STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Through STEM, students develop key skills including:

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • critical analysis
  • teamwork
  • independent thinking
  • initiative
  • communication
  • digital literacy

Why is STEM important?

The global economy is changing. Current jobs are disappearing due to automation and new jobs are emerging every day as a result of technological advances. The continual advances in technology are changing the way students learn, connect and interact every day. Skills developed by students through STEM provide them with the foundation to success at school and beyond. Employer demand for STEM qualifications and skills is high, and will continue to increase in the future. Currently 75% of jobs in the fastest growing industries require workers with STEM skills. To be competitive, the Australian workforce needs people who can adapt to a changing workplace.

STEM empowers individuals with the skills to succeed and adapt to this changing world.

How can we assist our teachers?

Academy of Future Skills hubs

The Academy of Future Skills is a team of specialist executive teachers who will support individual teachers and school in STEM education. With the aim of strengthening our public school teachers and providing a place where students love to learn, we use a coaching model to plan and co-deliver rich, integrated STEM learning programs. All public school teachers have the potential to develop their STEM skills and knowledge under our job-embedded professional learning model. If you or your school wish to receive curriculum or pedagogical support, STEM or inquiry-based learning workshops, borrow our specialised equipment or classroom spaces, or need to consult about the teaching of STEM subjects, please contact our specialist team.

Contact us
Southside Hub
Located at: Caroline Chisolm Senior School campus
108 Hambidge Crescent
Chisolm ACT 2905
Phone: 6207 5364
E-mail: CIL.Chisolm@ed.act.edu.au

Northside Hub
Opening end of 2019
Located at: University of Canberra Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra (UCSSCLG)
2 Emu Bank
Belconnen ACT 2607
Phone: 6207 0806
E-mail: CIL.Chisolm@ed.act.edu.au

To begin your STEM partnership, fill in the Expression of Interest form  (please hyperlink to: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zEHIEGBUQxCVa42kDxV8uxVUCbmU-7yI2R0ihpHmM6Y) or contact us by email or phone.

Science Mentors ACT

The Science Mentors ACT program provides Canberra public school students in Years 9 to 12 the opportunity to partner with local science and engineering professionals to design and conduct experiments, collect and analyse data, and report on their findings. The program runs from March through to early December. For more information on the program please contact the Convenor at geoffrey.mcnamara@ed.act.edu.au 

Please note: more information will be added under to the Academy of Future Skills tab. This is the basic information only on how to contact us.

Below are some links to resources and STEM partnerships:

The Science Educators’ Association provides support to teachers across the system and offers professional learning.

PrimaryConnections linking science with literacy is a program developed by the Australian Academy of Science which links the teaching of science with the teaching of literacy in primary schools. It is an inquiry-based approach focusing on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy. PrimaryConnections provide curriculum resources and a practical professional learning program.

The ANU Schools Enrichment Program is designed to provide students in Years 7-11 with flexible opportunities to experience the ANU, offering a wide range of workshops in all of the STEM subjects. ANU also coordinate Waterwatch and the Seismometers in Schools program.

The curriculum-linked Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance (STELR) teacher resources have been developed by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). It is a hands-on, inquiry-based program that shows students that science and maths are relevant to their lives. STELR also provides students with career profiles which highlight the study pathways necessary for jobs in STEM.

Since 2007, the CSIRO have partnered teachers with STEM professionals to enhance teaching practice and help to deliver engaging education in Australian schools. The STEM Professionals in Schools program involves partnerships between schools and scientists, mathematicians and ICT professionals to share expertise and knowledge to enhance learning opportunities in STEM areas.

The CSIRO’s Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) is a non-competitive awards program that supports students to carry out open-ended science and technology investigations.

Questacon, who design support materials for use in primary classrooms, and deliver professional learning.

The STEM Education Research Centre at UC are developing the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) Trial and digital platform under contract by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. ELSA builds on the success of the Australian Government’s Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) Trial.

The Digital Technologies Hub, which unpacks the Digital Technologies Curriculum and provides lesson ideas, research, professional development and activities based on the curriculum.

Grok Learning, is an online interactive platform that offers coding classes in programming languages like Python and HTML. Each class is aligned with the curriculum.

