St Mary’s School Pioneers STEM For Sustainability

by Marcus Culverwell, Headteacher at St Mary’s

If we are not teaching the rising generation about the big social, ethical and environmental issues that they will face in the 21st century, then we are failing them badly. I have been in education for 30 years and it still amazes me how few educators really understand the importance of teaching our students how to tackle the big problems that the world is facing. The general public, including those in the world of education, are spectacularly ignorant about major and serious scientific issues and this is perhaps why school curriculums in many countries have progressed very little during those 30 years.  When the world around us is changing at a phenomenal rate, we need prepare students to be able to navigate the journey and not leave them effectively driving blindfolded.

There are tremendous opportunities ahead, and collectively we do have the knowledge, the skills and the technology to tackle the big problems. However we still need the passion and the understanding of why it is so important to do so. This will never happen while people do not appreciate the significance of the problems nor see how they can be a part of the solution.

Unless we teach the children coming up through our schools how to embrace the challenges and how to apply new technologies in order to tackle these critically important issues; such as climate change, food security, and water scarcity, they are destined to repeat the mistakes of their parents’ generation placing economic growth and profit above people and the planet.

This is why I strongly believe that we need to redesign our curriculums to incorporate STEM for sustainability and a deep understanding of why the problems of over-consumption, waste and ecosystem resource depletion are so serious. Even more importantly, we need to equip the young people in our schools today, not just with the knowledge, but with the heart and desire to want the change. That is why Twin’s STEM for Sustainability solutions are invaluable to our school.

by Simon Williams, Director of Digital Strategy

“STEM enables pupils to look at real world problems collaborating with their peers to find solutions. They build models, they lock together electronic parts. They then use a familiar Scratch or the Blockly coding language to put the instructions together they sequence the instructions, use trial and error and eventually they will solve that challenge.Yeah, fit really well with magnets connecting together the different components.”

by a Pupil at St Mary’s School

“So when our headteacher told us about Twin Science and how STEM can be used to help us create sustainable future, we were really keen to try it. In our lessons we learned how that, depending on the angle of the sun shining on the solar panel, it can create more energy. Using this information we made a solar panel that rotates towards the sun so that we can maximize our solar energy. Using the Twin Kits, we were able to construct a model that works just like the real thing. It was simple to use and really helped us very in practice. It has already given us the confidence to see what we can do with technology and how it can help us towards a sustainable future.”

Leave a Reply