STEM in Primary

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

Saturday, 26 August 2017

What's the Latest?

What's the Latest?

My family was at QUT's Robotronica event last weekend. It was a huge event with thousands of people swarming over the Garden's Point campus trying to see as many of the 58 activities as they could in the seven hours that it was on. The huge popularity of this event made me consider how relevant the momentum in STEM Education is. You might think this is a fly by night idea and will eventually go the way of many other "fads" but I think not.
The Australian Government continues to fund a rolling series of initiatives to provide students and teachers opportunities to engage with the STEM fields. Last week the Australian Chief Scientist launched STARportal which is a searchable database of STEM activities.
The Victorian Government just announced the first of its 10 new brand new tech schools will open its doors in 2018. Each Tech School will be located on a TAFE or university site and offer rich, immersive STEM programs to all participating government and non-government secondary schools in the region. 
National Science Week was last week and so many opportunities were available to interested schools. The CSIRO hosted a virtual classroom wherein students were able to participate in a forum with a panel of Australians working in the space industry.
The CSIRO has also rebranded its Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SmiS) program to be the STEM Professionals in Schools program to reflect the broader scope of those particpating in the program such as engineers.
There is a great deal occurring in the area of STEM Education. Schools that do not have a plan are being left behind. What is your school doing? If the answer is an unfortunate "not much" then take the initiative and avail yourself of the activities (many of them free) that I list below.

Stuff in the news

What is STEM and why is it important? - It’s much more than an acronym – it’s potentially your passport for the future. An article from the CSIROscope Blog 12 August 2017

Stuff to buy

Cozmo - Anki’s adorable robot Cozmo plays games, fist bumps, and uses its big, blue digital eyes to convey convincing emotional range. And its brain uses machine learning, so it gets more savvy as you play with it.
STEM Storybook - *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

STEM teacher development for Mid North Coast educators - Some great work going on around the country to give primary school teachers the new skills they need. An article from Macquarie PortNews 19 August 2017
The STEAM vs STEM Debate: Practical Answers for Music Teachers - Support for STEAM continues to grow. One US commentator says the term “is becoming more and more popular to the ears of teachers and students alike and, right now in the educational sectors, it seems to be all anyone is talking about.” An article from Music Australia 15 August 2017.
The rise of STEM subjects in education - A blog post from the Esperance Anglican Community School 10 August 2017

Stuff to do Australia Wide

CodeCamp - Three day courses over the school holidays. Search for a school near you! 18-28 September 2017
LITTLE BIG IDEA -  The Big Competition for Inventive Little Kids (You could win a trip to NASA!). Closes 22 September 2017
NATA Young Scientist of the Year - Students are required to undertake an investigation around any topic relating to the theme of a sustainable planet. Closes 22 September 2017
CSIRO CREST Program - CREativity in Science and Technology. Engage your students with open-ended science investigations and technology projects through the CREST program.
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Young Engineers Australia - Provides an engaging, hands-on learning platform using LEGO® and K’nex® assembly kits
CoderDojo - A volunteer run programming club
Code Club Australia - A global network of coding clubs for kids aged 9 to 11.

Stuff to do in Brisbane

Wizarding Workshops - Workshops are designed to accommodate Potter fans of various ages. Participants are grouped according to year levels and work in teams to complete projects at their ability level, challenged and supported by teachers. Paddington.23 September 2017
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SLQ Digital Futures - Each year the State Library of Queensland presents a theme of interest to the Queensland community. Throughout 2017, they invite you to join in exploring Digital Futures.
STEM in a Box has ongoing coding, robotics and 3D printing activities
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
STEAMPUNX - Not to be confused with the organisation above! Offers in-school and out of school workshop programs
Flying Fox Studios - A studio offering programs in the arts, music and construction areas from babies to teenagers 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.

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