Catherine McAuley STEM MAD projects gain national acclaim
02 Sep 2022
Catherine McAuley Westmead students have won three prestigious awards for the 2022 STEM MAD National Finals and will get to present their projects at the national showcase in Melbourne next week. The competition is a chance for school students to shine in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM.
Year 11 student Ashyra, who is studying engineering through the School of Now, won the major Award for Demonstrating Catholic Ethos (Secondary) and also the Inspired by Nature award (Secondary) for her Jarara Totem Project inspired by the Aboriginal cultural heritage of her local community while Year 10 students Shivali and Luise won the Best Demonstration of Science in Context Award for their ‘Eco Air’ project.
“I was ecstatic at winning the awards and so grateful for the opportunity to actually be in the Showcase itself,” said Ashyra. “It's such an incredible achievement to go against all these other students and then have my product and my hard work recognised at a national level.”
“We were very excited when we had our names read out,” said Luise. “We were just yelling and screaming,” added Shivali. “It’s great that the judges were able to see the efforts that we both put into our project.”
STEM MAD National is a celebration of student learning designed to acknowledge and promote STEM learning initiatives that address real-world problems and demonstrate the ethos of Catholic schools, encouraging students to make a difference (MAD) in the world by acting for justice and the common good.
Primary and secondary schools from 15 dioceses around Australia participated in the STEM MAD program.
“Luise, Shivali and Ashrya are all members of the Catherine McAuley STEM Club," said STEM Teacher Tara Hartman. "We have 60 students in the STEM Club which has doubled since it started last year.”
"It's wonderful to see women in STEM succeeding and also to see their passion. The ‘MAD’ in STEM MAD stands for 'make a difference' and I believe that's what they're doing. So I'm thrilled that they've been acknowledged for this."
Ashyra teamed up with the Jarara Indigenous Education Unit team for her Jarara Totem Project. Jarara helps schools develop totems to enhance their cultural awareness and understanding.
“I did a lot of research on totems and our area in Parramatta and settled on the eel,” explained Ashyra. “I began to sketch and construct a design that was transformed using CAD into a wooden sculpture and also silver brooches and pendants.”
“To go from the artwork to the CAD (computer-aided design) drawing to actually getting the artefacts made, there’s that STEM pipeline and understanding,” said Paul Stenning, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) Head of Mathematics and Science. “It’s the reason behind it which is the most compelling, which is that cultural awareness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
“The Jarara Totem Project aims to ensure that as Australian citizens, we acknowledge and make a visible effort to protect, respect and advocate for the beautiful relationship Indigenous people have with their land as stewards but also with their spirituality,” added Ashyra.
Shivali and Luise teamed up to develop their ‘Eco Air’ project which is aimed at working out how to purify air in a classroom in a more sustainable way.
“We were concerned that air purifiers introduced to schools have a temporary shelf life and like most electronics, will eventually stop functioning and will lead to more e-waste in landfill and also consumes electricity simply to function,” explained Shivali and Luise.
The pair researched natural alternatives such as an indoor vertical garden that could substitute the use of air purifier machines and decrease e-waste.
“They were two amazing projects from Catherine McAuley,” said Paul. “Finding out which plants would filter oxygen the best was an outstanding example of science in action and how scientists actually have to create their own technological solutions.”
Luise, who wants to become a civil or structural engineer when she finishes school, and Shivali who hopes to explore a career in aerospace engineering, both spoke about their love of STEM.
"I like to identify problems and find a solution," said Luise. "And there's a lot of research behind it. I also like how there's more than one subject behind it. There's maths and science. There is engineering. Lots of subjects are covered by STEM."
The three students will be travelling to Melbourne to present their projects at the National STEM MAD showcase on Tuesday 6th September.
It follows on from the highly-successful CEDP STEM MAD Showcase held during Term 2.
10 Oct 2022Choosing a school and don’t know where to start? Download School Selection Made Simple to help you choose a great local learning community to support your child's learning journey.
30 Nov 2022
Take a 'walk'🏃♀️ through this awesome Pop Artworks virtual gallery🎨 from the Year 6 students at Holy Family Primary School, East Granville.🤩💙💖 With the help of CAPTIVATE (our creative and performing arts program)🎭, students loved working on their eye-popping artworks and seeing them on display in the virtual gallery.🙌👏👀 You can walk through the gallery and see the names of all the artists via the following link: https://www.artsteps.com/view/636c8f4d6495c1ecaa4ff2e1
01 Dec 2022
Teach Meet is a fantastic series of events that brings teachers and educators together to collaborate and share successes, practical tips and learning. 👩🏫🧑🏫👨🏫 In Term 3, teachers and staff from many of our schools came together to discuss how they've implemented or are planning to implement a PBS4L (Positive Behaviour Support for Learning) framework and initiatives to support student wellbeing. It included sessions where attendees could venture into the classrooms at the host school, Holy Family Primary East Granville, to see the great work being done there. 🥰🤩👍 You can read more about it at the link in our bio 👉 CathWest Innovation College recently hosted the latest Teach Meet which focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).👏 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #granville #eastgranville #teachmeet
30 Nov 2022
As November📅 draws to a close🔚🔜, we wanted to give a big shoutout to all the students and staff from Penola Catholic College Emu Plains who took part in Movember🧔🥸 to raise awareness and funds for men's health.👊 Welll done to everyone involved!👍👍👍
29 Nov 2022
What a brilliant night🤩🥳😁 and what awesome artwork, music and other creative pieces produced by students at Delany College, Granville for their annual Creative Emergence and Design evening.🎭🎨👀👩🎤 It was a truly joyous occasion as the entire school community came together to celebrate the amazing work and talents of students at this great school.👏👏👏 You can find out more about Delany College and check out their brilliant new website here: https://www.delanygranville.catholic.edu.au
30 Nov 2022
It's not just Kindy who have been going to orientations but our 2023 Year 7 students as well! 🎉😀 What a special time for these future St Agnes Catholic High School Rooty Hill students, we spot lots of familiar uniforms in the crowd including Sacred Heart Primary Mount Druitt, Holy Family Primary Emerton, Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton and St Aidan's Primary Rooty Hill. 😇😄 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #mountdruitt #emerton #plumpton #rootyhill @stagnesrootyhill
29 Nov 2022
Our school communities are so passionate💪 about supporting🤲 those in need and Vinnies NSW is one of many organisations our schools love to support.🥰 Students from Marian Catholic College Kenthurst, Bede Polding College and Caroline Chisholm College continue to volunteer their time for Vinnies Van while also preparing for their Christmas Hamper appeals.😇💞 They're making a really important difference to the lives of those less fortunate, especially at this important time of year. Well done all!
