STEM stars headline Hunter conference

Six hundred teachers attended a two-day STEM conference in the Hunter valley last week. Sven Wright reports.

People standing in front of a media wall. People standing in front of a media wall.
Image: Special guests Adam Spencer, Professor Peter Liljedahl, Dr Catherine Ball, Dr Scott Sleap and Eddie Woo at the Hunter valley STEM conference.

Comedian and maths geek Adam Spencer, maths teaching guru Eddie Woo and futurist Dr Catherine Ball were among the STEM stars attending STEM 2023 for teachers in the Hunter last week.

Six hundred educators attended the two-day STEM conference, which focused on the subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths in primary and secondary schools.

Speakers included Professor Peter Liljedahl from Simon Fraser University in Canada, an internationally recognised expert in classroom practice, and Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, an astrophysicist and the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador.

NSW Department of Education Secretary, Murat Dizdar, said it was a great opportunity for teachers to hear from some of the very best in the STEM space.

“The level of expertise and variety of specialisms addressed at this conference are second to none,” said Mr Dizdar.

“The passion of the keynote speakers, their knowledge and wisdom will give our teachers new insights which they will be able to share with their peers, as well as adding to their own professional growth.”

Organiser and STEM Curriculum Support Advisor with the Department, Dr Scott Sleap, said the popularity of the conference reflected STEM’s central place in Australia’s society and economy.

“The attraction of the conference for both presenters and participants is testimony to the importance now being placed on these subjects, which are so critical to society as well as the future prospects of students studying them,” he said.

Topics at the conference included maths as a universal language, learning inspired by space, the place of AI, girls and mathematics, Aboriginal perspectives, robotics, mechatronics, and a mission to Mars.

The conference was organised by the Department in partnership with the Hunter School of the Performing Arts and is an initiative of the STEM Industry School Partnerships Program and the NSW Mathematics Strategy.

  • News
Return to top of page Back to top