Recently, SA Water and Makers Empire celebrated the second year of their partnership delivering education in sustainable water management, with an expo-style showcase at Port Noarlunga Primary School involving nine South Australian schools on the Fleurieu Peninsula and sharing their projects with each other. Makers Empire first connected with SA Water through the Lot 14 Innovation Precinct where SA Water is a major sponsor and Makers Empire is a tenant.
The Water Warriors program, delivered in terms two and three this year to nine schools in the south of Adelaide saw students learning about water as a precious and renewable resource including Indigenous knowledge, water management, and innovative ideas for building cooler, healthier communities. Teachers took part in professional development days and students collaborated on design thinking projects in response to various challenges, identifying solutions for a water-related problem within their school or community, or proposing a local response to a global problem.
As part of the Water Warriors program, teachers from each school recently completed the Makers Empire Learning by Design professional development course, which included a full day of training with 3D design software to help guide their students through the program. The pilot program also included a Water Warriors-themed Challenge Course delivered via the Makers Empire app.
The nine participating schools were Aldinga Beach Primary School, Christies Beach Primary School, Darlington Primary School, Flagstaff Hill Primary School, Investigator College, Port Noarlunga Primary School,South Port Primary School, Sunrise Christian School Morphett Vale and Willunga Primary School.
The schools recently came together for a student showcase at Port Noarlunga Primary School where they shared their projects and learning with each other.
The showcase day was opened by Makers Empire’s Director of Learning, Mandi Dimitriadis,who introduced the student leaders from Port Noarlunga Primary school who read an Acknowledgement of Country and welcomed the showcase audience to their school.
The showcase event was attended by over 120 students, teachers, special guests from industry and education, and representatives from SA Water and the Makers Empire team. Students from nine of the schools produced designs showing their unique solutions to the design challenge: ‘Identify a water-related issue or problem in your school or community, and design a solution.’
The projects demonstrate learning using 3D technology addressing Australian Curriculum Technology, with a particular focus on the Design and Production Skills strands. The projects show authentic links to the Australian Curriculum Cross-Curriculum Priority of Sustainability.
To conclude the event’s formal proceedings, each student was presented with a certificate.
Megan Short, Manager of Innovation at SA Water announced the winners of the peer prize as voted by the students, and the industry prize as voted by representatives from SA Water and presented the students from the winning teams with a 3D printed trophy.
Congratulations to Aldinga Primary School Team 2, winner of the A Water Industry Award, and Port Noarlunga Primary School Team 3, winner of the Peer Award.
Feedback from participating teachers included:
‘This was such a cool experience. Our students have blown us away with their problem-solving abilities and it was fantastic to see designs from a range of schools.’
‘This was an amazing program, and we really appreciate the opportunity to be involved. The students have loved the process of design thinking and using the Makers Empire tools.’
‘I have been excited to learn more about using Makers Empire and the different ways I can implement it within future units and how I can increase my sustainability focus in ways I wasn’t aware.’
‘The professional learning sessions were supportive, collegiate and informative for our teaching practice and learning programs.’
‘We have increased STEM learning across our site.’
‘I liked the way the students came up with real problems and worked through solving the problem.’
‘We have loved watching the students create and seeing all the other schools designs and ideas.’