WA - SIDE partnerships: improving student access to design and technology

SIDE’s Technologies Learning Area continues to develop partnerships with district high schools, allowing students at the schools to develop skills in Design and Technology, and schools to upskill staff and use their Design and Technology rooms.

SIDE began successful partnerships with Meekatharra District High School and Kellerberrin DHS in 2019, and in 2020 this partnership was extended to Mukinbudin DHS and Kulin DHS. Students in Year 7-10 participate in woodwork and electronics lessons using the skills of specialist teachers at SIDE Leederville, web conferencing technologies and on-site supervision and specialist Design and Technology rooms.

Students take part in a live Webex lesson each week with a specialist teacher from Leederville who uses special cameras in the workshop at SIDE. These weekly lessons step students through the construction of projects and any related safety and theory content. Students view the lesson as a group with a school supervisor, who then supervises students in their own workshop area. The SIDE teachers have also created print and online support materials for school supervisors on essential skills and routine maintenance. Once a term the SIDE specialist teachers visit the school and work directly with students and supervisors.

Recently SIDE teachers Des Coles and Tim Reger visited Mukinbudin and Kellerberrin District High Schools, where they worked with Year 7-10 students and their supervisors. The students developed understanding of circuitry and electric diagrams, and skills in soldering and gluing to create a small handheld LED torch. Des used a close-up camera linked to the smart board so the circuits and his instruction were magnified and all students could see the finer circuitry details.

One principal described the way this program extends learning opportunities for regional students:

Our partnership with SIDE provides our learners with exposure to range of specialist learning areas and the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills across the curriculum.