Local businesses, kindergartens and community members all gathered at Elstow-Waihou Combined School last month (22 June) to witness the opening of its newest classroom, ‘STEAM HQ’.

‘STEAM’ integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics education and STEAM HQ is the first classroom of its kind in the Waikato school’s local area. It is all about igniting students’ curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and innovation through authentic, experiential learning opportunities.

Clare Bradley, from Agrisea, officially opened the new classroom and highlighted the importance of initiatives such as STEAM HQ.

“New Zealand needs innovative solutions and students who are able to think critically, ask questions and solve problems. We are completely inspired by the hands-on innovative learning happening at this school,” she said.

The school’s first interactive mural (banner), painted by local artist Elise Parmar, was unveiled by the five Elstow-Waihou school students who created the first QR codes for the interactive mural.

A kite designing and engineering competition, supported by Bunnings Te Aroha, enabled students to showcase their learning about forces and enabled community members to experience for themselves what hands-on STEAM learning is all about. Other STEAM activities included using microscopes; making lava lamps and pinwheels and exploring the new vertical Lego wall.

Principal Sandy Stirling says the school is excited to be starting their STEAM education journey.

“It’s so inspiring to see our children interact, investigate, and get inspired in our new learning space,” says Stirling.



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