John Monash Science School
A bespoke program, co-developed with a partner school, responding to the challenge of engaging students and providing meaningful learning in a virtual environment.
John Monash Science School (JMSS) is a uniquely modelled Victorian Government funded school. Specialising in sciences, maths and technologies, it has been a partner school and administrator of Monash Tech School (MTS) since 2017. Student entry commences at Year 10 and allows students to develop a flair for sciences of their choice via rich study opportunities, allowing students to deeply investigate areas of particular interest to them.
JMSS students originate from all over Melbourne, and there is a strong camaraderie amongst the student body. However, learning in isolation presented all the usual educational challenges, including unstable internet connections, working in groups online, keeping students inspired, and creating program content which would clearly and efficiently translate to an online platform.
JMSS turned to Monash Tech School to provide solutions and support their Year 10 Sustainable Cities program, which would normally have been delivered at school in a face to face classroom environment.
MTS partnered with JMSS’s Issues Studies team to create an exciting and authentic assessment strategy to compliment as well as scaffold up their Sustainable Cities project. The project brief required students to create a plan to revitalise a city in decline - showing empathy to their city’s specific needs - utilising what they learnt through participating in the newly developed MTS online workshops.
The MTS designed Cospaces workshops taught the students how to elevate Cospaces software to support the ideation, prototyping and testing phases of their term work. Cospaces allowed students to build a prototype and visually realise their design. MTS provided a project facilitator who was proficient in Cospaces as well as design thinking processes. An MTS co-pilot provided tech support to assist students as needed. JMSS provided online teacher support. Program sessions were delivered live, allowing for meaningful learning, troubleshooting and building of facilitator and student rapport.
JMSS had a phase one competition, where all students entered their prototype and pitched it to JMSS and MTS staff. Industry stakeholders, specialising in sustainable practices, evaluated the best nine entrants in the MTS Pitch 2 Panel series. A panel of industry experts included:
* Jackson Yin, Managing Director from award-winning construction company iBuild,
* Daniel Berry, Sustainability Officer from the City of Monash,
* Andrew Gray, Director of BioQuisitive, a Community Life Science Lab,
* Professor Carl Grosch Director of Urban Planning and Design at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University
The Sustainable Cities program generated a range of innovative and inspiring ideas that transformed big thinking into meaningful curriculum outcomes.
It has taken 250 students with varying levels of understanding around design thinking and elevated their skills, focussing on working in teams, ideating, generating and testing a prototype. It has forged business, entrepreneurial, sustainability and innovation skillsets across an entire Year 10 level, as well as engaging students with meaningful curriculum work and identifying students with exceptional talent.
Sustainable Cities has supported students to develop a business case that covers finances, marketing, quality assurance, testing and target markets. Not to mention, we now have 250 students with a heightened understanding of 3D modelling software and how to use the technology within a business-orientated format to improve entire communities.
Students have emerged with leadership skills, a deeper level of empathy, concern for communities and a thirst to create and deliver solutions.
This combination of skills development, packaged in a program where students can work deeply on what matters to them, has prepared 250 students for the world of work, study, and life beyond learning in isolation.
“I was inspired to start building a sustainable city in Minecraft with my nine year old daughter. We are having heaps of fun and learning quite a bit too.” Industry Panellist