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Sir Joseph Banks High School

Sir Joseph Banks High School

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What is STEAM?

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. STEAM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is an example of the application of maths, science and technology. Art and design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives.

STEAM integrates multiple disciplines to provide opportunities to see how concepts relate to life. It is not a stand-alone subject, rather a group of subjects that work together. STEAM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for students.

A centre of excellence for STEAM

Our Learning Hub is acknowledged as a centre of excellence for STEAM. It is an important part of our future focused approach to learning. The Hub is well resourced with physical technologies and teacher expertise to deliver innovative and engaging STEAM programs. As a connected classroom, students engage in video conferencing and virtual excursions that meet globalisation and online engagement demands of 21st century education.

Teachers and students are encouraged to create, tinker and innovate. They engage and participate in the following to develop their critical and creative thinking skills:

  • lego robotics
  • micro robotics
  • arduino
  • sphero
  • makey makey
  • 3D printing.

STEAM programs

STEAM start

Our STEAM start program is for all Year 7 and 8 students. The program is run through different subjects and explores STEAM topics related to that subject. Students engage in a variety of activities designed to develop their creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and technology skills.


As part of our STEAM program, students from Years 7–10 are given opportunities to explore robotics. Robotics is a great way to get students excited about STEAM and to engage them in complex, strategic problem-solving. It introduces students to concepts and skills that are needed for understanding the highly interactive information-based technology of the future. Robotics develops students' critical and computational thinking skills and is an effective way to introduce programming to students.

A robot is a mechanical device that can be programmed to follow a set of instructions. Robots have processing units, sensors to help them perceive things in the surrounding environment, and motors and actuators so that they can move. Robots may also have the added programmable functionality of lights, sounds or speech recognition.


The First Lego League challenges students to think like scientists and engineers. During the 2018/19 'Into Orbit' season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the project. They will also build, test and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve a set of missions in the robot game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under core values celebrating discovery, teamwork and professionalism.

STEAMpunk Girls 

STEAMpunk Girls is an educational program for young women in Years 8 and 9. The aim is to increase female participation in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) fields. Over the course of the program, students identify a problem in their school or community and use STEAM to develop a way to address it.

In 2019 our STEAMpunk Girls engaged in Project-Based Learning, Design Thinking and STEAM concepts to investigate how we can use technology to build relationships. The girls worked with Adafruit Circuit Playground and Microsoft MakeCode to make wearable technology. Students also had the opportunity to work with the very talented team at the Information Technology Directorate and presented at Australia’s biggest education expo, EduTECH. They were also featured on an episode of T4L TV to discuss how they use technology every day to help them learn. Our students’ involvement in the UTS STEAMpunk Girls program has been phenomenal and we look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.


Buildbots is open to all years and runs every Tuesday and Wednesday morning from 8:00 – 8:40 am. Students have the opportunity to build with LEGO NXT and EV3 robots to make them smart, fast and fun. They share their ideas and experiences through completing new actions and new missions at their own pace as they program and command using MINDSTORMS. Robots come to life as students steer and control them to challenge their peers in different missions.



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