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Tuart Forest Primary School P&C – keeping school kids engaged with STEM activities

Our Kleenheat Community Grants program supports local groups, charities, and not-for-profit organisations doing great things in communities across regional Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

One of the five Grants categories, Inspiring Bright Minds, rewards groups that focus on helping our big-thinkers turn bright ideas into positive change. It doesn’t matter who we are, where we live, or what we do – a curious mind and creative thinking can open up a new world of possibilities.

Schools and extra-curricular programs are increasingly investing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs to inspire and encourage children and young adults to explore study and work in STEM-related fields.

The Tuart Forest Primary School P&C plays an important role in keeping the school’s students inspired and engaged in learning and STEM-related activities. It received a $1,000 Kleenheat Community Grant so it could purchase a VEX IQ Robotics Superkit. VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system, suitable for primary-aged children.

P&C’s supporting the STEM-related learning in our schools Tuart Forest Primary School Kleenheat Community Grants recipient

The importance of P&C Committees in our community and schools.

As many schools have limited funding for extracurricular activities, P&C Committees tend to help to raise money to provide extra resources. P&Cs also actively liaise with parents and teachers to ensure children are receiving the best possible education.

Since 2013, the Tuart Forest Primary School Parents and Citizens Association has been organising and assisting in fundraising activities so that vital resources can be sourced for the school.

Fundraising activities vary between fun, educational and active activities, with previous fundraisers contributing to additional books for the library, a school playground, trees, school discos, Mother’s and Father’s Day stalls, and uniform subsidies.

How did the Association use its $1,000 Kleenheat Community Grant?

The P&C used its Kleenheat Community Grant to purchase a new VEX IQ Superkit, plus competition add-on equipment. The Superkit supplements the existing seven robots previously purchased by the school as part of the Collie Preston Schools’ Network Robotics program.

The VEX Robotics competition is an exciting experience with students getting the chance to compete against each other and other schools in the district. Students also have the chance to go to national and international competitions via Zoom.

In September 2021, the Tuart Forest Primary School students took part in the 4th Annual Collie Preston Cup using the robot purchased with the Kleenheat Grant.

The importance of STEM related activities in educationTuart Forest Primary School Kleenheat Community Grants recipient

With the addition of a new VEX IQ Superkit and the extra competition equipment, Tuart Forest Primary School now has a class-set of eight Superkits. These kits provide students with a hands-on, interactive experience with concepts being learnt in the STEM learning areas.

Technically difficult concepts like ratios are brought to life through gearing mechanisms and pulley arrangements so that different methods of powering and steering a four, or even six-wheeled vehicle can also be explored.

The kits have pre-designed examples for students to build, but once students have gained an understanding of how the modular parts of the kits fit together, any creation is possible.

The Kleenheat grant enabled the purchase of some extra VEX IQ components such as multi-directional wheels and tank tracks. Students have not used these components in the robotics program before.

Through their use they will develop further understandings of how simple machines can connect together to form complex machines. This understanding will be put to use in designing two robots to take part in the local interschool robotics competition. The hope is that in the future, students from within the local network will be able to enter their robots into the national VEX IQ Challenge competition. Tuart Forest Primary School Kleenheat Community Grants recipient

How to join your local P&C

It’s usually very simple to join a P&C at your child’s school. Those interested in joining the Tuart Forest Primary School P&C, fill out a simple form and pay a $1 fee.

Being involved in a P&C allows parents to vote and voice their opinions through regular meetings and at AGM’s regarding where school funds are spent and how it will best benefit the student’s education.

P&C committees are typically formal, but realistic in their agenda, encouraging working parents and single parents to attend with flexible meetings times and venues.

Kleenheat Community Grants

Our grants program is supporting local groups and organisations doing great things in communities across the Northern Territory and regional Western Australia.

Our $1,000 grants are helping out with the little things in our communities that can make a big difference.

Learn more about Kleenheat Community Grants.