STEM learning frameworks

Frameworks to introduce STEM into the classroom

Learning frameworks

Learning frameworks:

  • assist you when planning STEM learning sequences
  • provide you with markers for skill development
  • contain question prompts to guide the learning
  • include possible learning tools to monitor students’ progress
  • include relevant aspects of the Mathematics K-10 and Science and Technology K-6 syllabuses such as the general capability – critical and creative thinking
  • have been developed for Early Stage 1 to Stage 3.

The frameworks have been developed for Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 incorporating relevant aspects of the Mathematics K-10 and Science and Technology K-6 syllabuses including the general capability – critical and creative thinking.

NESA programming integrated STEM has further advice on integrated STEM learning.

Key to STEM education is the integration of curriculum areas along with general capabilities to solve authentic, real-world problems.

Assessment opportunities in STEM

Use effective assessment in STEM to monitor student progress, provide feedback and inform future pathways for student learning. Within integrated STEM learning sequences, you may plan assessment using a variety of strategies such as:

  • teacher observations and feedback: both informal and informal as the students interact with the design challenge
  • peer and self-assessment: regular sharing and review of ideas, prototypes, and final products
  • collaborative activities: group work, group discussions, presentations of their STEM innovations
  • practical activities: investigations, programming digital technologies, discussions.

As STEM includes cross-curricular outcomes, opportunities to monitor student progress may be planned within specific key learning areas. For further information and a range of strategies to monitor student progress, view K-6 assessment strategies and Primary assessment tools.


Providing evidence of each student’s achievement and a reflective base to review their progress and provide feedback.

STEM learning journals

STEM learning journals (also known as learning logs, design folios or portfolios) are a valuable tool for teachers and students from Kindergarten through to Year 6. They provide teachers with evidence of each student’s achievement and a reflective base to review their progress and provide feedback.

STEM learning journals allow students opportunities to:

  • record their ideas, findings, and understandings
  • share the ways they have applied their understandings to develop their solution
  • demonstrate how their thinking has developed and changed
  • reflect on their learning throughout their STEM project.

The journal may be a digital or paper-based format tailored to meet the needs of the students and the classroom.

The entries in the journal may take many forms. For Early Stage 1 students, a journal may be a series of drawings with single words or short sentences to describe the student’s ideas and plans. For Stage 3 students, the journal may include detailed descriptive pieces of writing outlining the features of a solution that they have developed. In all classes, the students would be capturing formal and informal ideas, plans and reasoning for ongoing challenges and directions.

The entries may include:

  • labelled and annotated drawings, sketches, and maps
  • photographic evidence
  • completed proformas, checklists, rubrics
  • research information
  • data tables and analysis
  • outlines of ideas that have worked and those that did not
  • feedback from teachers and peers
  • self-assessment and reflections including summative comments about what the students learnt and what they may do differently in the future.

Sample templates for digital learning logs and learning portfolio tools are available through the Digital Tool Selector, accessed through the NSW Department of Education Staff Portal login. A digital design folio is available for download from the NSW Department of Education Design thinking webpage.

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