Learning resources in schools – STEM Learning Project

October 13, 2017

In this week’s article we have a look at two examples of our STEM learning resources in action. We also take a look at STEM in the early years and a new national space agency for Australia (seriously!).

STEM learning resources in action

Comet Bay College has been running the STEM Learning Project module Urban shade in their year 8 class. They published a short newsletter about it including some great photos of the students in action. You can find it here.

We’ve also trialled several other resources, including Every bird needs a home.We asked Ben Kay, a primary science specialist, to tell us about his experience teaching the module. Here are some of the things he said.

 

 

What is the module about?

It’s about investigating the birdlife around a school and finding ways to improve the school environment to encourage birds to keep making it their home.

STEM learning resources
Activity 2: Predicting where we will find birds around the school

 

Standout from the module?

Going bird-watching and tallying the data is a great motivating introduction…the kids still run up to me to tell me about the birds they still see in their everyday lives, great outcome!

every bird needs a home
Activity 2: Bird watching and data collection

 

Top tip for teaching STEM?

Take a real world problem, plan some possible ways to solve it and lead the students to some of those possibilities using STEM skills to do so. You can assess their science, maths and technologies skills along the way!

how to make a STEM project
Engaging children in STEM thinking

STEM in the early years

Dr Pauline Roberts from Edith Cowan University presented at the Early Childhood Australia national conference last year on the subject of STEM in early childhood. You can find the slides here.

This editorial sheds some light on why STEM education in the early years is so important. It mentions a recent report, STEM Starts Early, out of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. Both the report and the Center website are well worth a look for those of you in the early years STEM learning space.

Science Nation

If you haven’t yet checked out science.gov.au, it’s worth a look. It’s the central site for information on federal government science policy and programs. You can find useful links to teacher resources and calendars for talks, events, prizes and grants. Reports and other publications are published there as well. Two interesting ones have come out recently: first, the National Science Statement for 2017. Secondly, the results of a survey on beliefs and attitudes about science among the Australian public.

Another very exciting piece of news is that the federal government recently announced plans for an Australian space agency. Will the existence of such a thing spur Aussie students on to ever higher STEM heights? The Conversation certainly thinks so.