STEM X Academy Excites Australia’s Educators

Questacon has again supported the Australian Science Teachers Association's STEM X Academy in Canberra.

Now in its second year, the 2017 STEM X Academy wrapped up in January leaving more than 70 primary and secondary educators inspired, engaged and empowered for another year of teaching.

Managed by the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA), in conjunction with delivery partners Questacon and CSIRO, the five-day professional learning programme delivered inquiry based workshops to engage and empower education professionals to confidently deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) focused learning in their classrooms.

Over 300 applications were received for the programme with only 70 places available. Participants were selected from across Australia, with some teachers travelling from rural and remote schools.

Programme Partner Samsung Electronics Australia, awarded five lucky teachers with a STEM X Academy Scholarship enabling teachers from South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory to travel to Canberra to participate in the 2017 programme. 

The popularity of the STEM X Academy illustrates the importance of effective, engaging and exciting STEM Professional Development for our educators. When teachers return to their classrooms they are equipped with the knowledge and skill to make science relevant to students.

Throughout the secondary educators STEM X Acadey programme delivered by Questacon, teachers were encouraged to engage with research scientists and each other to share ideas and co-create STEM activities and lessons to take back to the classroom.

Two days of the secondary educators STEM X Academy programme was delivered from Questacon's specialised STEM learning environment, the Maker Space at The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre in Deakin. The delegates learned how to protostorm and use current research as a stimulus for building problem based learning tasks for the classroom.

Teachers also participated in a number of field trips to research organisations including CSIRO Discovery Centre, Geoscience Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport and Mount Stromlo Observatory.

To further spread the success and benefits of the STEM X Academy, 'STEM X Regional' - a two-day regional programme was developed and launched in Townsville through November and December 2016. The STEM X Regional programme was supported by Questacon staff providing specialist STEM teacher professional development.

The inaugural regional programme was a success and attracted almost 70 teachers from across Northern Queensland, with Samsung awarding one scholarship to Tamara Gallagher from remote North Queensland.

Applications for the 2018 STEM X Academy programme will open in August 2017.

To learn more about the STEM X Academy visit - http://asta.edu.au/programs/stemx.