STEM education is the learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an interdisciplinary or integrated approach.

STEM education:

  • is for all students and should be incorporated throughout all stages of learning from preschool through to Year 12
  • enhances student learning experiences through engaging curriculum
  • may include integration, inquiry and project-based learning
  • enables students to gain and apply knowledge, deepen their understanding and develop creative and critical thinking skills within an authentic context.

By developing curiosity and knowledge of STEM disciplines students make connections and see the relevance for future career pathways.

To ensure the delivery of quality STEM education for all students, we are:

  • raising expectations and enhancing the quality of student learning in STEM
  • fostering quality teaching and leadership in STEM
  • using innovative ways of delivering STEM education.

The success of STEM in schools relies on:

  • actively engaging students in authentic and challenging STEM learning experiences
  • creating learning environments that foster innovation and creativity.

A comprehensive plan for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in Australia was released by the Education Council, the National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026.

The strategy outlines two goals:

  1. Ensure all students finish school with strong foundational knowledge in STEM and related skills
  2. Ensure that students are inspired to take on more challenging STEM subjects.

This strategy identifies five key areas for national action:

  1. Increasing students STEM ability, engagement, participation and aspiration
  2. Increasing teacher capacity and STEM teaching quality
  3. Supporting STEM education opportunities within school systems
  4. Facilitating effective partnerships with tertiary education providers, business and industry
  5. Building a strong evidence base.

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians in 2008, identified literacy and numeracy and knowledge of key disciplines as core skills and the development of critical and creative thinking, problem solving skills and digital technology skills as essential to all occupations. The opportunity to develop these areas is at the core of STEM education. The Chief Scientist's report, Science, technology, engineering and mathematics: Australia's future raised awareness across the nation for the need to develop a national STEM strategy.

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