Edtech Solutions
Network Summit

Inspiring Empathy and Agency in Students Through STEAM and Inquiry

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Ian Fairhurst  
Oscar Fairhurst  
Sue Floro  

Learn how we inspire empathy and agency in boys through our global changemaker inquiry. Incorporating a deep understanding of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and global competencies, our students are taking ownership and using their power to positively change the world.

Audience: Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators, Curriculum/district specialists
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Topic: Student agency, choice & voice
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
Connected Learner
  • Set goals to remain current on emerging technologies for learning, innovations in pedagogy and advancements in the learning sciences.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of our session is to demonstrate that empathy and agency are the result of students connecting to the causes or issues they are investigating. Young boys are capable learners, who can investigate, analyse and develop a deep understanding of their ability to make a difference in the world.
We will show the students' processes and their learning, showing examples of the products and celebrations they have created, as well as videos showing the insight and deep connections that they have made to the communities they have connected with.


10 Minutes - Introduction to the Inquiry Learning Framework
5mins - Approaches and frameworks to empathy and agency in students
10 Minutes - Sharing examples of their student working solutions
10 Mins - Hands on learning time using Micro:bits,
10 Mins - 3D Design Tools and 3D Printing
10 Mins - Extended Reality Virtual Community Showcases Web XR Platforms
5 mins Q & A

Supporting research

The session will demonstrate the deep use of these technologies through a structured primary years inquiry learning framework.

Workshop resource Site

WebXR Platform - Live and Synchronous (Student Guides)

WebXR Platform - Single User Mode (Self Explore)

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Ian Fairhurst, Knox Grammar Preparatory School

Ian Fairhurst is the Team Leader of Innovation & Technology at Knox Grammar Preparatory School in Sydney, Australia. Responsible for leading and supporting staff & students in the immersive use of digital & design technologies embedded in innovative learning experiences, he is passionate about embedding authentic globally-focused learning opportunities through STEAM education, as well as establishing an active maker-culture in schools. Ian has a master’s degree in Innovation & Change, and has presented globally on developing real-world educational experiences with an empathy+STEAM approach. His vision is to provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders to engage with authentic issues in our world.

Oscar Fairhurst, Knox Grammar Preparatory School
Sue Floro, Knox Grammar School

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