Tjuntjuntjara RCS and Cecil Andrews College Partnership
In week 10 of the term 3 school Term 11 students and 3 staff from Cecil Andrews College in Perth visited Tjuntjuntjara RCS for 3 days of learning and sharing. The Camp was a big success and of great benefit to staff and students involved from both schools. Cecil Andrews College (CAC) in Seville Grove, Armadale, Perth WA and Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School (TRCS) have established an inter school partnership. The partnership began in late 2016 and focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Cultural Exchange. CAC is a low Socio Economic State High School (Years 7-12) with 660 students. 20%of CAC students are indigenous. 5 of the visiting students are Nyoongar and 1 Torres Strait Islander. Many other students at CAC are from a variety of other migrant backgrounds. The sharing of culture in diverse groups is an excellent opportunity for all students involved to develop their global citizenship.
The Week 10 STEM Camp hosted by TRCS was supported by the Tjuntjuntjara Community with transport (bus hire) and warm welcomes for the Perth Visitors from PTAC Staff and Community Members with visits to the Women’s Centre, CRC and a Community Inma (dance) in camp. Some of the Perth students had never before camped out or visited Central Australia. The visiting students and staff formed strong relationships and engaged in a variety of activities including building Lego Robots, Solar Powered Cars, woodworking, introduction to Aquaponics, RC Rock Climber Track Design, fine art and music. Students from both schools shared meals, sports activities and field trips to learn about Spinifex Culture, Plants, Animals and geology.
Professor of STEAM Education Peter Taylor ex-Murdoch University and DOEWA School Pathways program Coordinator Mrs Gail Manton accompanied the CAC group to enrich the Teacher Development aspect of the activities. CAC is a Technologies Teacher Development School. The schools partnership has a STEM development goal for both schools. The partnership also targets Robotics, Coding and STEM Engineering through RC Vehicles.
The great strength of the schools partnership is the relationships formed between students and staff and ongoing integrated programs like Robotics, Engineering and Science.
TRCS plans to visit Perth in November 2017 with a small group of students to participate in the FIRST Robotics Lego League State Tournament at Curtin University with CAC students. Looking forward into 2018 the partnership will include a science project for shared learning, teacher development and resource exchange.
The first meeting of the schools occurred in November 2016 when TRCS staff and students camped at CAC and participated in Steam Ahead at the Arcadia Landing Show in Perth. CAC was coordinating Steam Ahead which provided STEM activities for 2000 visiting school children and the public at the International Arts Arcadia Event. Arcadia is a giant fire breathing spider built with from industrial waste housing laser, fire, dance and music performances. At the event TRCS students met the crew back stage and engaged in activities in Arts, STEM and attended the Arcadia Youth Event. TRCS also engaged in STEM and other classes at CAC, visited Scitech for a special event and a local Primary school. TRCS combines it’s Perth visits with it’s collaboration with Notre Dame University Education Faculty.
TRCS visited CAC again in August for a week long camp for more shared learning in classes and CAC students attended the Indigenous Literacy Foundation Book launch at the WA State Library with the TRCS Authors.