As we prepare our students for a future in which the skills of research, critical thinking and STEM will be ever more important and highly valued, students in Year 7 experience a rich journey in skills development through the Lateral Learning program.
All Year 7 students complete two introductory workshops: one in Research and Critical Thinking Skills and the other in STEM (Spatial Skills). In the Research and Critical Thinking workshops, students think critically about what it means to be an ethical consumer and creator of information. They learn about plagiarism, what it is, and how to avoid it by summarising information into their own words. They also practise writing a bibliography for a variety of sources using APA format.
The development of 3D spatial skills has been identified as one of five essential skills for STEM learning and for pursuing a career in STEM. Meriden’s 3D Spatial Skills program, developed by Dr Sheryl Sorby, a visiting Professor in the Engineering Education and Innovation Centre at Ohio State University and a Professor Emerita of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University, has been introduced at Meriden by Ms Ingrid Schwartz, Coordinator of Learning Link – STEM. The course teaches students how to visualise objects in one’s mind and manipulate those images. Students also develop the ability to translate 2D objects to 3D and mentally rotate 3D objects, using CAD programs to create their own designs.
The development of these skills is directly linked to a number of subject areas and assessment tasks in Year 7, ranging from Technology Mandatory to Science and Mathematics. We look forward to watching our students make progress in these important skills areas.