Park Ridge State High School has been embarking on a deep learning journey through their partnership with PFI Aerospace and their Science of Rockets program. Proudly sponsored by Carl Quaterman the owner and Managing Director of Queensland Gaskets. The course of study has been designed as an integrated learning opportunity across the four disciplines of Science, Math, English, and Humanities. The program culminates with the students launching their very own Rocket provided by PFI Aerospace on the bottom oval at Park Ridge State High School.
In February 2020, the Queensland government published the “Queensland Space Industry Strategy, partnering with NASA in a bid to put a space station on the Moon and then Mars in the next 10 years. Then, on July 30, 2020, NASA launched their latest Mars Rover “Perseverance”. By studying and following the journey of space travel through the lens of life on Mars students are purposefully connected through the Australian curriculum to the skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creative thinking, and communication.
The program is designed to focus on the 21st-century learner and develop their skills to be in a position to fulfil the jobs of the future in an ever-changing world where technology determines the rapidly changing job market. The program also focuses on the development of personal and social skills to allow students to develop their character strengths and understand their role as a citizen in a society which will need students to solve real-world problems of sustainability, climate change, social changes and globalisation.
Deputy principal Craig McBrien said that there were four key elements of the approach to deep learning a focus on pedagogical practices, leveraging digital capabilities, a dynamic learning environment and the development of strong learning partnerships linked to industry. This is where PFI aerospace has been instrumental in their support for teachers and students. It is a great model that allows our students to put their learning into a context that is relevant, significant and happening right now across the world and they can be part of the journey of discovery to space.
Another highlight has been the voice of the students with a strong connection to their learning which has led to greater engagement in the classroom. This supports them to become skilled, adaptive and resilient through problem-solving, creative thinking, collaborative learning and co-designed inquiry.