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SA business and education working together on STEAM

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It looks like education and industry are beginning to work together on the direction that STEAM education will take if the SMARTSchool which opened this week on the University of South Australia’s Magill Campus is any indication.

The $4 million facility will provide an enriched learning environment for students from reception to year 12.

The Samsung SMARTSchool will also be used as a facility for advanced teacher training, informed by practice-based learning and research into the future of learning.

The purpose-built facility incorporates Samsung technology including large-format display screens, interactive whiteboards, tablets, Galaxy S8 smartphones, Gear VR and Gear 360 virtual reality products. 

Head of UniSA’s School of Education, Professor Stephen Dobson says the new SMARTSchool is an asset for teacher education in South Australia and for the thousands of students who will have access to the facility.

“The school will benefit teachers, education researchers, students studying to become teachers and school students from across Australia,” Prof Dobson says.

“Flexible in concept and design, while emphasising STEM, the Samsung SMARTSchool is all about teaching students to become problem-solvers and innovators.

“The Samsung SMARTSchool has been designed to encourage team-based learning and creativity. From data collection and analysis for sports science, to learning about radar and GPS technologies applicable for defence and civilian settings, or the future of manufacturing through 3D printing, the Samsung SMARTSchool will give school students access to practical, career-focused learning.”

“It is critical that we equip our students, teachers and wider community with the skills, knowledge and tools that are important to the workforce of the future,” says the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Samsung Electronics Australia, Tess Ariotti.

“Our close collaboration with UniSA has helped us to create a purpose-built learning environment which will support teachers and encourage students to think creatively, work collaboratively and solve real-world problems.

“We’re excited to continue working with UniSA to inspire the next generation of innovators, creators and community leaders in Australia.”

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the collaboration with Samsung is another example of how UniSA’s partnerships with industry are delivering important gains for the state.

“The Samsung SMARTSchool will support the development of new generations of experts in the sciences and engineering who can fill and create future jobs because they have the skills and passion to make a difference in society, but also, the ability to work creatively in teams,” Prof Lloyd says.

The Samsung SMARTSchool will be accepting bookings from March 6 to bring students and their teachers from around the State into the new technology-rich spaces.

Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham said: “With technology evolving at a rapid pace, it’s important that our teaching methods and practices also evolve.

“This unique partnership between UniSA and Samsung is an excellent example of how universities and business can work together to boost STEM engagement through new ways of learning.

It’s great to see firsthand a workspace that will provide South Australian students with an advanced learning environment promoting innovation, creative thinking and complex problem-solving.”


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