Case Study - Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program

Hydro Power Project

Springfield Anglican College 2018

Innovation & Entrepreneurship STEM program

The Springfield Anglican College Year 10 Altitude classroom in partnership with STEM Punks, has offered a group of our high ability students the opportunity to challenge themselves in a non-traditional classroom context, where the emphasis is on extended problem solving and autonomous learning. There is also a focus on supporting students to understand and develop key 21st Century skills, as recognised through our TSAC Learner Framework. This semester, students have focussed on critical and creative thinking skills , collaboration, and reflective learning.

Students undertook an extended project in which they needed to develop a mini hydro electric energy generating system, to supply a small eco resort on an island in Micronesia. With very little prior knowledge of location, the environment, hydroelectricity generation and turbine blade design, students had to identify problems which they needed to solve, and allocated specific roles in the team. As they progressed, they identified the knowledge and understanding they required, and where and how to best source this. This proved to be one of the biggest challenges in the process. Having the perseverance to continue to progress the project when the solutions weren’t easily available, tested the resilience and focus of the teams. 

As students continued to look at how they could ensure efficiency in turbine blade design, they encountered the next ‘hurdle’ in the project – how to model and develop a prototype of their design. Again, students extended their learning through a series of four workshops with STEM Punks, who provided them with an understanding of 3D design using Fusion 360 software, and entrepreneurial skills around developing and pitching a product. Students were able to design their turbine blades, which were then 3D printed and attached to a small hydroelectric generator for testing. The challenges students faced in a process where they had to drive their own learning and problem solving, enabled students to extend and enrich their learning outside of traditional curriculum.

Catherine Gray - Springfield Anglican College, Academic Extension

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