28 Nov 2022
"It was so exciting.🤩 It extended my knowledge on science.🤯 It extended my passion for science."💪 Isn't it awesome seeing students so pasisonate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).👩🔬👷♂️🧮 These bright students came together recently for the Science Extension Expo where they got to showcase they're research as part of the Science Extension program which has helped them to excel in their schooling.👏👏👏 Well done to everyone involved.
29 Nov 2022
After an outstanding career in Catholic education, which included almost 34 years in leadership roles, Mary Creenaune, CEDP's Head of Student Services, has announced her retirement at the end of 2022. Mary held a number of senior roles in our schools including Assistant Principal and Acting Principal of Corpus Christi Primary Cranebrook, Relieving Assistant Principal at St Matthew’s Primary Windsor, Principal of Holy Family Primary Luddenham and Principal of Good Shepherd Primary Plumpton. Mary joined the Catholic Education Office as a Project and Team Leader in 2012 and was appointed Head of Student Services in 2017. Mary’s leadership was recently demonstrated by the success of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Education NSW State Conference. We thank Mary for her significant contribution to our shared mission of Catholic education over many years and wish her joy in her retirement. #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #luddenham #plumpton #windsor #cranebrook
28 Nov 2022
It's with a twinge of sadness but immense pride and gratitude that we farewell our beloved colleague and friend Sr Patty Andrew OSU who will retire at the end of 2022 after 35 years of service to Catholic education in the Diocese of Parramatta.😥😇😀👏 Sr Patty has dedicated her life to the mission of Catholic education and has worked in the Diocese since 1987. Sr Patty was the Foundation Principal of Holy Family Primary Luddenham and was also Principal of Mary Immaculate Primary School Quakers Hill as well as Area Administrator, Education Officer and World Youth Day Project Manager.🙏🤲 Sr Patty will be greatly missed by all who have known and worked with her here at Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.🥰💞
27 Nov 2022
Teach Meet👩🏫🧑🏫👨🏫 - what fantastic events bringing so many teachers and educators together to collaborate🤝 on important aspects of schooling and wellbeing for students as well as sharing successes, practical tips and learning.🥰🤩👍 You should read this great article about the Term 3 Teach Meet hosted by Holy Family Primary School, East Granville which focussed on student wellbeing.😇🤲 https://www.parra.catholic.edu.au/2022-PBS4L-TM Teachers and staff from so many of our schools came to discuss how they've implemented or were planning to implement a PBS4L framework. Attendees enjoyed venturing into the classrooms to see the great work being done at Holy Family. CathWest Innovation College recently hosted the latest Teach Meet which focussed on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).👏
28 Nov 2022
Our two Marist schools celebrated significant anniversaries this year: Parramatta Marist High is 200 and St Patrick's Marist College Dundas is 150 years old! 😲🤩 CEDP Executive Director Greg Whitby, Marist Schools Australia Regional Director Dr John Kyle-Robinson, Parramatta Marist Principal Mark Paushmann and St Patrick's Marist College Dundas Principal Paul Ryan recently gathered at the Marist Centre in Mascot to sign an agreement to ensure that the Marist charism and tradition is maintained at these historic schools. 🙏😇 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #dundas @parramattamarist @stpatsdundas #maristschoolsaustralia
27 Nov 2022
🙏Today marks the start of Advent, a time of preparation and reflection in the four weeks leading up to Christmas. We look forward to seeing our schools continue in their outreach to those in need during this time of year ❤😇 St Patrick's Guildford Chisholm Catholic Primary St Paul the Apostle Primary Winston Hills
27 Nov 2022
Today marks the start of Advent, a time of preparation and reflection in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.🙏 We look forward to seeing our schools continue their outreach to those in need during this time of year. 💜😇 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #penrith #guildford #blighpark #windsor #winstonhills #advent #firstdayofadvent @stpatricksprimaryguildford @chisholmcp @stpaultheapostles
26 Nov 2022
It's not just Kindy who have been going to orientations but our 2023 Year 7 students as well! 🎉😀 What a special time for these future St Agnes CHS Rooty Hill students, we spot lots of familiar uniforms in the crowd! 😇 Sacred Heart Primary School Mount Druitt Holy Family Primary Emerton Good Shepherd Plumpton St. Aidan's Primary School, Rooty Hill
27 Nov 2022
We're so excited that the Class of 2022 can celebrate their Year 12 formals in style!💃🕺🎊🎉 The Sydney Morning Herald popped along to St Clare's Catholic High School Hassall Grove recently for some beautiful photos and a story looking at how increasing formal costs are impacting students. 📸📰🥳🤩😎 You can read the story and see all the great pics at the link in our bio 👉 #cedp2022 #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #hassallgrove @stclareshassallgrove #schoolformal #schoolformals