The Australian Digital Technologies Challenges developed by the Australian Computing Academy are free in-classroom activities for the most challenging aspects of the Year 5-8 bands of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, including algorithms, implementation (coding), data representation and data interpretation.

Challenges are focused on solving problems with using visual programming environments (Blockly) and general-purpose programming (Python, Javascript, Microbit and Arduino).

The Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER), based at the University of Adelaide in the School of Computer Science, has developed a free Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) program of professional learning in digital technologies. This is delivered using a hybrid model, where teachers from various schools come together on a regular basis to complete the on-line modules with a mentor supporting the group.

The Girls in Engineering and Technology Program (GET Set) is designed for female students in years 11 and 12 who wish to explore an education and career in engineering and technology. The 2018 GET Set event is the 10th anniversary of the program. The event is a non-competitive day including design, test and build tasks, lectures and demonstrations.
ACT Young Women in Engineering (YoWIE), an opportunity for Year 9 and 10 students to see where studying maths and science at school might take them.

Useful Science Websites

The CSIRO’s Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) is a non-competitive awards program that supports students to carry out open-ended science and technology investigations.

F1inSchools is the world’s most competitive STEM competition and is based on the fundamentals of action learning for students from Years 5 to 12. In asking students to design, make and race a miniature F1® car, the program immerses students in project based learning. Students have the opportunity to engage with practicing STEM mentors while using the design and analysis tools that are implemented in high technology industries.

The Jaguar Primary School Challenge is a subset of the F1inSchools challenge and is aimed at students in years K-7. It engages primary students as young as 5 years old in building and racing a paper based F1® car. Other external technology challenges that students can access include:

Numeracy

The Australian Curriculum states:

Numeracy encompasses the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need to use mathematics in a wide range of situations. It involves students recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world and having the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical knowledge and skills purposefully.

A National Numeracy Progression, aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, was released by ACARA in 2018. The progression outlines a sequence of observable indictors of increasingly sophisticated understanding of and skill in key numeracy concepts, and can be used to support students to successfully engage with the numeracy demands of Foundation to year 10 Australian Curriculum.

Principals as Numeracy Leaders (PANL)

Principals as Numeracy Leaders (PANL) is a comprehensive research-based project designed to assist school leaders and teachers to develop knowledge and skill to positively impact teaching and learning in numeracy. PANL is developed and delivered by the Association of Independent Schools Western Australia, in collaboration with the Pedagogy section.

Specifically, PANL aims to:

  • enhance school leaders’ efficacy in instructional leadership
  • enhance school leaders’ knowledge of essential numeracy content
  • assist in the design of whole school planning for numeracy improvement, based on an audit of current practices and resources.

PANL workshops were delivered across one semester and include the following modules:

  • Module 1 – Leadership of teaching and learning in numeracy
  • Module 2 – Numeracy content – the numeracy ‘big ideas’
  • Module 3 – Developing whole school approaches to numeracy using quality evidence
  • Module 4 – Designing interventions in numeracy

During 2017 and 2018, PANL was delivered in three rounds, with 52 schools participating in the project.

Count Me In Too

Count Me in Too (CMIT) is a program designed to build teacher capacity and knowledge of effective and practical mathematical concepts and strategies.

CMIT is an initiative of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (NSW DEC) and is based on the NSW DEC Numeracy Continuum K-10. CMIT focuses on quality teaching strategies to support students from kindergarten to year 2 to develop mathematical concepts and skills.

Middle Years Mental Computation

Middle Years Mental Computation (MYMC) program is an on-going professional development initiative of the ACT Education Directorate. MYMC aims to increase teachers’ professional knowledge, understanding and skill in connecting teaching, learning and assessment in mathematics. MYMC supports students in learning mental computation strategies for addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios.

reSolve: Mathematics by Inquiry

The reSolve: Mathematics by Inquiry project is an innovative national program that promotes relevant and engaging mathematics teaching and learning from Foundation to year 10. It is a collaboration of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers.

Useful Numeracy Websites

Further Readings to Support Mathematics Teaching & Learning

Last Updated