Our new Tech Centre sparks ideas
Our new Technology Centre at the Glen Waverley Campus provides a space for students to innovate and create.
What was once the campus administration building has been transformed into an advanced manufacturing and design centre for students, more commonly associated with universities than with secondary schools. The campus now has a dedicated Product Design classroom, equipped with rapid prototyping tools and equipment, power tools and 3D printers; a machine room with industry standard equipment such as the laser cutter and large format CNC router; and a systems lab for electronics, robotics and systems engineering with advanced 3D printing capability.
Senior School designs overcame complex challenges
Students in the first-ever VCE Product Design & Technology class at Wesley College demonstrated perseverance and a determination to succeed during the COVID lockdown in 2020, a time when they would have normally been fully engrossed in the manufacture of their products. Despite the logistical complexities of working through the individual designs from home, when students were able to return to campus and use the new cutting machinery, they completed their products to an excellent standard.
Notable designs included Nisha Kijanakorn’s Eco Pony design; Max Forthun’s entertainment unit, which was possibly the most challenging piece to produce; and Mia Agnew’s intricate side table with a ‘living hinge’ detail, which combined several different technologies.
The Year 10 Production Innovation class visited Swinburne University’s Faculty of Engineering in Term 1 and returned to work on concepts including space-saving furniture for a small apartment and augmented reality glasses. Students used CAD models, renders and their own skills in pitching their dynamic visions. They were assisted by our resident industry mentor and entrepreneur, Omar de Silva, who guided them through the complexities of the pitch and provided insights that helped them take their concept to a marketable level.
Junior and Middle School Makerspace opened up learning
The PYP Makerspace – a feature at each of our campuses and located within the Middle School precinct of the Glen Waverley Campus – is designed with the functionality of a science lab and the capacity for coding, robotics, 3D printing and filmmaking. Teachers have been using the Makerspace to enhance classroom lessons and increase collaboration, improve problem-solving and creativity. While classes were interrupted in 2020 by COVID-19 restrictions, students have still had sporadic chances to use the Makerspace.
Year 1 and 2 have been learning about procedural writing in English lessons, and used the Makerspace to write algorithms for programming our beebots and cubettos (robots designed to teach children early coding skills).
Year 6 have been working on a project that connects to Mathematics outcomes of measurement and 3D shapes. Year 6 students who witnessed the summer bushfire destruction of animal habitats near our Outdoor Education site at Mallana, in East Gippsland, were inspired to create nest boxes for the animals. After developing their measurement and design skills, they were supervised to use real tools (and protective equipment) to saw and sand the wood for their boxes.
Once the nests are ready, the nest boxes will be delivered to East Gippsland to be hung in the regenerating forest for a creature to inhabit. The excitement level is palpable, and there is great enthusiasm from our Year 6 students to apply their mathematics skills to real solutions!
Blair Odom is the PYP Head of Learning, SOSE, Science & Technology and Daniel Galvin is the Head of Faculty – Design and Technology at the Glen Waverley Campus.