Inaugural Keen2STEAM Interschool Challenge

On Thursday 17 June, Churchlands Primary School organised and hosted the very first Churchlands Network Interschool STEAM Challenge – Keen2STEAM 2021.

Woodlands and Wembley Primary Schools joined CPS on a day of critical thinking and problem solving, with students required to come up with unique and effective solutions to some of the pressing issues of our times, in a competitive environment.

Prior to the event, students from years 3 to 6 were selected to represent their school on the day with each school forming 4 teams of 6 students, competing in two separate divisions – years 3 & 4, and years 5 & 6.

The day’s challenges were all based around the GLOBAL GOALS, particularly Global Goal 15 – Life on the land. The year 3/4 division required students to complete 3 separate tasks, utilising skills and knowledge in researching, geography, computer science, soil chemical quality and water retention. The year 5/6 teams were presented with a ‘real-world’ problem – the Australian Cane Toad invasion – and were required to ideate, create, prototype and ‘sell’ a unique and viable solution to a ‘Shark Tank’ panel. Teamwork also played a major role, with students who managed to work together harmoniously and effectively placed well for successful campaigns. For competition results, teams were assessed against set criteria for each activity and at the end of the day, a winning team for each division was awarded, as well as an overall champion school.

We would like to thank Dr Bruce Webber, from the CSIRO, who not only shared his expertise on the judging panel, but presented an important keynote address on the Global Goals, particularly how the students’ solutions on the day, and ongoing problem solving, was the answer to some of the environmental issues our world faces. It was an engaging address, one that will hopefully drive our young competitors to continue to strive for STEAM excellence in the future.

Finally, congratulations go to Wembley Primary school – who had a team take out both the 3/4 and 5/6 divisions and subsequently was awarded champion school this year. Churchlands students performed brilliantly, taking out second place in each event. While we did not manage to take home the ‘cup’ this year, we now have a solid foundation to make an assault on the title next year.

On behalf of the CPS team, we would like to thank all the teachers involved in the organising of this fantastic event. A very special mention and thank you goes out to Mrs Reid (Room 8, STEAM Curriculum Leader) who has put in a lot of hard work over the last year, taking the event from a mere concept, to life. The event ran extremely smoothly, and most importantly the participating students were completely engaged, got to network amongst each other and had an absolute blast on the way. We are already looking forward to a bigger and better Keen2STEAM in 2022. Well done Mrs Reid, we are very lucky to have you!