The Cessnock Academy of STEM Excellence (CASE) is an initiative of the Cessnock High School Learning Community (CHSLC) and the NSW Department of Education. This learning community has resulted from a collaboration between Cessnock High School and five local partner primary schools of Abermain, Cessnock, Cessnock East, Kearsley and Kitchener.
The main purpose of the CASE is to improve the expert knowledge of STEM for the teachers of the CHSLC, to engage them in future-focused learning and teaching practices, and to inspire passion for STEM in their students.
CASE has become such a success that the NSW Minister for Education identified it as “being at the forefront of innovative education”. CASE become a pilot program for the STEM Industry Schools Partnership (SISP) and continues to be the sandbox for innovative curriculum development as best practice in New South Wales. NSW Department of Education has invested further in the model to embed it in other learning hubs across the state.
Abermain Public School
Abermain Public School is situated in the Cessnock area of the Hunter Valley. The school currently has an enrolment of approximately 290 students and a team of staff committed to improving educational outcomes for all students. Abermain was selected as a STEM Action school in 2017 as part of a NSW Department of Education initiative. Our engagement in STEM education was further developed by joining CASE in 2018. Throughout 2019
Abermain Public School will be working with Gillian Hewitt from Imaginaturalists to nurture our students’ love of science and the natural environment through creativity and artistic expression.
Cessnock East Public School
Cessnock East Public School is situated in the township of Cessnock, in the Hunter Valley. The school has an enrolment of 215 students divided into 9 classes. 28% of students identify as Aboriginal. Cessnock East Public School’s aim is to provide a learning environment that builds on children’s natural curiosity. All teachers embed innovative teaching practices to engage students and support future-focused learning through real projects, STEM and digital technologies. In 2019 students at Cessnock East Public School will engage in a program that develops entrepreneurial skills with a focus on inspiring girls in STEM through the Tech Girls are Superheroes Movement.
Cessnock High School
Cessnock High School is a medium-sized coeducational, comprehensive High School with an enrolment of 575 students including 23% who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Cessnock High School combines traditions and foundations of the past with a contemporary and future-focused learning community. We foster strong relationships with our partner primary schools and community promoting collegiality and connection.
Cessnock High School prides itself on an effective transition program for students moving from Year 6 to Year 7, including delivering a middle school teaching model for Year 7 students. Within our middle school system, we have established a CASE class for gifted and talented students to enrich their passion for STEM. In 2018 Cessnock High School achieved great success in various STEM initiatives including sending national representatives to the F1 in Schools competition and achieving the overall winners' trophy of the Electric Vehicle Prize. 2019 will see Cessnock High School continuing their involvement in these excellent programs, as well as establishing new programs such as ‘Comp in a Box’ and Antarctic Explorers. Students will have the opportunity to explore real-world scenarios in the mining and environmental science industries.
Cessnock Public School
Cessnock Public School has a current enrolment of 307 students, including three support classes. It is exciting to be a part of CASE as it has given our school community the opportunity to make significant progress in our STEM journey. Since CASE was formed in 2018 our staff have had the opportunity to participate in quality professional learning opportunities to build their capacity to implement engaging STEM programs. As a result, our students have participated in numerous STEM programs, including a school-based CO2 car Jaguar Challenge and the Electric vehicle challenge. Incorporating creative expression, teamwork and problem solving are driving factors behind our new STEM-focused programs. We aim to integrate innovative technology, such as green screen, robotics and drones in our daily learning programs.
Our students are looking forward to competing in Kreative Koalas and RoboCup. During Term 1, Stage 3 students have engaged in a weekly STEM afternoon with mentoring from Cessnock High School’s Year 7 CASE Class. Our staff and students have also been supported through CASE in the implementation of LEGO Mindstorms, Scratch coding and green screen workshops and curriculum development.
Kearsley Public School
Kearsley Public School is situated 7km east of Cessnock and has 127 students. We have a wonderfully supportive and engaged community. We are very excited to be a part of CASE as it has started our STEM journey with professional development for staff, access to fantastic resources through the CASE Lending Library and opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities and competitions such as the Jaguar Challenge. Being a small school, CASE has enabled us to achieve so much more with our students than what we could have achieved on our own. STEM activities have become an integrated part of our teaching and learning programs, developing our students problem-solving skills as well as creative and critical thinking skills.
Kitchener Public School
Kitchener Public School is a small school of 78 students and 4 classes on the outskirts of Cessnock. We joined the Cessnock Academy of STEM Excellence in 2018 as a partner primary school of Cessnock High School. As a small school, our involvement has allowed us to access a wide range of resources that we would not normally be able to provide to our students, as well as up-skilling our staff in using and implementing STEM in our classrooms.
Students have been able to experiment with 3D printing, Green Screen technology, coding and Ozobots, while also competing in the Solar Car Challenge and Jaguar Racing competitions. Students also had the opportunity to meet Eddie Woo as a part of CASE’s Woo, New and You event at The University of Newcastle.