The power of reflection

After meeting the challenges of the Grampians camp – in particular, the 18-km hike up and over Mt Rosea and the view that makes it all worth it – the Year 8 boys returned home and straight into a STEM project that required them to build a Rube Goldberg machine. These machines are complex contraptions involving a series of devices that each perform a simple task being linked together to produce a domino effect.

These machines prompt students to think in different ways. To ensure that each ‘domino’ performs its task in the right order and at the right time, and to achieve the final goal, the students have to make many changes, from large to minute. In creating these machines, the boys learn about goal-setting, preparation, locating and fixing problems, and continuous improvement. They are forced to spend time reflecting on what they have done and how their perspective changes over time. It’s a valuable experience – the lessons learnt can be transferred into many areas of their lives.