Year 5 Team of All Saints Primary School Wins STEM MAD Award

The Year 5 Team of All Saints Primary School – Albany Creek bagged the “Best Engineered Product” Award at the STEM MAD Showcase.

More than 50 student teams from Catholic schools across Australia have participated in the STEM Making a Difference (MAD) National Showcase which was hosted in Melbourne last 16 November 2021. The initiative aims to encourage students to make a difference using their STEM learning and find innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Year 3 to 12 students presented their projects along with a video pitch of their work explaining how their idea could positively impact the community. The students competed in four categories: Primary, Secondary, Future is STEAM and Executive Director Award.

All Saints Primary School – Albany Creek team, composed of Year 5 students, took home the Primary School Award for their The Multi-Bin project. Their prototype is a motorised trash bin comprising three compartments that allows it to segregate plastics for recycling.

Their mentor and STEM teacher Sarah Campbell said that the students learned about the concerning amount of waste materials like e-waste and soft plastics that are not being recycled and were concerned about their environmental impact. They thought of finding a way to help people recycle this rubbish in an easy and convenient way, right from their homes. 

Photo credit:  All Saints Primary School – Albany Creek / Facebook

“The girls built the prototype entirely from Lego, with robotic mechanisms inside that allows you to select the type of rubbish for categorisation and correct placement as you insert it,” she said.

Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Deputy Executive Director Dr Doug Ashleigh said that BCE is extremely proud of the five STEM teams who represented Brisbane at the national showcase and won several recognitions.

“…the empathy shown by the students towards societal and environmental issues and the people affected or potentially affected was heart-warming,” Dr Ashleigh said.

Dr Ashleigh added that initiatives like STEM MAD gives students “perspective and a deeper meaning into what they’re learning, why and how they might apply this in the real-world.”

He said that to truly engage students is to have them look deeply into some of the social issues that the country is facing and use their design thinking process to develop creative solutions to these issues. Then consult with real-world specialists to help investigate the viability of their solutions.

Photo credit: Brisbane Catholic Education / Facebook
Photo credit: Brisbane Catholic Education / Facebook

Other Brisbane STEM Teams that took home recognitions were:

  • St Vincent’s Primary School, Clear Island Waters with their Vision Buddy project: Best Assistive Device Award Primary Winner and STEM MAD National Award – The Future is STEM Primary National Winner
  • St Eugene College, Burpengary with BeachMate: Communications Award Secondary Winner, Best Integration of Technology Secondary Finalist, and STEM MAD National Award – Secondary National Winner
  • St Teresa’s Catholic College, Noosaville, with Check-in App: Catholic Ethos Finalist and Wellbeing Award Secondary Winner