Early Stage 1 to Stage 3 | STEM
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are essential areas of study that foster students’ skills and prepare them to participate in a rapidly changing world.
What is STEM Education?
Key to STEM education is the integration of curriculum areas along with general capabilities to solve authentic, real-world problems.
When students learn within the context of authentic projects, they can see clear connections between syllabus outcomes and real-world application. Through STEM, students apply skills, knowledge and understandings the way they will be applied in the workforce and in their daily lives. know
STEM education refers collectively to the teaching of the disciplines within its umbrella – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and also to a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching that increases student interest in STEM-related fields and improves students’ problem solving and critical analysis skills ( National STEM School Education Strategy 2016-2026).
Through STEM, students develop key skills to support them to succeed at schools and beyond including:
- critical thinking
- independent thinking
- digital literacy.
International research indicates that 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations now require STEM skills and knowledge. It is important that we equip young people with the skills needed to be successful and engaged citizens in a complex and dynamic society (Department of Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022).
Effective curriculum planning and programming for STEM learning and engagement supports teachers to differentiate their practice in response to the varied ways students learn.When planning to implement a STEM program, consider the following:
- Give consideration to learning across the curriculum and having high expectations for all students.
- Students have a voice in their learning
- in their choice of project
- mode of communication
- findings/solution materials
- investigations and strategies to be undertaken.
- Length of allocated class time needs to sustain deep thinking, investigation and an integrated approach
- Co-creation of learning experiences and assessment tasks needs to include all stakeholders - classroom teacher, teacher-librarian, release from face-to-face teacher and students
- Students can experience a variety of strategies, manipulate a variety of materials and develop skills in the use of a variety of tools and equipment.
- STEM education is a way of thinking and doing which involves pedagogy, spaces and internal and external agencies.
- Opportunities to share results and/or products of project-based learning experiences with authentic audiences.
The Australian Curriculum National STEM Education Resources Toolkit provides support for STEM education in schools, including information on what works best when teaching STEM.