Igniting STEM Learning
Schools often begin enacting STEM by introducing clubs or activities at lunchtime or after school, establishing specialist subjects and maker spaces, or even participating in the ever-growing number of robotics, mathematics, computational thinking, science and engineering competitions. These approaches are all great ways to begin laying the groundwork for a sustainable STEM program. They start to orient teachers, students and parents to the possibilities and outcomes that a STEM program can deliver and help schools build a range of resources over time. The challenge for many schools will be moving from these groundwork-laying activities to an authentic whole-school STEM program that is not ad-hoc and coherently grows students to be problem solvers, critical and creative thinkers while meeting the curriculum.
Dr Adrian Bertolini takes teachers and school leaders through a system thinking approach to develop a well-planned STEM program in their school. From creating a design brief for STEM, to a coherent and progressive development of mindset, to mapping a range of practical and critical skills through the years, to backward planning learning, through to structures for assessment, and finally to leading change. The workshops are a mix of research, practical structures, examples and activities and distils decades of thinking and practice across many disciplines – not just STEM. The blend of theory and practice has been designed to challenge teachers and schools to stop, think, and explore the largely unexamined structures and approaches that exist within most schools.