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A School Holiday Program for Kids with a Difference

STEAM-rolling into 2022, PIEX started off with its school holiday program for kids got to explore all aspects of the human body and the advantages of today’s technology. Unlike other school holiday programmes, students with PIEX got to build their confidence and versatility through a learning program with a difference! A ‘hands-on’ learning experience where they learned about and explored all areas of STEAM. This is where science, technology, engineering, the visual arts and mathematics combine and are used to help kids develop the skills needed to encourage and engage them in forming ideas and practices such as 3D modelling for printing (University of Central Florida, UCF, 2021). PIEX’s holiday program helped them to think ‘out-of-the-box’, steering creativity and design to produce the future creative collaborators, excellent problem solvers, thoughtful risk takers.

PIEX’s 2022 The Human Body STEAM Program

school-holiday-program-australia PIEX’s school holiday program got off to an exciting start, getting the kids to better understand the human body through the ‘human body puzzle’ activity. This was a fun venture where the kids were divided into groups of two and like a ‘puzzle’, had to fit the body parts and pieces together. This included watching videos about the human body system and how different parts of it work. They also learned about how different illnesses and everyday ailments can affect us and our bodies. They discovered how different inventions (past and present) such as the “band aid dispenser” invented by young Australians just like them, used the knowledge from STEAM to come up with creative, problem-solving ways to help people in their daily lives. school-holiday-programs-for-kids After learning about how the lungs function, the kids also learned how to create their own lung models.  The kids also explored scratch coding and programming with robotics. Here, they were able to focus and compare the technical parts and techniques of today’s digital technologies. This, combined with the visual and project-based challenge they were given about how to ‘improve the lives of people with physical disabilities, produced an effective learning structure. A learning structure that was both analytical and insightful, while also artistic and technical (Kim & Park in 2014, cited in Henriksen, 2017). In addition, this developed both their hard and soft skills, because according to the Good Schools Guide (2022), this utilizes through both “digital literacy and multidisciplinary knowledge”. In turn, reflecting a well-rounded “contemporary curriculum” to prepare kids for future “ever-evolving” careers (The Good Schools Guide, 2022). These are some of the Scratch projects the children have created. 
  1. Flynn drew inspiration from colour blindness and created a colour blindness test as part of his animation.
       2. Joshua researched about the ears and created an animation and game to educate their peers about deafness and how cochlear implant can help children with hearing disabilities.  What benefits does a STEAM School Holiday Program offer for the NSW School Curriculum? According to the NSW school curriculum, the key STEM and STEAM learning frameworks focus on and include (NSW Government, 2021):
  • Planning STEM and STEAM learning sequences
  • Providing markers for skill development
  • Question prompts to guide learning
  • Learning tools to monitor students’ progress
  • The relevant and key aspects of the Mathematics K-10 and Science and Technology K-6 syllabus learning areas
  • Creative and Critical Thinking Development and Learning Continuum 
  • The Stages and Steps in STEM and STEAM development (Early Stage 1 to Stage 3)   
Thus, as designed by education and industry experts, PIEX’s 2022 school holiday program was not only made to meet NSW school curriculum standards, but also to better prepare kids for the exciting world of STEAM learning and education!  And unlike most holiday programmes, PIEX’s program developed the necessary critical thinking, communication and creative problem-solving skills required for school and beyond!

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