STEM in Primary

STEM in Primary
A blog for those interested in primary school STEM education

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Local Australian Support for STEM in Primary Schools

Stuff this week - Local Australian Support for STEM in Primary Schools

In Australia it is government that is the principal sponsor of the changing STEM education landscape. By sponsor I mean providing funding for resources and teacher training. This takes for form of grantsteacher training programs (often only online ) and awards such as the Peter Doherty awards for excellence in STEM education
In the USA, however, there are daily news reports of corporations and others making grants for STEM. 

In Australia not so much. There are some exceptions such as Social Ventures Australia who has partnered with Samsung to create the STEM Learning Hub, a new initiative designed to boost STEM learning in schools with the greatest need.
Beyond that I have had little success in identifying organisations that are interested in assisting primary schools improve their STEM offerings. This dearth of support I think is illustrated by the call last year by the Federal Government for grant submissions as part of the Digital Literacy School Grants. My school applied for a grant in October 2016 which was supposed to be awarded by the end of January 2017 but due to over 1800 submissions the announcement was only made this week (No we didn't make the cut :-(  ).
To be fair there is some non-grant assistance being made available. There is Australia's new Science online TV channel. ABC Splash (ABC's online education channel) has a dedicated STEM section. Universities such as QUT have ongoing teacher and student education programs some free and some for a small fee, typically though these are immediately sold out. Lastly the CSIRO administers the governments Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) Program.
So I am not sure why the private sector is reticent to get involved with primary schools. Possibly it is a chicken and egg scenario. Schools may not be showing how corporations can assist and how they can be innovative and make the donations worthwhile. Equally corporations are not making their philanthropic intentions known.
So what do you think. Should their be more corporate assistance to schools for STEM? What can schools do to attract sponsorship?

Stuff in the news

How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking -  An article from KQED News 27 March 2017
Birmingham Covington: Building a Student-Centered School - It IS possible. You just need a vision and commitment. An article from Edutopia 6 April 2017
In One of Connecticut’s Most Innovative Districts, Belief in Every Student Comes First - Schools often state they are "child-centered" or that they are addressing the needs of "all children", but what does this really mean and how can the thoughts behind it be achieved. An article from Edsurge 4 April 2017.

Stuff to buy

Bloxels - A hands-on platform for kids to build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game creation. It is a clever learning toy that lets children build their own video games and characters, one physical block at a time.
*At this point in time I earn no money from any product I list and I am not affiliated with any other company.

Stuff in education

Related Problems: Reasoning About Addition - A great video showing how year 1 students can be taught how to spot patterns in maths.
Related to the video above 3P Learning has a blog post from 2013 along similar lines. Making sense of mathematics through reasoning.

Stuff to do Australia Wide

new iconAustralian STEM Video Game Challenge - For grades 5+.The Australian STEM Video Game Challenge will ask participants to develop games in response to a central theme or idea. Registration open 1 May and submissions close 25 August.
Young ICT Explorers -  A non-profit competition, which has been created by SAP to encourage school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related projects. Registrations are OPEN. See the YouTube video here!
Edutech 2017 - EduTECH is the LARGEST education event in Asia-Pac and the Southern Hemisphere. 7-9 June 2017 in Sydney.
- - -
Young Engineers Australia - Provides an engaging, hands-on learning platform using LEGO® and K’nex® assembly kits
CoderDojo - A volunteer run programming club

Stuff to do in Brisbane

It's Rocket Science School Incursions - Educational and fully interactive project based rocket science incursions for primary and secondary schools in a safe and empowering learning environment.
Robotronica 2017 - Robotronica is a groundbreaking one-day event showcasing the latest developments in robotics and interactive design. QUT's The Cube 20 August 2017 
- - -
Brisbane Library Service has purchased the very flash NAO Robot and is showing it off in various libraries.
The Cube at QUT has a number of changing programs. 
Brisbane Planetarium - Features entertaining and informative shows for adults and children
Flying Fox Studios - A studio offering programs in the arts, music and construction areas from babies to teenagers in Brisbane

No comments:

Post a Comment