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Auckland Park School readies launch of STEAM centre

  • On Thursday the Auckland Park Preparatory School will open its Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) centre.
  • The state-of-the-art STEAM centre will feature collaborative spaces and a tinkering laboratory.
  • Learners from the non-profit Salvazione School in Brixton will also be able to make use of the facility.

On Thursday, the Auckland Park Preparatory School (APPS) will open an all new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) centre on its campus in a bid to nurture the talents and aspirations of young girls.

The state-of-the-art STEAM centre will feature a “tinkering laboratory as well as collaborative spaces and will welcome learners from the non-profit Salvazione School in Brixton. Specialised teachers will be available to guide these learners.

“We are grateful to be able to provide our girls with a dynamic environment that encourages discovery, exploration, research and innovation. Our new facility reflects our dedication to excellence in education and is tailored to nurture the talents and aspirations of our girls in the various STEAM disciplines, ensuring a bright future for them,” Chantel Jarvis, headmistress at APPS said in a press release.

The centre builds on the school’s existing push to combine technology and sustainability in the context of education. For instance, the school has a hydroponic strawberry cultivation zone, driven by the principles of STEAM that has the added benefit of teaching learners about sustainable practices.

“Sustainable living is a practice everyone must adopt to ensure a functional planet for future generations. These values, coupled with the critical thinking skills fostered by our STEAM Centre, form the foundation for responsible global citizenship. This holistic approach not only empowers students with the skills needed for a dynamic future but also instills in them the ethical values essential for a brighter and more sustainable world,” adds Jarvis.

Investing in STEAM education, especially for girls and women, is of vital importance in South Africa as digitalisation grows. According to UNESCO, participation of women in STEM education and employment is lower than it should be and many women leave the sector while transitioning into the world of work.

“Female students represent only 35% of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study at this level globally. Differences are also observed by disciplines, with female enrolment lowest in engineering, manufacturing and construction, natural science, mathematics and statistics and ICT fields,” UNESCO’s report reads.

Hopefully, centres such as this one launching at APPS on Thursday can help to contribute to a change in the trend observed by UNESCO.

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