St Augustine’s Year Six students win at STEM Competition

St Augustine’s students Malia, Harper and Maggie with the Commotion Controller.


THREE St Augustine’s Year Six students have proudly won the top prize at the STEM Make A Difference (MAD) Competition in the Wellbeing Primary School Category.

The national competition encourages Catholic School students to address real-world problems and to ‘Make a Difference’ in the world.

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St Augustine’s Primary School’s Special Projects Officer, Leonie Hewitt, said students had to consider acting for justice and the common good.

“Participants were required to identify the way their solution or product intends to make a difference through the lens of Catholic Stewardship, solidarity, common good, citizenship, humanity and wellbeing,” she told News Of The Area.

The competition’s aims included celebrating students taking action that makes a difference, showcasing deep learning and engaging schools in effective STEM based multidisciplinary inquiries.

Ms Hewitt explained the process for participation.

“Earlier in the year, the St Augustine’s team won the Diocesan level of the competition, gaining a hard-earned place in the virtual National competition alongside finalists from other Catholic schools around Australia.”

The St Augustine’s team concept was called the Commotion Controller.
Their idea is a visual cue for students to know when they’re getting too loud
in the classroom.
The product is designed to increase student focus in the class and support students with sensory needs.

Their invention was also placed in the Top 3 across all primary school categories.

“The students persisted with this project when they came up against technical obstacles and, using their newfound skills, re-programmed the device to better suit the classroom setting,” said St Augustine’s Principal Peter Watts.

“We had such fun trying to solve the difficult problems,” said the team members.

“It was a lot of trial and error.”

STEM MAD has been taking place in Melbourne since 2018 and has been reimagined as STEM MAD Goes Digital in response to the restrictions in place across Australia due to Covid-19.


By Sandra MOON

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