Thursday 30th January marked a special day for Yarra Ranges Tech School. It was the day we invited every teacher from Mater Christi College to come along and join us in a Half day Professional Development, the first ever of its kind here. Now, I know what you’re thinking, inviting close to 70 Teachers to come and trial some of our programs, had we hung ourselves out to be dissected and ripped to shreds? Or was it in fact us getting put through our paces? Perhaps, though nothing ventured, nothing gained so let’s push forward.
All the teachers started to pile in, early, of course in true teacher fashion. Once the coffee and croissants had settled in the room started to buzz, energy levels were high. We were ready to begin.
Ashley Van Krieken, YRTS Director, started the day off with an introduction testing the waters with some Human centered Design thinking activities. The reception was warmly welcomed, fewf, we all wiped the sweat from our brows. Ashley had passed the first test.
The day was flowing nicely. The teachers were fully engaged, and contributing to all conversational points, throwing around some fantastic ideas. So far, so good. We then got to the purpose of the day, Facilitating sessions of our new and emerging programs. The future is here. Engagement, and excitement was peaking now. After running through the sessions available, we then asked the students, I mean teachers to sign up to the programs they would like to involve themselves in for the day. This list consisting of, M5 Stack-Automation and Monitoring, Autonomous Vehicles, Urban Farming, 3D design and printing and finally Virtual Reality.
As pens and names were flying around on the signup sheets, numbers were filling up. It was then tour time. Time to show off our pride and joy, being the Tech School and all of our tech savvy rooms. Strap in teachers, the state of the art technology available here is nothing to be sneezed at and we consider ourselves extremely lucky to have it all available at our finger tips to share with future students.
Boarding tickets were scanned, and the tour began. Stops included our “big machine” room, this consisting of our CNC Machine, Laser cutter machine and buffering machine all these referred to as our retracting materials machines. Next stop was our additive machine room, or better known as the 3D printing room. A true crowd favourite, how can you take on online image and print it out in 3D still baffles me too but we’ll leave that discussion for another day. There were 4 more stops on the tour, so buckle up. Robotics/Multipurpose room, Tick. VR room, was a rollercoaster experience, literally. Teachers engaged in a rollercoaster virtual reality experience. The squeals were as though they were at Universal Studios. Hopefully Harry Potter world is the next stop?? Unfortunately not, but not to worry we did have our Presentation room, and our Green Screen room, who needs Universal Studios anyway move over Ron Wesley.
Swish and a flick, and poof we were ready to start our workshop sessions. The Teachers had split off into their chosen workshops. I was absolutely blown away, the interest from all teachers was astounding. Everyone was fully engaged and elbows deep in the Technology. Check mate. We were getting more brownie points as the day progressed.
As the day came to a close, the feedback was that we had passed the test with flying colours. We had managed to pull it off, the impossible is now the possible. Next stop, Pluto? Until next time, Blair
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