STEM or STEAM learning strategies are a sign that the lessons of curricula past have been noted. Traditional building block subjects are now taught with a new vigour and with emphasis on immersive learning opportunities.
LEOTC providers across New Zealand have had to keep step with this evolution and Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) has been swifter than most to embrace this philosophy in the service it delivers to educators and the tens of thousands of school children who visit every year.
Throughout the course of its 55-year history MOTAT has always worked hard to meet our visitors need to ‘touch’ and experience exhibitions.
As New Zealand’s only museum focused specifically on our nation’s technological and innovation heritage, MOTAT is committed to becoming an experiential epicentre for young innovators of the future.
“We know that our visiting school groups expect more than just an array of interesting historic collection items when they come to MOTAT” says Julie Baker, head of the museum’s Education Team.
“They have told us they want more from their Museum experience and so MOTAT has evolved into an interactive and tactile focused space. The buzz for us is to see school groups working with our educators and using our exhibitions to dive deeper into STEM disciplines.”
Whether it’s exploring the principals of flight or understanding simple and complex machines and their place within engineering and design; MOTAT’s educators have designed STEM themed learning programmes that interact seamlessly across the Museum’s live experience.
But what happens when the class climbs back onto the bus to head home?
MOTAT’s support doesn’t have to stop at the gates, through their new STEAM Cell mobile learning laboratories MOTAT educators and resources can now join teachers back in their classroom. These mobile capsules are towed by a car and the MOTAT education team currently travel to schools throughout the central and upper north island.
2020 has also seen the introduction of another ‘MOTAT at your place’ initiative with a menu of 5 STEM inspired ‘Learnable kits’ for educators to book on a week by week basis. These kits give classrooms access to cutting edge equipment and resources that might otherwise be too cost prohibitive to purchase outright. Each kit comes with supporting resources, but the beauty is in their flexibility, classes have free reign to experiment and enjoy these kits as they wish.
Successful STEM teaching is about embracing hands-on learning experiences. Through MOTAT’s education programmes these STEM theories and rules become tangible achievements; minds are opened, and imaginations are ignited
Find out more at motat.org.nz