking and put theory into action. Over the past thirty years, that is what has made this initiative such a success; making STEM an accessible area of study.
In fact, the Energy Breakthrough has opened the doors for many; for teachers who have taken the plunge into actively immersing themselves in and teaching curriculum areas that they’ve often felt unskilled for, and for many students who would otherwise never have had any exposure to the practical side of STEM based education.
Stories abound of people who have found themselves on a very different career path due to their experience within Energy Breakthrough and this program has helped to break down many STEM stereotypes.
The impact of Energy Breakthrough, from an educational perspective is hugely successful and with strong partnership between CEP, the local Goldfields Shire, and RACV, along with the financial support of Department of Education and Training and many other private enterprises, we will only see this impact continue to grow for the benefit of communities near and far.
For further information on the Energy Breakthrough, click on the website link: Energy Breakthrough.
Come along to Energy Breakthrough in Maryborough on November 23-26 and see the schools in action for yourselves. Whilst there will be school teams racing, you will also bear witness to school presentations of their work and an abundance of energy and enthusiasm from staff and students who love talking about what they created and the learning that underpins their entry.