STEM learning has deepened its roots in the Limestone Coast this week with Mount Gambier High School and partner school Mount Gambier North Primary School officially launching new educational facilities.
Totalling over $3m, the two developments will deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning, in-line with a focused push within the state’s curriculum.
These interactive spaces include open area learning, collaboration across varying subjects and state of the art technology including green screens and interactive televisions.
Mount Gambier North principal Paul Harmer said the school’s $1m development, completed late last year, was instantly embraced by students.
“Before coming here as principal, the previous principal was given a grant to do STEM work around school,” Mr Harmer said.
“From here we looked at things that could be improved around all areas of the school.
“The idea was to offer flexible learning environments for students and find different ways to get children engaged.
“The new facility has opened up different opportunities for classes and teachers to try different things which is really exciting.” Mr Harmer praised the statefunded project, claiming funds invested in the public school system over the past 10 years had vastly changed the way children learn and develop.
“There has been a real focus on public schooling and giving students the same facilities you would see in private education,” he said.
“It has also been great to have Mount Gambier High School open their STEM building as the majority of our students transfer there after Year 7.
“It makes for a smooth learning transition with both our schools using similar facilities.” The Mount Gambier High School development became a reality after attracting a $2.5m grant, with Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell - who officially opened both sites on Wednesday - championing the school as a priority.
“Mount Gambier High had not had significant money put into it in some time,” Mr Bell said.
“As a feeder school for North, it was important to keep them both consistent.
“I do have a bit of a soft spot for Mount Gambier High as I attended in my teenage years and also went on to teach there, but I am committed to fighting for similar projects across all schools in Mount Gambier.
“Investing in schools is the best investment a government can make.” Mount Gambier High School principal Chris Edmonds said the new STEM building was already changing the way students engage in learning.
“We know students learn best when working together,” he said.
“The idea with the STEM facility is to blend the curriculum and get children excited about learning in different ways.
“They might be in English class but have a focus on science or maths - it is about figuring out how each individual learns and building from there.”