CEDoW Student STEM MAD initiatives take out national awards

News | CEDoW Student STEM MAD initiatives take out national awards

Posted 1 December 2021 by Catholic Education in News

A love of science, design and technology, and a desire to make a positive difference in the world has resulted in three CEDoW student teams winning major awards at the recent Catholic Network Australia Limited (CNA) Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Making A Difference (MAD) national competition.

The student teams—from St Columbkille's Catholic Primary School, Corrimal and Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan—all performed exceptionally well, taking out first place in the STEM Curators Award - Primary; Maths in Context Award - Secondary; and the prestigious Future is STEM - Secondary Award.

To qualify, students throughout the diocese participated in the CEDoW STEM MAD competition, with the best projects qualifying for the National competition. Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, student teams presented their projects to a panel of ten judges by a short video presentation.

The CEDoW STEM MAD Student Showcase is designed to celebrate STEM-based learning initiatives that address real-world problems. It demonstrates how students in Catholic schools take action to identify and design solutions to major problems, acting for justice and the common goodIssues addressed included local; community and global issues, such as health and wellbeing; inclusive school and community infrastructure; and designing sustainable solutions to mitigate impacts of climate change and global warming.

For Magdalene Catholic College student, Frank Stillitano, receiving a national Future is STEM Award his Design and Technology work was “truly amazing”.

"I was very excited to be announced the winner of one of the major National Awards. It was a fantastic acknowledgment of all the hard work and dedication I put into my Design and Technology studies” - Frank Stillitano, Magdalene Catholic College

“I’ve always had a keen interest in STEM and a passion for design so to be able to create a project that went on to be recognised nationally was truly amazing."

Congratulations to the following students on their innovative winning projects.


The Magnet Bin: Ciara Pons and Kaylan Pons - St Columbkille's Catholic Primary School, Corrimal 

Concerned about rubbish in their local environment, Ciara and Kaylan came up with a new innovation for  garbage bins - The Magnet Bin. The Magnet Bin has magnets on the bottom of the lid and the top of the bin. This innovation could make a difference to the amount of plastic and other rubbish entering local environments.

Best Application of Maths in Context Award - Secondary

Aphroditav by Starr-Rice: Diana Adamovic, Marcus Attard, Logan Clare, Alexander Cooper, Cameron Corr, Jimmy Macri, Charlie Roberts, Zacchary Saprun, Tara Small, Grant Spinks, Ethan Williams, Kate Williams - Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan 

Participating in the Australian Space Design competition, team members of Starr-Rice Exploration were able to adapt to modernised situations and explore new ways to begin a working civilisation in space, Aphroditav, in the Venusian orbit.

This called for uses of all aspects of STEM; many elements of the design were very accurate, this included the orbital altitude as well as the composition of the air inside of the settlement. The settlement utilised original CAD designs created by team members for various aspects of the project including, transport, residences, factories, construction and food supply. The team were able to digitally design a functioning civilisation in space to suit a modern scenario in 2080.

The Future is STEM Award - Secondary

Mid-Rise CLT Eco Office Building: Frank Stillitano -  Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan 

The project was to design and produce a sustainable mid-rise office building that provides the required facilities to perform conventional clerical tasks, whilst upholding sustainable and ethical design practices in all stages of its life cycle. The building provides areas such as office spaces and conference rooms for white-collar workers to execute their work in an efficient and proactive manner. Through the use of alternate biopositive and low embodied construction materials, the mid-rise office building successfully meets each of the Aerotropolis’ sustainability objectives and thus set the standard for more Blue-Green Infrastructure in the Sydney CBD.

Matthew McMahon, Principal of Magdalene Catholic College, was delighted with the results, especially the major win by Frank Stillitano who was accelerated from Year 11 to Year 12 in Design and Technology.

“Our students put so much hard work into their projects and this competition,” he said. “There is so much talent across the nation and we couldn’t be more proud of the final result. We would like to thank everyone involved in the STEM MAD competition for all their work and the support given to students, including staff at CEO Wollongong and from Magdalene.”

2021 is the first year for CEDoW running a STEM MAD Student Showcase. It has been great to see, through the challenges of COVID, the work that has continued in the STEM space. STEM education develops an essential skill set that will support and empower students in reaching future success. Click here to view all student entries. 

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