Nurturing tomorrow’s innovators

In an era where technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, the role of education in preparing our children for the future has never been more critical. Sunshine Coast Grammar School stands at the forefront of this endeavour, offering a dynamic Digital Technology program designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the digital age.

At the helm of this innovative program is Mr Justin Pembroke, Head of Digital Innovation. With decades of experience and a passion for fostering inclusive learning environments, Justin is dedicated to advancing STEM education and educational technology. His commitment to innovation extends beyond the classroom, as evidenced by his involvement in supporting the local robotics community. Justin has also integrated the LEGO Education Spike Prime Robotics program into the curriculum and has delivered engaging LEGO Education Academy Teacher Training to educators across the Sunshine Coast.

Principal of Sunshine Coast Grammar School, Mrs Anna Owen, a chemistry teacher with extensive experience both within the classroom and administration of schools cautions that amidst the excitement of technological advancements, it’s essential to tread carefully. Mrs Owen has seen firsthand the impact of technology on students’ wellbeing. Social media, in particular, has emerged as a double-edged sword, offering connection and community while also fuelling divisiveness and anxiety. The performative nature of digital platforms can lead to a generation of imperfect perfectionists, whose values and beliefs are confused and unsettled. By providing guidance and support, we can help our children navigate the digital landscape responsibly, empowering them to make informed choices and thrive in an ever- changing world. In light of these challenges, a revolution is underway in the form of simple things—play, camping, sports, music, and the arts. The ‘no phones at school’ policies signal a return to real-world connection, fostering an environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Balancing the pursuit of a career in the academic discipline of Design and Digital Technologies with the emerging risks of the online environment is a critical consideration and risk in schools. Educators are presented with an opportunity to harness the power of technology for good. Sunshine Coast Grammar School’s Digital Technology program exemplifies this commitment, offering students a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating realm of educational technology. Through hands-on exploration and innovative teaching methods, students develop essential skills such as design thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning.

The integration of the LEGO Education Spike Prime robotics system into the curriculum has been met with enthusiasm by both students and educators alike. Under Justin’s guidance, students design, build, and program their robots, gaining a deep understanding of coding and engineering principles. Beyond technical proficiency, students also develop essential life skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance through collaborative projects.

Sunshine Coast Grammar School’s dedication to providing educators with the tools and knowledge they need to enhance the learning experience for their students is evident through their engaging LEGO Education Academy Teacher Training workshops. These workshops foster a collaborative environment where educators exchange ideas, best practices, and innovative approaches to teaching, ensuring that students receive a world-class education that prepares them for success in an increasingly digital world.

As parents, it’s essential to navigate the digital landscape with awareness and purpose. By embracing a balanced approach to technology use, promoting real-world connection, and supporting innovative educational initiatives like Sunshine Coast Grammar School’s Digital Technology program, we can nurture tomorrow’s innovators to thrive in an ever-changing world.