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In this lesson, the head of science at Mentone Girls' Grammar uses earthquakes as the topic to explore scientific concepts such as density and states of matter with a Year 6 class. Commencing the class with a demonstration of an earthquake machine, the teacher uses a range of resources and activities along with questioning to encourage students to explore the science of natural disasters. The students engage in small group and whole class investigations to develop a deeper understanding of the STEM concepts underpinning the lesson.
Located 20km south of central Melbourne, Mentone Girls' Grammar is a Foundation to Year 12 school founded in 1899. Science is a main focus at the school and students in Year 5 and 6 are taught STEM subjects by specialist teachers from the Senior School. In Year 5, students undertake a STEM year in which every topic connects to Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. As a result of the strong emphasis on Science, the school has high student uptake of Science electives at Year 12.
  • How could interdisciplinary studies be best implemented in your classroom?
  • How could your school draw on the expertise of parents or the community to enrich the learning experiences available to students?
  • How have you scaffolded student learning to introduce complex concepts to junior or middle school classes?
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Offline package - The earthquake machine