The Knox Innovation, Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC) is a joint initiative of the schools in the Knox Network and Swinburne University, Wantirna Campus. It is the prototype for the new “Tech” schools and has been operating since 2012.
The mission of KIOSC is to connect students to their future by providing them with the ‘green’ knowledge and skills necessary for their success in the global technology focused workplace of the future.
The Discovery Centre is characterised by immersive technologies, including touch screens and large format wall, floor and ceiling projection systems that provide a sense of immersion in the activity and enable alternative forms of interaction with learning content.
Students in years 7-9 undertake two or three excursions per year to KIOSC where they use the high-level technology platforms to explore concepts that link closely to the education program delivered at school. The various programs on offer are focused on three broad areas of curriculum; Maths, Science and Humanities. The activities that the students undertake contextualise the studies at school and allow the students to use various technologies that they would otherwise not have available to them.
Maths: Students progress through the years from 7-9 building on their knowledge of computer coding. This involves problem solving through the use of different robotics including Sphero, Arduino and Lego Mindstorms.
Science: Year 7 is focused on biodiversity and classification, which ties in with the school topics of food webs and classification, ultimately investigation the affect that humans can have on various ecosystems. Year 8 looks at sustainability and how the pillars of sustainability can influence the development of buildings and towns. Year 9 investigates consumer chemistry, how everyday chemicals are manufactured, the claims that manufacturers make and the impact that this can have on society.
Humanities: Year 7 looks at the water cycle and the importance of water to society. It investigates water usage and how water can be treated to make it usable. The focus of year 8 is the changing landscape, how the continental plates drift, the effect of them colliding or moving apart and the rock cycle. Year 9 investigates the future of food, are current practises sustainable and what options are available to ensure that we are producing food in a sustainable manner.
Currently our year 10 elective, The Science of Crime, spend a day at KIOSC employing the forensic techniques that they have studied during the semester to help solve a murder. These techniques include fingerprinting, blood typing, tool marks and tool mark analysis.
Students in years 10-12 will use the facility to access the high quality technological equipment to enhance their school based learning and will also have the opportunity to undertake VET certificates such as Laboratory Skills, Printing & Graphic Arts, Engineering (Megatronics), Electro technology (pre apprenticeship), Integrated Technology and Renewable Energy at Swinburne University as part of the KIOSC initiative.
These vocations have been identified as skill shortage areas nationally, thus students studying these courses will have enhanced pathways post-secondary school. Local high tech businesses will be integrally involved in the program by providing opportunities for students to connect classroom learning to the “real world” through a range of integrated programs including structured work place learning, cadetships, industry visits and mentoring.
The KIOSC Trade Training Centre program will maximise students’ employment potential, broaden their career aspirations and options and respond to local industry demands for more industry focused curriculum and training.
Travel Arrangements to KIOSC
Students in Year 7 will travel to KIOSC as a group. They are then dismissed from KIOSC after the completion of the activities, generally at 2.30.
Students in years 8-12 will meet the staff at KIOSC by 9.00am. They will then be dismissed from KIOSC after the completion of the activities, generally at 2.30.
If any student needs to be accompanied back to school a note must be provided to the staff member in charge so that appropriate staffing arrangements can be made.