REA in association with the Department of Defence (DOD) and a number of industry stakeholders have developed the “SUBS in Schools™” program. The program is focused on engaging student interest in the technology of submersible vehicles and submarines and is built on the fundamentals of project-based learning.
SUBS in Schools™ is structured on the same underlying fundamentals (pedagogy) successfully employed in the F1 in Schools™ (F1iS) program. F1iS has been successfully running in Australia since 2003 and has been proven to have a significant impact on the career decision choices of those students who take part.
SUB in Schools™ has been configured to support the delivery of educational content over an extended period. It is designed to extend over a complete school term at a minimum, but also provides students and teachers the opportunity to expand their learning experiences by being involved over multiple school terms or even multiple years.
Each component of SUBS in Schools™ can be aligned with the new National Curriculum and it is intended that students outcomes from this activity, such as the technical portfolio and scale models, could form a component of the requirements for final year 12 examinations in Design and Technology subjects undertaken as part of the VCE, HSC, etc.
The program is designed to equip students with the employability skills and knowledge to allow them to take part in the new set of industries being developed as a result of projects such as the Future Submarine Program.
- Is an activity based on Action Learning (learning by doing),
- Is aligned with the National Curriculum,
- Is designed to attract both boys and girls,
- Is a real project and a project students can relate to and engage with,
- Is a project which contains “cool” project elements that attract student interest,
- Promotes student involvement with industry role models,
- Is complex and cross curricular in the way it links STEM components together,
- Is a project that can be understood and implemented by teachers in High School.
The initial goals of SUBS in Schools™ were the following:
- Bring career relevance to STEM learning activities,
- Excite and encourage students to consider careers and a learning pathway related to STEM,
- Provide an alternative learning methodology for skills development in schools,
- Focus on building employability skills in students and thus provide them with better employment options,
- Facilitate a cross-curricular education environment to enhance the outcomes of the education system.
- Promote innovation and the development of entrepreneurship in young Australia.
- Develop skills in students which are directly transferable to industry roles,
- Increase the number of students taking up STEM based careers in support of satisfying the skills requirement of large-scale Engineering programs.
- Facilitate technology transfer from industry to the schools and community at large,
- Raise STEM career opportunity awareness within schools and the wider community along the way building the educational strength of schools in regional areas,
- Provide a catalyst for local industry to engage with the schools encouraging interaction and collaboration between schools, industry and the community,
- Encourage the collaboration between schools in the city and country areas,
- Use the power of Role Models to guide and support our youth in the process of career development,
- Ensure that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics becomes a part of the everyday language of students.
The tasks faced by the students in designing and constructing a submarine model will be no less complex than that faced by engineers working on a real submarine and thus the opportunity to collaborate with industry as a means of solving these problems will help to develop their teamwork and communications skills.
We are cognisant of the fact that the knowledge that currently existed within schools and the teaching community about submarines is very limited. The intent of the program is designed to allow schools to develop their own understanding of submarines and the technology behind submarines over time. To this extent the program is offered to the schools in a stepping stone manner which will allow the students and teachers to explore and develop their understanding of the STEM learning opportunities which exist with SUBS in Schools™.
Each level of the program requires the students to explore a broad range scientific, engineering, materials and manufacturing techniques and to build either an operating model of a miniature submarine, an operating ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) or an operational space within the submarine.
Level 1 – Build a Mini ROV
This is designed for year 7 or 8 students as an introduction to the STEM components of underwater activity. The task is to build and operate a mini ROV with the focus being on learning the principles of buoyance, propulsion and control. Small ROV model kits, together with instructions will be made available to the schools.
No external competition is planned for this stage of the program.
Level 2 – Design and Build a large ROV
This is aimed at students in years 8-9 and include a much larger component of D&T construction.
Students are required to build a larger scale ROV which is able to support ancillary items such as camera’s, robot arms and the like and is able to undertake specific tasks. REA has sourced teacher material and texts that will allow students to complete this task.
The competition between schools will be based around diving down and recovering items on the floor of a pool along the way filming the activity.
At this level the students will be required to extend their understanding of the maths and science around underwater operation together with robotic control. As with F1 in Schools™ students who take on this challenge will have the opportunity to compete nationally and possibly internationally.
Level 3 – Design an Internal Accommodation Space
This is designed for years 9-11 and more specifically those schools who do not have a significant Design & Technology workshop facility. Some schools do not have internal D&T classrooms capable of building a large-scale model of either an ROV of a submarine. This level of the competition will allow these schools to participate in a complex STEM program without being disadvantaged.
The task is to form a virtual design company, which will make a bid for the design of an accommodation space on-board the Future Submarine Project. The students will have to build a virtual 3D model of the accommodation space (i.e. galley or seeping space) as well as a physical 3D model of their space and then present their design to a team of industry judges. The winning teams will have the opportunity to undertake some high-level industry visits, possibly overseas.
Students take on the design of an operating scale submarine.
In the first year of the full competition, schools would be encouraged to reconstruct an existing design of a model submarine. In the subsequent years the schools would be able to innovate on the existing designs to improve their submarines.
The task is to form a new design company from 3-5 students to design and build a new remotely operated submarine. The operating environment this vehicle you must work within will also be defined by the rules.
To succeed in the challenge students will need to work with modern design, manufacturing and virtual reality technologies. You will be required to collaborate with industry and these links are a very important part of the challenge marking criteria. The complete design to manufacture process will need to be documented, along with team marketing and promotion. You will also need to form one or more specific industry partnerships to obtain advice or even assistance with manufacturing components not possible within your school.