STEM Education at RCPHKMC

Maker Education is the main skeleton of STEM education at our school. Computer Literacy has held Maker Education Project in Form 3 for three consecutive years. In the Project, students are put in groups to think out of the box to create practical products based on the theme of the year. Smart Household and Smart School Campus were the themes of the previous two years. The theme of this year is Use of Technology to Improve the Quality of Life of the Visually Impaired. Under this theme, students need to have a wider perspective to design products to cater for the needs of others.

Makers are, without doubt, interested in innovation and are willing to share with others their innovative products. We, therefore, divide our Maker Education into four main phases: Think, Learn, Make and Share.

Introduction of Design Thinking

The first two stages of Design Thinking are Empathise and Define (see figure above). We adopt experiential learning to promote students’ deeper understanding of the needs, difficulties as well as feelings of the visually impaired. Through a series of learning activities, students put themselves into the shoes of the visually handicapped to understand their needs and difficulties in daily life. We hope that after the lessons of Design Thinking, students will be inspired to design products which are more feasible and practical.

Cater to Learners’ Diversity

In Computer Literacy lessons, students learn the basics of electronics technology, coding, drawing flowcharts or circuit diagrams, IoT solutions, etc. Equipped with the basic knowledge, students can apply different techniques such as Ardunio control boards and components or control components of other brands according to their ability and needs.

Tutorials

The third phase of the Project is Make in which students are given enough time and support to put theory into practice. During Computer Literacy lessons, teachers serve as mentors and facilitators. With the difficulties, especially on technical level, encountered by each group being different, teachers adjust the teaching content and pedagogy to teach students according to their aptitude to inspire them to refine their own design and to give appropriate technical support.

Preliminary Round

        In the preliminary round, students need to explain the rationale behind their design and demonstrate their products. In the presentation, students not only present the basic information including the functions and unique features of their innovation as well as division of labour, but also demonstrate how to operate their products to verify its feasibility.

Finals

The group with the highest marks in each class will compete in the finals. In order to involve more students, all junior form students will be invited to the product demonstration in the assembly of junior forms. In the finals in the previous two years, the Principal, Vice Principal, students studying ICT and guests were invited to be the judges. Right after the demonstration every year, the results of the competition are announced, which concludes the annual Project at its climax.

Outcomes

Under the theme of Smart Household in 2017 – 2018, 27 groups of students created different products including Face Washing Machine, Powerful Alarm Clock, Automatic Water Filling Machine, Smart Plant Installation, etc. to make their household smarter.

Smart School Campus

Under the theme of Smart School Campus in 2018 – 2019, 28 groups of students put their heads together to use their creativity to invent Smart Cabinet, Smart Street Lamp and RCPHKMC Dancing Robot to improve the campus environment.

In the Maker Education Project these two years, we have unearthed the potential of students, witnessing the launch of user-friendly products budding from their novel ideas. To sustain their creation in Form 3, we invite students to perfect their products for inter-school exhibitions and competitions to provide them ample opportunities and exposure to have exchanges with others.

With the introduction of Maker Education Project, Form 3 students not only develop ability to create products to make a difference to the world, but also build a solid foundation to explore more advanced creations in senior forms. The Project is a milestone in the journey of innovation technology education at school, with senior students now being more confident and able to apply the professional knowledge in different fields in their creations being the next.

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