Mark Thompson Mount Sylvia SS principal, Adrian Bertolini Founder & director of Learning and Lake Clarendon SS Principal Sandra Wright at the STEM conference on January 30, 2019.
Mark Thompson Mount Sylvia SS principal, Adrian Bertolini Founder & director of Learning and Lake Clarendon SS Principal Sandra Wright at the STEM conference on January 30, 2019. Meg Bolton

Teachers code the way to a modern future

ROBOTICS, coding and programming might sound like a foreign language to some, but primary public school teachers from across the Lockyer Valley are becoming fluent in the technological chat.

Last week, the teachers from Mount Sylvia, Lake Clarendon, Gatton and many more gathered at annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics conference at Lake Apex.

Conference organiser and Lake Clarendon State School principal Sandra Wright said enhancing the teachers understanding of STEM was vital to students in the modern era.

"The conference is about critical thinking, problem solving, innovation and courage- we are expected to teach the students those skills, so we need to develop those skills first,” Ms Wright said.

"The purpose of the conference is about nurturing those skills within teachers before they get into the classrooms.”

For the second year, the conference hosted a number of hands-on presenters, as well as trades people who had STEM resources available for purchase.

While the 2018 conference focused on developing knowledge at an introductory level, this year's talks required a higher level of STEM understanding.

Ms Wright said there has the drastic improvement in the teacher's STEM knowledge in the past 12 months.

"Since implementing STEM the teachers are very confident,” she said.

"All of the staff and teacher aids are now confident at using technologies whereas last year that fear factor was there.”

STEM classes have been taught at Lake Clarendon for the past four years, and each year they have become more advanced.

Other schools across the district have only implemented the STEM program recently to align with the school curriculum.

Ms Wright said learning STEM at a primary school age was instrumental for students progressing in the current climate.

"It builds skill sets at an early age that then flows into high school,” Ms Wright said.

"It's important to focus on STEM because of the changes in education- especially because Queensland is a little bit behind Australia in terms of implementing robotics and agriculture industries.”

Ms Wright looked forward to seeing how much the local teachers had improved throughout the year at the 2020 conference.