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Curriculum case study - Playford International College - CSIRO STEM Professionals in Schools

[Teachers and STEM professionals on slides on screen smiling, and sharing skills]

[The CSIRO logo swirls into the centre of the screen]

[Text on screen STEM Professionals in Schools]

[The sun glints off a large satellite dish]

[Sue is being interviewed in her classroom; the text next to her reads Sue Elderfield Teacher Playford International College

Sue Elderfield: Phillip is a software programmer. He also has a passion for model aircraft.

[Sue and Phillip working on their lesson plan together discussing drones]

So even though his training's in engineering the by-products of that and his hobbies he's been able to transfer those skills to make it relevant for kids.

[Phillip shows the students how the drone works, pointing out the propellers]

Phillip Field: Their goal was to actually be able to fly a drone.

[Phillip being interviewed in the workshop, text reads Phillip Field Electrical Engineer (Retired)]

So they're problem-solving, they're talking to their peers, they've developed interpersonal skills and working with teams. Along the way they've picked up a whole lot of other things they didn’t realise they've got.

[Phillip working with the students at a table on various remote control objects]

Rob being interviewed in his office, text reads Rob Knight Principal Playford International College]

Rob Knight: When someone like Philip comes in and works, and supports our students he's a direct conduit between what happens in the school, or the classroom and what happens in the real world.

[Phillip working with the students around a table to build their models, the students look excited]

[Different examples of models and circuit boards come on screen]

And he likewise is able to come in and talk to them about how to connect the skills that they're learning here with where they potentially want to go in the future.

[Phillip uses a camera and a TV to show the students a closer look on his drone]

Sue Elderfield: People like Phillip have shown the kids that anything is possible.

[The students checking out the completed drone, they look very happy]

[The CSIRO logo pops into the centre of the screen, underneath is written Australia's National Science Agency]

[An equation of logos is on the screen with a graduation cap representing teacher, then a plus sign adding it to a STEM professional symbolized by a molecule logo.]

[The equals symbol then connects to a gear logo representing partnership.]

[A circle graph titled Schools with different colours for different percentages on screen, Catholic being 16.3%, Government being 65.8%, Independent/Private being 16.8% and other being 1.1%]

[A map symbolizing national reach with a circle graph to one side. the text under the graph reads "with 29% in regional and remote areas.]

[On the map going clockwise NT 1.5%, QLS 20.8%, NSW 20.9%, ACT 5.9%, TAS 5.2%, VIC 23.9%, SA 8%, WA 13.8%.]

[A graph titled STEM Professionals, the circle graph showing percentages by gender with female at 43.2%, male at 56.6%, and not specified at 0.2%. The text under the graph reads note Female STEM professional representation is significantly higher than the national female STEM qualified population of 17 percent overall asterisk leading to a footnote "from the 2020 program evaluation.]

[Text on centre screen reads The STEM Professionals in Schools project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. At the bottom of the screen is reads The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.]

[New Screen, text reading STEM Professionals in Schools would like to thank: Sue Elderfield, Rob Knight and students from Playford International College; Phillip Field, Electrical Engineer (retired)]

[Fade to black]

With the support of their STEM professional students at Playford International College built and operated radio-controlled drones.

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Copied!'s about the link between the science and the maths and the engineering, and how they work together to solve a real-world problem.

—Sue Elderfield, Teacher

Teacher: Sue Elderfield

Year Level: SACE Stages 1 & 2

STEM Professional: Phillip Field

STEM Professional occupation: Retired engineer

South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) curriculum links:

Design, Technology and Engineering

  • Robotic and Electronic Systems

Scientific studies


  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Critical and Creative Thinking

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment or the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

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