This week is NAIDOC Week, so we’re having a look at STEM education and Indigenous issues. This includes some events happening for NAIDOC as well as a few other interesting finds. We also have a look at a few regional schools and their approaches to STEM, and finish up with some professional development opportunities.
NAIDOC Week STEM Events
There’s been a few STEM events happening around Australia for NAIDOC week. In June, Edith Cowan University visited Merriwa Primary School to run some activities. The activities helped students investigate the science in traditional Indigenous knowledge and practices. The activities were one part of a strategy to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to study science. Read the article here.
Further afield, the State Library of Queensland got in on STEM this week with coding workshops for Indigenous girls. Finally, the Powerhouse Museum is running sessions on Dreamtime Astronomy. If you’re in Sydney before the end of July, make sure you check it out!
More On Indigenous Issues and STEM
While researching for this post, I stumbled across this article. It may not be a NAIDOC week event, but it certainly fits in with this year’s theme, ‘Our Languages Matter’. And it has students interacting with technology to help develop the game. Children from the Ngaanyatjarra Lands School (Warakurna Campus) are using digital technology to record words from the local language for the game. Once it’s released, it will also be open source so others will be able to change and contribute to it. This will enable educators to continue using it as a tool for STEM education as well as LOTE teaching, language preservation, and cultural transmission.
Carey Mining, Australia’s largest Indigenously owned mining and engineering company, has funded a makerspace. The makerspace was recently set up at Yule Brook college in Maddington as a place where young people can engage in hands-on STEM learning. Carey runs the Wongatha Education Trust, which invests in Aboriginal education initiatives and scholarships.
Regional Teacher Development Schools Do STEM
If you didn’t already know, the Department of Education has a Youtube channel with heaps of interesting videos. They’ve recently uploaded the final TDS STEM Innovation Partnerships videos, from Pannawonica, Esperance and Margaret River Primary Schools.
It’s inspiring to see the different ways that schools around the state are embracing STEM. And just in case you aren’t convinced, here’s why STEM is so important.
Professional Development Opportunities
Edith Cowan University is offering free Professional Development on engaging students using transformational games. The workshop is on the evening of August 7th and is for year 7-10 teachers of science, technology, health and physical education. Find out more and get your spot here.
And don’t forget, our team at the STEM Learning Project are always planning more workshops around WA and the Perth Metro area. If you’re not sure what’s in store you can check out what teachers are saying, or contact us.