Tumby Area School self-funds STEM space

Tumby Bay Area School have unveiled a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) studio in time for the 2019 school year. 

The studio was entirely self-funded and fundraised for, because the school does not fall into the correct demographic to receive government funding for STEM upgrades or facilities. 

School principal Nicky Prosser said the studio is located centrally within the school and is designed for all year levels to use the space. 

“We want to show that we are a Reception to 12 school, and that all members of our school community can access the space,” she said. 

“It is designed with the furniture and the way it is laid out to be a bit funky and create and encourage modern world thinking.” 

The converted classroom was chosen partly because it is not near regular classrooms, and is seen as a different entity for learning. 

Ms Prosser said they wanted an open space where students could immediately come and learn STEM-based initiatives. 

“We wanted to get their (students’) STEM brains into action,” she said. 

“Just prior to the end of last year we purchased the equipment, and at the end of last year was when we began renovating the studio.

“The space will really facilitate ideas and is great for our students.” 

Ms Prosser said the project cost about $10,000, with furniture costing $2,500 and equipment about $7,000. 

“We’d love to do more, but of course we would need more money for that,” she said. 

She said they purchased spheros and blue bots, which are small robots that can be programmed, inventions kits called Makey Makeys and iPads to assist with programming. 

Ms Prosser said students were already involved in a STEM ambassador’s project, in which students travel to Adelaide to compete in challenges, and can bring back ideas learned to the studio at the school.