30 November 2023

Igniting young minds through STEM-based innovations: a transformative educational experience

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Igniting young minds through STEM-based innovations: a transformative educational experience
Igniting young minds through STEM-based innovations: a transformative educational experience
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This year, Carey took a leap into the future of education by participating in the BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge. A group of Year 9 and Year 10 students embarked on a 12-week immersive experience in real-world research, exploring innovative solutions to contemporary issues.

Carey’s Year 10 team delved into the topic of ‘Ideal Classroom Conditions for Neurodivergent and Neurotypical Students’. Their research, including a school-wide survey, examined factors influencing learning outcomes, such as temperature, lighting, and the integration of soundproofing materials. Simultaneously, the Year 9 team delved into sustainable advancements in fuel cell engineering, modelling an eco-friendly car designed to run on clean energy.

Guided by industrial mentors, students developed collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Their findings were presented to a diverse audience, including parents, at the Royal Society of Victoria. The experience emphasised the importance of embracing failures as steppingstones toward advancing scientific impact.

The BrainSTEM initiative has proven to be an invaluable journey for students and a holistic triumph for educators in shaping well-rounded individuals prepared to face the complexities.


Students had further opportunities to explore collaborative problem solving when, on Friday 24 November, students from Camberwell High School, Ivanhoe Grammar, Kingswood College, the Knox School, Northside CC, Luther College and Scotch College met at Kew Sport to take part in the final BrainSTEM STEM challenge for 2024.

Working in interschool groups, students were asked to identify a global problem and to produce a solution. The scene was set by industry panellists Carolina Gaitan, Head of Customer Experience, Yarra Valley Water; Fiona Rhody-Nicoll, Head of Strategic Partnerships, CARETEQ; Alex Young, Head of Innovation and Growth, Australian Red Cross; and David Mast, Principal Consultant, Gray Advisory.

Students worked on their solution through the morning and then presented to a group of science and industry judges. The shortlisted finalists then presented to the whole group.

The Year 7 and 8 Carey students gave up their student-free day to take part. It was fabulous to see their enthusiasm, confidence and creativity as well as their ability to collaborate and develop a strong team. Several of our students also presented in the finals and did a wonderful job.

This opportunity allowed all participants to meet and share ideas with like-minded students from a wide range of schools. It also meant that they could work to produce meaningful solutions to real-world problems and present to knowledgeable industry panel.

Carey will continue to be involved with BrainSTEM in 2024, with interschool challenges offered to interested students as well as opportunities for Year 7 and 8 students to take part in School based term long challenges.

The opportunity to work on longer-term problem solving and to work with scientist and industry mentors during this time allows students to do a deep dive into areas of personal interest and also develop critical skills of collaboration, teamwork, creativity, problem solving, resilience and communication.

Kate Croft
Deputy Principal

Krista Bayliss
Leader of Learning – Science


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