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STEM Education Resources
Victorian STEM Education sites:
Science (and mathematics) education centres, established and supported by the State Government:
BioLAB aims to engage and inspire the next generation in science and mathematics using innovative technologies and techniques. Our programs are themed using Sport and Human Performance and are linked to the Victorian Curriculum.
Earth Sciences Centre (Mount Clear)
Based in an attractive bush setting adjacent to Mount Clear College in Ballarat. The areas of focus for Earth Ed include: Renewable Energy, Climate Science, Sustainability, Geology, Paleontology, Robotics and Emerging Technologies, Primary Connections and VCE Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science.
Ecolinc (Bacchus Marsh)
Ecolinc provides a wide range of exciting and engaging curriculum programs for P-12 students and teachers, addressing the Victorian Curriculum. The Ecolinc facility incorporates innovative ecologically sustainable design (ESD) elements, providing the perfect venue and model for environmental teaching and learning.
The Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC) began as a grassroots response by a small group of eminent research scientists led by Professor Suzanne Cory, the Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) to accurately portray the nature of contemporary life science research and biotechnology applications to school students and teachers. Initially based on DNA Science, GTAC has over the past decade developed a raft of programs in cell and molecular biology.
Quantum Victoria (Macleod West)
Quantum Victoria is a national and international provider and leader of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. The centre has developed a suite of exciting programs that embrace cutting edge, aspirational technologies with a particular focus on Games Technology, Virtual Reality, Gesture-Based Computing, 3D Printing, Robotics and the Physical Sciences.
Victorian Space Science Education Centre (VSSEC) programs provide a sensory rich, hands-on, scenario-based science experience centred on Space Science. Attention has been paid to curriculum content that addresses science literacy, reasoning in science and the application of science.
The Knox Innovation, Opportunity and Sustainability Centre (KIOSC) aims to help students understand the nature of work in the 21st century, by exposing them to engaging and practical learning programs to develop relevant skills and knowledge, as well as make connections to the real world. The centre is based at the Swinburne University Wantirna Campus.
STEM Education (Deakin University related programs):
Reconceptualising Maths and Science Teacher Education Programs (ReMSTEP), responds to the need for improved competence and confidence in the teaching of science and mathematics. ReMSTEPs project activities are centred on developing new teacher education practices that align contemporary approaches to STEM with engaging teaching and learning, through undergraduate STEM students and pre-service teachers working collaboratively across faculties and specialist centres to create new materials, units of study and expertise in inquiry-based classroom practices.
Science Teacher Education Partnerships with Schools (STEPS) is a project that explores partnerships between universities and primary schools to engage pre-service primary teachers in science teaching and learning.
Deakin Student Access Programs:
The Deakin Engagement and Access Program (DEAP) program collaborates with school communities to widen participation in higher education. Through a coordinated program of activities from Grade 4 to Year 12, DEAP builds on students' aspirations and awareness to introduce university as a desirable and achievable pathway.
The LEAP Program aims to demystify the links between school, university and professions. LEAP seeks to encourage secondary students from low SES communities to consider higher education as a future option, through a focus on the professions.
Design Based Challenges
F1 in Schools Program
This program focuses on developing the creativity and innovation of high school students through a structured engineering design project based on the development of a model Formula One™ racing car.
SUBS In Schools stepped program
Level 1 – Build a Mini ROV (years 7 and 8)
Level 2 – Design and Build a large ROV (years 8 and 9)
Level 3 – Design an Internal Accommodation Space (years 9 and 10)
Level 4 – Design and Build a Working Model Submarine
This program is open to a range of secondary students where they design and construct a submersible vehicle.
STAV Science Talent search
Variety of challenges aimed at science students of all ages.
Victorian Model Solar Vehicles Challenge
From the Chief Scientist
A list of numerous initiatives and competitions, including the science olympiads, science poetry competitions, wildlife photography contests, drawing and video contests and even robot creations.
Aurecon Bridge Building Competition
National engineering challenge supported by the Aurecon Group and Engineers Australia. Challenges in each state, open to teams from years 8 and 9.
USA based sites that provide ideas for simple classroom based challenges designed based learning:
The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is based at San Jose, California. It is a museum devoted to science and technology. There is a section on Design/Challenge Based Learning that contains tested classroom activities that lead students through science and engineering challenges. Although originally designed to support exhibitions, they can easily be used independently.
The PBS kids site is produced and supported by the Public Broadcasting Services (USA) to provide support for a series, Design Squad, that was broadcast on their network. They are a series of stand alone engineering based design challenges that are very suitable for middle years students.
The Brown Bag STEM Challenge
A STEM blogger has made available a number of design based challenges using readily available materials, presented in brown paper bags, to stimulate and engage young people.
Coding and Robotics
First Lego League
FIRST® Robotics is a robotics program that aimed at inspiring young people to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Founded in the USA in 1989, FIRST® Australia was established at Macquarie University in 2006. They run a series of robotics events across Australia.
Careers with Code
A website sponsored by Refraction Media and Google, aiming to engage students in coding by show-casing young individuals who have made careers in coding and other high technology areas. Could be used as a means of looking at Science as a Human Endeavour.
National Computer Science School Challenge
The National Computer School Challenge is a programming competition for secondary school students. The problems range from relatively simple to mind-bendingly hard, and students can learn the coding required as they undertake the challenge. The challenge starts on Monday 1st August, 2016 and runs until Sunday 4th September, 2016.
STEM Video Game Challenge
Australian STEM Video Game Challenge is a national competition open to all Australian students in Years 5-12. It is completely free to enter, and represents an opportunity for upper primary and secondary students to engage in learning about STEM in a fun and challenging way. Supported by ACER.
Supporting the learning of coding:
Python For Beginners
A good guide to the python programming language, that starts from the ground up.
A Quick Introduction to Python Programming
A simple step by step introduction to python programming using interactive windows to build confidence and expertise. Does not require any installations of software.
Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, with the aim of allowing every student in every school the opportunity to learn computer science. They provide a series of on-line course ranging form young beginners through to experienced student coders.
A Microsoft sponsored site that provides a free PC based software that provides a relatively easy way into programming. Small Basic combines a very simple language along with access a set of libraries to make programs and games.