Learn how you can integrate STEM Professionals in Schools into your school program to strengthen STEM education in your school.

Overview

In Australia, there is a decline in high school students enrolling in STEM subjects. As a school leader, equipping your teachers with enhanced STEM skills and confidence is a critical part to improving student engagement. STEM Professionals in Schools can help you do this.

Our program can be easily integrated into an existing STEM education framework or operate as a standalone program. It is a vehicle to connect teachers and STEM professionals and can be enhanced by other CSIRO Education and Outreach programs.

Our program can be easily integrated into an existing STEM education framework or operate as a standalone program.

With the Education Council’s focus on teacher professional learning that aligns with the general capabilities of both the National and relevant State curriculum requirements, we are working with school leaders to help teachers thrive through innovative ways to engage in real world STEM activities.

A recent Australian Industry Group report also indicates the importance of STEM integration and the development of resources to connect schools with industry.

Contact us to find out how our experienced team can help you and your school adopt the program.

Program benefits

Introducing the STEM Professionals in Schools program into your school can offer a number of positive benefits including:

  • Connections with industry across a broad range of sectors and disciplines
  • Supports a long term vision for the integration and delivery of STEM education in the school
  • Exposure to real world STEM skills for teachers and students

Your teachers will also benefit by engaging in a professional learning program that helps to:

  • Increase confidence to teach STEM subjects
  • Inspire students to undertake STEM subjects and exposure to STEM careers
  • Support the development of lesson plans that bring the Australian curriculum to life
  • Create links with STEM organisations and industry for teaching and learning inspiration

Your students will also benefit by:

  • Learning critical thinking in a school context with skills relevant beyond the classroom
  • Gaining direct access to a practicing STEM professional for career inspiration and opportunities
  • Learning the role and relevance of STEM in everyday life

Watch a profile on one of our partnerships and the difference it is making for both the teacher and STEM professional:

[Images move through of Dr. Jan Huizenga listening and Rebecca Smith talking to the camera, Dr. Jan Huizenga and two other people looking at rock formations, a class of Cathedral School students looking at rock formations and Dr. Jan Huizenga listening and Rebecca Smith talking to the camera]

Rebecca Smith: So I think through this partnership staff have been able to develop their own understanding and also develop curriculum resources that are authentic and rigorous but also in line with the strand itself and also connect to a real world context. 

[Image changes to show a school class looking at rock formations on the coast]

So they’ve had access to an expert in their field and the students have been able to see a real scientist in that field and be able to connect to that.  So I think that’s been one of the most positive outcomes for the students. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga listening and Rebecca Smith talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga with two other people looking at rock formations]

I think the most valuable thing out of this partnership has been that staff have been able to connect with somebody in terms of a strand that they’re not maybe that confident in teaching or they’re not that confident in developing resources in that area and Jan has definitely provided that expertise where we’ve needed it.

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga listening and Rebecca Smith talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga showing a group of students rock formations]

It’s just making sure that what we’re doing in school, yes it’s aligned to the Australian curriculum but it’s also aligned to somebody who works in that field and knows the big ideas or big concepts that we need students to acquire.

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga talking to the camera and Rebecca Smith listening]

Dr. Jan Huizenga: It helps you to develop, to understand students, how they think and if you see them for the first time in your first year class you don’t know them, you haven’t seen them as high school students and the other aspect for myself professionally, it’s just fun to do it.  It’s just enjoyable.

[Image changes and the camera pans over the ground and over a large rock formation]

I mean talking about geology to students, geology is a very attractive subject.  I mean everybody likes... well I hope everybody likes rocks, minerals and fossils and diamonds and gold. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga talking to the camera and Rebecca Smith listening]

So it’s just interesting to talk to students and just try to get a message that Geology is fun and if they have fun I have fun. 

[Image changes to show a red rock formation covering the screen and text appears: What advice would you give others to get started?]

[Image changes to show Rebecca Smith and Dr. Jan Huizenga talking to three other teachers]

Rebecca Smith: I would say definitely give it a go. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga listening and Rebecca Smith talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga and Rebecca Smith posing for a photograph]

Once you connect with your scientist I guess it’s really important to work out what your objectives are so that there is a shared common goal and then make the time to plan and meet.

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga talking to the camera and Rebecca Smith listening]

Dr. Jan Huizenga: Yeah, I agree, make a commitment and most importantly enjoy it, have fun with this whole thing because if you don’t enjoy it you’re not going to do it and you don’t want to put the time into it. 

[Image changes to show a group of students walking over the rocks]

Make sure you meet the teachers, hopefully you get a good team like I have with the Cathedral School because the fact that all the science teachers came in the second week that we spoke, I thought was quite unique. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Jan Huizenga talking to the camera and Rebecca Smith listening]

I mean suddenly there are 50 teachers coming to visit you and they want to see the rocks I thought OK, this school’s really interested in doing this.  They really want to make something out of this.  So that interaction is very important.  If you have a good vibe then it makes the whole exercise fun.  I think that’s the most important thing.  It’s about fun.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, www.csiro.au]

Spotlight on a partnership - Jan and Rebecca

Contact us for more information on how you and your school can get involved.

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