The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) has launched its 2018 Schools Program, aimed at inspiring a life-long engagement for learners in the STEAM subject areas. Supported by the NSW Government, Crown Foundation and the Packer Foundation, schools in Western Sydney will also have the opportunity to access free professional development and coding resources for their classrooms through the newly established Western Sydney Coding Club (WSCC).
The 2018 Schools program features opportunities for learners to participate in self-directed or educator led experiences across the three MAAS venues, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory and the Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill, as well as joining learners and experts from across the country in virtual classrooms for free and on-demand video conferencing programs.
Presented by the MAAS Centre for STEAM, the WSCC will launch in October 2017, providing an entry point for Western Sydney teachers looking for a reliable and tested way to familiarise themselves with coding prior to the introduction of mandatory coding curriculum in 2018. WSCC will use arts and creativity as the vehicle for teaching coding.
Through WSCC, 120 schools will be provided with training and resources to learn industry-standard coding using the ThinkerShield, an educational tool created by MAAS. WSCC follows a pilot program earlier this year that successfully taught coding skills to 2000 learners from over 20 schools across Australia.
In 2018 schools will also have the opportunity to explore curriculum mapped limited-season exhibitions at the Powerhouse Museum, participate in the annual Young Creators Conference, join in with the League of Legends learning hub, and be a part of the Sydney Science Festival and Sydney Design Festival. Teachers are also invited to participate in new NESA accredited teacher professional development programs, which focus on coding, physical computing and project-based learning for science.