STEM Illustrations of practice

Merici College (Years 9 and 10)


Merici College is a 7-12 girls Catholic School located in Canberra, ACT on the Traditional Lands of the Ngunnawal Peoples. Merici College has a specific emphasis on sustainability. Accordingly, their STEM Connections project focused on solar photovoltaics. The project consisted of two key parts: the first concentrated on a scientific investigation into power outputs from cells and the second on programming a heliostat robot to ensure maximum capture of sunlight.

Students who participated in this project had all chosen Technologies as an elective. They were timetabled into two mixed-ability classes for Science and Mathematics. Semi-integrated teaching occurred across the three learning areas. The project theme enabled the linking of concepts across learning areas. There was a focus on group work and team roles to build cooperative learning. Students were given time to develop responsibility for designing, developing and optimising their investigations.

There were four assessment tasks for the projects, each of which incorporated real-world connections.

This project was run over 10 weeks.

School sector: Independent Catholic

School type: Girls

Year range: Years 7–12

Total enrolments: 900

Location: Metropolitan

​A teacher at Merici College was interviewed five years after the STEM Connections project. Dr Kathryn White reflects on the impact of the STEM Connections project and how STEM teaching and learning is addressed. She discusses the sustainability of the project since it started and the impact the project has had on students and staff. You can listen to the podcast in one episode or ten individual episodes.​



Lasting effects of project

Change in pedagogy

Change in STEM implementation


Industry connections

Digital Technologies and STEM

Impact of STEM

Girls in STEM

Assessment strategies

Robotics competitions

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