St Mary’s Primary School Hampton: Learning Advantage

We are excited to partner with St. Mary’s Primary School Hampton in an educational project to encourage the students to think beyond the box in solving homelessness. The initiative to elicit creative thinking was lead by Teacher Joseph Peason. Pearson challenged his students from Year 2 at 6, “at the heart of computer programming is a desire to create new solutions to the problems you see around you. This same desire to make a difference resulted in the establishment of the non-profit organisation, 300 Blankets, in response to growing social isolation and hardships of Melbournians experiencing homelessness.”

Student Brief:
This new extension program will provide students with an opportunity to deepen their analytical thinking skills and problem solving abilities, through involvement in a lunch-time computer programming and robotics club. The 8 week program will involve 3 cross-aged groups of 10 students, working collaboratively to develop technological solutions that have potential to make positive change in their community.

Project Aims:
– Provide academic extension to students in Year 2 to 6.
– Inspire students to make positive change within their community
– Teach basic computer programmings skills and robotics

Approximately 30 students will be selected for the pilot program. To apply to be part of this exciting new initiative students are asked to apply their creative problem solving abilities in an authentic way. 300 Blankets is currently working with RMIT School of Architecture and Design, to design and construct mobile structures that will provide shelter and provide opportunities for volunteers to sit down with people experiencing homelessness to share a meal and invite conversation. St. Mary’s students are asked to develop their own design for mobile structures that 300 Blankets can consider. Designs can take the form of annotated drawings or 3D models and must include a 50-100 word explanation of their solution, as well as the attached application form.

I had the privilege to visit St Mary’s Primary School to discuss homelessness with the bright students from Year 2 to 6 and to see the result of their project. I was blown away by the quality of work and level of enthusiasm of the students who participated in the project. The far reaching designs ranged from a solar panel backpack that transforms into a heated sleeping capsule to modified trains that provide much needed housing for people experiencing homelessness. This is a perfect example of why we cherish our opportunities to work with the future leaders of our community.

St Mary’s Primary School, thank you for inspiring 300 Blankets to dream as big as you have for a brighter future.

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