STEM Illustrations of practice

Heathfield High School (Years 9 and 10)


Heathfield High School is a 8-12 co-educational government school located in Heathfield, South Australia on the Traditional Lands of the Peramangk Peoples of the Adelaide hills. Heathfield had entered into a school–business partnership, brokered by the Australian Industry Group, before this project began. The school used this partnership to set the direction for the project and the project brief for students: to create a new product that would appeal to the youth market.

Two Year 9 classes participated in the project. Explicit teaching occurred in learning areas, with teachers making connections between the content being taught and the project. Joint teaching sessions occurred from time to time to allow students to consolidate their work.

The Heathfield project involved intensive engagement with a single industry partner. The project processes closely followed those used by the industry partner. For example, students worked in teams of five to six, with each member being assigned a specific role that reflected the team roles of the industry partner, and timelines and deliverables were specified well in advance.

While the school set individual learning area assessment tasks throughout the project, the project's culmination was a presentation to a panel of judges made up of staff from the industry partner.

The project ran over a period of 10 weeks.

School sector: Government

School type: Co-educational

Year range: 8–12

Total enrolments: 870

Location: Metropolitan

STEM Coordinator Daniel Seymour, now at Adelaide Botanic High School was interviewed five years after the STEM Connections project at Heathfield High School. He discusses the sustainability of the project since it started and the impact the project has had on students and staff


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