Learning & Teaching

Digital Technology

STEM MAD Showcase 2020

STEM MAD is a statewide competition organised by Catholic Education Melbourne which celebrates STEM innovations in School.

STEM MAD is designed to acknowledge and promote STEM learning initiatives that address real-world problems and demonstrate how students in Catholic schools take action that matters. Student teams are invited to design a product, service or innovation to Make A Difference (MAD) to others or the environment.

St Augustine’s has several STEM MAD project teams in 2020. This challenge has been even more daunting as students have been been working remotely, and communicating and collaborating online. The focus this year has been on creating working models, rather than concepts or ideas. The use of coding to operate models has been encouraging.

Here are the are some of their videos.

Have you ever walked out the door and forgot to wear your mask? Sachi and Reizo are determined this won’t happen again. They have made a beautifully designed Mask station which stores all the families masks near the front door. An ultrasonic sensor is triggered as you approach the door, and you get a timely reminder from Sachi and Reizo to put your mask on.

The school has sanitiser dispenser placed around the school. The shortcomings of these include, having to touch the pump, wastage through excessive pumping, and floors being stained. India and Ruby have resolved all these issues with their no touch sanitiser dispenser. The device uses an ultrasonic sensors to recognise when a hand is in place and delivers a measured quantity.

With Covid, we have been encouraging students to be careful what they touch, to avoid spread. Things get tricky when students go to the school’s toilets. Lara and Isabelle’s toilet paper delivery system is a great invention to reduce the spread of germs.

Jack was interested in studying the fauna of Taylors creek. Very little is known about the marsupials or invasive mammals in this gulley. His amazing wildlife camera design, not only streams footage from its location near the creek, but also detects movement and uploads short videos to the web. Jack can monitor all wildlife action in Taylors Creek from anywhere in the world by logging in on his computer.

Soccer score disputes will be a thing of the past with these soccer score monitors developed by Marcus and Jack. When the ball hits the net, the movement sensor is triggered, and a goal is recorded. This is then displayed on the screen. The wheel takes in any slack, and waits for the next goal. An accurate score can be read off the displays.

Alessandra is on a mission. To look after our native birds local to the the Keilor region. Deforestation has reduced the number of potential nesting sites. Not only has Alessandra made an incredible bird box, but has installed a spy cam, so we can watch the chicks hatch. I can’t wait!


This project was commissioned by Mrs Steere. When transitioning from play to learning at school, students get a warning bell, and know they have 5 minutes to be sitting in line, calm, focused and ready to learn. Our students are good at this, but here is always room for improvement.  Jazelle and Trinity have created a tiny device that plugs into the school’s PA system and transmits upbeat music for the two minutes before the warning bell, and calming music for two minutes after.  The hope is that the music will give extra warning for those who take time to transition and those needing to go to the toilet. The calming music will settle the students, and get them ready for any announcements and heading back in to learning. This device will be switched on when we return to normal school operation. Trinity and Jazelle will liaise with teachers and students to keep the music fresh and appropriate.

Their projects are currently being judged and we are hoping some of the teams will be invited to the STEM MAD Showcase virtual event, as finalists.

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