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Getting a headstart on STEM

Students at ACG Tauranga enjoy an early introduction to STEM subjects, with dedicated science and mathematics lessons from specialist teachers beginning in Year 5.
Year 5 students enjoy dedicated lessons with specialist STEM teachers every week

Crystals metastasize in jars, seedlings sprout on shelves, and evaporation and condensation bags dangle from classroom windows. For young enquiring minds, Year 5 at ACG Tauranga is difficult to surpass.

With a strong focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) – including dedicated lessons with specialist science and mathematics teachers – Year 5 students at ACG are engaged, inspired, and a step ahead when it comes to future learning.

“The Year 5 students have two specialist science classes and eight specialist mathematics classes each week, and they love it,” says teacher Dani Archer.

“Not many schools offer this at Year 5, but specialist STEM teaching is so beneficial. It encourages curiosity and problem-solving skills and lays the foundations for future learning in these subjects as students transition into Middle School.”

Specialist classes from a Middle School mathematics teacher equip students with the numerical knowledge they need to transition seamlessly into checkpoint exams and higher-level studies. Meanwhile, specialist science lessons allow them to experience fun, hands-on learning in a modern lab environment.

“Students love working with the specialist science equipment and really look forward to their sessions in the lab. They always come back to class buzzing about what they’ve done and eager to fill me in on their lessons.”

It’s a hotly debated topic as to which specialist STEM class is the favourite among the enthusiastic nine and ten-year-olds, but here’s what a few of them had to say…

“I love doing experiments in science, but I prefer maths overall because it’s fun and useful. I like learning maths because it’s like playing a challenging game and it’s fun when I win the game. Nearly everything in life is math.” – Amélie.

“Science is fun because you get to go to the lab and do lots of cool experiments.” – Leo.

“I like maths because I like working out answers.” – Aiden.

“Science is my favourite STEM subject – I especially enjoy learning about plants.” – Elsa.

By cultivating an early love of STEM, ACG Tauranga sets students up for success, not only in their future learning but for meaningful lives in our contemporary world.