STEM in Primary

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

Thursday, 14 December 2017

What are teachers doing?

What are teachers doing?

There are many Australian teachers who have embraced the call to improve STEM offerings in the primary classroom and have been noticed internationally. Two standouts are  Rick Johnson who was a finalist in last year's Global Teachers Prize. He has created a fantastic STEM classroom at Rostrata Primary School in Perth and runs a website to help other teachers with resources and inspiration.

Then there is Eleni Kyritsis who, apart from many other things, has started the organisation TeachTechPlay to help other teachers bring technology into the classroom. Her efforts include a regular YouTube channel with various guest teachers from around the world and conferences which bring in various experts in their field.

Then there are many teachers who are taking advantage of the great number of free professional development resources available including the Uni of Adelaide's Digital Technologies Massive Open Online CourseGoogle's Computational Thinking CourseGoogle's Certified Educator ProgramMicrosoft's Certifed Educator Program and the UKs brilliant Barefoot Computing website. These resources are actually open to everyone so if you are not a teacher but want to learn more then visit any of these sites.

So hopefully you are hearing about various teachers at your school upskilling themselves so they can deliver the new Technologies subjects with confidence and authority.

To finish, this past week was the annual global Hour Of Code initiative. Australia is always on holidays when it runs but you can still use these activities to fill in an hour or so over the break. Just Google "Hour of Code"!

Stuff in the news

Brisbane teachers keen on mixed reality, robotics and wearable tech - Sixty-five teachers are converging on the Brisbane CBD this week to learn how to use mixed reality, robotics and wearable technology in their classrooms.. An article from EducationHQ Australia 1 November 2017
How to ensure AI is good for girls: a robot for every child - The gender imbalance in AI and robotics could have serious implications for the world AI algorithms shape. An article from the Sydney Morning Herald 6 November 2017.
7 skills your child needs to survive the changing world of work - Education may be the passport to the future, but for all the good teaching out there, it would seem that schools are failing to impart some of the most important life skills, according to one educational expert. An article from the World Economic Forum website 4 September 2017

Stuff to buy

Its that time of year!

A Spot-On Gift Guide Of STEM Toys For Kids - An article from the Huffington Post 11 November 2017
Top Tech (STEM) Gifts for Kids Aged 5, 6 and 7 - Coding, Robots, Gadgets - A blog post from Tech Age Kids 
Top Tech (STEM) Gifts for Kids Aged 8, 9 and 10 - Coding, Robots, Gadgets, Maker - A blog post from Tech Age Kids
*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

Why Australia is falling behind in teaching keyboarding and handwriting - The skills and learning attached to handwriting are not automatically subsumed into keyboarding. While both promote fine motor skill development, they are distinctly different yet equally important. An article from EduResearch Matters 25 September 2017
AI: Urgent need to 'reconceive schooling' to ensure workforce not consigned to joblessness - Schools must urgently adapt to confront the enormous challenges presented by artificial intelligence, according to leading educators who are calling for an overhaul to curriculum, assessment and teaching methods. An article fromABC News 2 November 2017
Something's gone badly wrong with teaching - Econocrats have finally twigged that the big problem with the nation's education and training system isn't its high-cost to budgets, but its failure to provide enough of our youth with the skills they need to get and keep a decent job. An article from the Sydney Morning Herald 11 November 2017.

Stuff to do Australia Wide

Code Camp - Three day holiday program is now open for bookings.
5 Podcasts That Will Change The Way Your Kids See The World (and that you’ll enjoy too) - A list of five podcasts that will entertain your kids and they will learn something along the way!
Give a Child the Gift of Science - A great collection of activities you can do at home
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

RoboGals - Register to be the first to book for workshops on 15 and 16 December 2017.
Brainiac Live - Join the Brainiacs for an actioned-packed hour of incredible experiments and explosive high energy entertainment. 9-13 January 2018.
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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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