Month: August 2017

August 24, 2017

It’s a quick one today, but we look at some interesting stuff. First, we see how taking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on board enriches STEM education. Secondly, we have a look at flipped learning, another great new way to teach maths. Last of all, we’ve got a couple of links for you to check out about the federal funding cuts to education.

 

Indigenous STEM
Courtesy University of the Fraser Valley. CC BY 2.0

 

Indigenous culture and maths

Chris Matthews of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance is helping Indigenous students get into STEM, reports the ABC. Matthews encourages young Indigenous people to believe in themselves and to value the different perspective the cultural heritage gives them. 

Maths and science are a part of Indigenous culture and this perspective can lend new ways of thinking about STEM. See this Queensland teaching resource and this ABC article for more information about Indigenous ways of teaching and learning maths. And now here’s a list of ways Indigenous science knowledge benefits research today.

Flipped Learning

Here’s another interesting way of teaching maths, called flipped learning. In this method, students learn content at home through watching videos. Working through problems, traditionally something completed for homework, is done in class where students have access to teacher support.

 

Education Cuts to Hit Maths and Science

Unfortunately, while STEM education in schools is getting attention, the latest funding cuts from the federal government may impact maths and science at the university level. SBS reports the debate between federal education minister Simon Birmingham and the Universities Australia over the issue. See also this in depth article from the Australian on the issue.

 

 

 

August 17, 2017

Regional STEM PL

Our regional STEM PL workshops are still going strong. At the start of August the STEM LP team headed up to Karratha to run workshops for the Pilbara network. Primary and secondary teachers and leaders attended and said the material was extremely useful. We’re excited about the strong drive for STEM education in the Pilbara.

In the near future, we have even more regional workshops planned. We’ll be heading up to Christmas Island on 31st August. And in October we’ll be delivering PL in Esperance, so get in contact if you’re interested in attending. As always, you can check on upcoming sessions and find booking links at our PL page.

 

Regional STEM PL
We’re travelling all over WA with our regional workshops. Image courtesy aussiejeff via Flickr.
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The STEM Innovation Expo

On Monday the Department of Education held its inaugural STEM Innovation Expo at the Crown Perth. Mark Hackling, the STEM Learning Project consortium chair and Michael Peter, the project manager, attended as seminar presenters. They gave a short workshop on the learning materials to over 100 attendees. You can watch a livestream of the entire expo on the DoE’s Youtube channel. The STEM LP content starts at 2:12:24.

New Ideas in STEM Education

There’s been lots of interesting STEM education news over the past few weeks. Firstly, out of the University of Melbourne is this interesting article about all the wonderful STEM initiatives happening around Australia and how we can support them.

There were a few interesting opinion pieces in the news as well. Gemma Tognini from the West Australian laments the lack of compulsory maths subjects for gaining a WA education certificate. However, she misses the fact that maths competency is inherent in subjects like home economics. Tom McLeish from the Guardian thinks its never too soon to get kids experimenting and playing in science class, while at the Scientific American Josephine Lister says we need to break down negative stereotypes and link science to student’s lives.

The Educator writes about using the Maths Pathway program to change the way maths education in run in schools. And how about using CAD software to teach STEM? Engineering.com has some thoughts on that.

STEM innovation
There are so many options for STEM education.

Keep Adding Letters

First we had STEM, then we added arts to get STEAM. Now there’s a new letter – R for reading. STREAM education is a new, deeply cross-curricular way of teaching that more and more educators are embracing. Get some tips and ideas about using this approach from EdTech here. 

Well my friends, that’s all for this week. Happy STREAMing!