According to the CSIRO scope STEM is a word that is used a lot lately. But what does it mean?  At the very least it’s an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Science: The study of the natural world.

Technology: One surprise—the STEM definition for technology includes any product made by humans to meet a want or need. (So much for all technology being digital.) A chair is technology; so is a pencil. Any product kids create to solve a problem can be regarded as technology.

Engineering: The design process students use to solve problems.

Math: The language of numbers, shapes, and quantities that seems so irrelevant to many students.

But it’s much more than an acronym – it’s potentially your passport for the future. Research has shown that students who study STEM are more creative, flexible and able to take advantage of the changes that are predicted in the workforce and workplaces of the future. Jobs from accounting, construction, nursing, to hair dressing all use STEM skills – let alone what the jobs of the future might be.

The Government has recognised that our jobs of the future require STEM knowledge and skills, so the education system is prioritising high quality STEM teaching and learning in our schools. We are extremely fortunate to have been successful in our application to the STEM X academy. The work our teachers complete will provide us with the foundation for implementing a high quality STEM program at Koroit and District Primary School. We are allocating one hour per week, per class Foundation to Year 6 as a specialist subject in 2019, as well as integrating STEM into other Curriculum areas (Literacy, Numeracy and Creative Minds). We are very excited about providing an engaging program linked to real world situations.

What is the STEM X Academy?

The STEM X Academy is a five-day residential teacher professional learning program open to Australian teachers and held in Canberra from 7-12 January 2018, STEM X Academy is run in partnership with the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA), Questacon and CSIRO.

– STEM X does something else no other program does. The main focus of the program is the development of hands-on, enquiry-based lessons and activities using available materials, and adapting activities using methods to suit your classroom. Science in the 21st century does not work in isolation and STEM X believes neither should teachers. As scientific inquiry becomes more collaborative, multidisciplinary and engaged with pressing real-world challenges, STEM X helps teachers to connect their classrooms both to this broader framework of research activities and to each other. The outcome is a dynamic network that is sharing ideas, resources, experience, encouragement and engagement with innovative teaching tools that are relevant to the world of science today.

Upon completion of the program teachers not only walk away with enthusiasm and excitement, but also the ability to create high-quality classroom activities that tap new ideas in STEM, along with membership to an innovation community that can now more properly extend from research laboratories to the science classrooms of primary and secondary schools across Australia.

We are excited about our STEM program in 2019 and beyond and cant wait to take you on the journey with us!