25 September 2018
When Madison Park School applied to national education charity Schools Plus for philanthropic support earlier this year, it didn’t expect to grab the attention of international tech giant Google.
But through a partnership between Google Australia and Schools Plus, the Salisbury East primary school is the second Australian school to receive financial and engineering support for STEM education.
Google is providing $20,000 to support the school’s Lego STEM Education project, which will significantly expand its students’ access to digital technologies and STEM learning activities. Madison Park is one of 139 STEM Works schools nominated by the SA Department of Education and Child Development. Through this program, a purpose-built STEM building has been established at the school, however it does not have the physical resources – technology and other equipment – to use the new facility to its fullest potential.
Google’s financial support will enable the school to purchase laptops and Lego Mindstorm robotics kits; contribute to the costs of teacher release for training and planning; and support two teams’ entry in the FIRST Lego League competition. Google is also committing additional resources including making engineers available for mentoring students and facilitating professional development opportunities for teachers.
Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said: “We are delighted to connect Madison Park School and Google. It’s so crucial for students to learn the skills that will equip them for a tech-driven future. We’re excited to see how this partnership opens the minds of hundreds of students to the possibilities that await them.”
Google Australia’s Engineering Community & Outreach Manager Sally-Ann Williams said: “We’re deeply committed to supporting computer science education in Australia – computer science and robotics can lead to a world of opportunities, so we’re thrilled be able to help Madison Park School’s Lego STEM program. We’re grateful to Schools Plus for bringing this exciting opportunity to us and we can’t wait to work with the Madison Park kids and teachers to do great things with technology.”
The partnership was launched at a special assembly at Madison Park School. Following the assembly, students participated in a robotics activity with Google volunteers.