Our role is to help establish and support your partnership. Find out how we work and how we can assist you.

Our national STEM Professionals in Schools team partner teachers and STEM professionals to bring real world STEM skills to the classroom. We are based in all states and territories in Australia.

Ongoing support

We individually match all partners and are available for support and advice to help you establish your partnership as well as throughout the duration of your partnership. This can involve sharing ideas, resources and making further connections for teachers and STEM professionals. 

Our support includes:

  • Phone and email support
  • Face-to-face events and networking sessions
  • Webinars
  • Professional learning workshops
  • Access to resources and ideas
  • Assistance with Working with Children Checks and National Police Certificates

Share your story

We love hearing from our partners and the activities that are happening across the country. We continually check in to see how your partnership is tracking. And don't forget to keep us updated on what you are doing.

Brendan and Jessica shared their partnership story with us:

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears on screen: Spotlight on a science partnership Brendan and Jessica]

[Upbeat music plays an image changes to show robots following a track then changes to show a robot on a desk in a classroom]

[Image changes to show Brendan and Jessica seated together and talking to the camera. Jessica Carroll, St Joseph’s Catholic School Mundingburra starts talking]

Jessica Carroll: I’m Jessica and I’m currently doing the curriculum developer role at St Joseph’s, Mundingburra her in Townsville working with Brendan and we’ve been working together for this year.

[Text appears on screen as Brendan starts to talk: Brendan Lucas, VIX Resources Asia Pacific starts talking]

Brendan Lucas: My name’s Brendan, I’m a software engineer working as a quality assurance analyst for VIX Resources Asia Pacific. My kids go to St Joseph’s Mundingburra so that was how I found out about the program.

[Text appears on screen: Tell us a bit about your partnership…]

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Jessica Carroll: We started with being involved with the science and technology club in small group aspects, because the technology curriculum’s quite new in the schools and there’s a lot of new aspects that teachers aren’t that familiar with,

[Image changes to show a robotic bee with control buttons, the camera zooms out to show the bee sitting on a floor map with an instruction sheet]

we decided to use Brendan in kind of an experimental role with small groups to try out a lot of different and new technology and coding practices with those kids,

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

so that we can then see what works really well and what isn’t so effective that we can then look at what to implement into the classrooms later on.

[Image changes to show a small robot with a solar panel on its head]

So it’s pretty exciting some of the new stuff we’re getting to do with the kids.

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Brendan Lucas: I’m a software engineer so programming is my background, so primarily that’s sort of the key curriculum change really isn’t it?

[Image changes to show a laptop with a controller board plugged in]

Bringing programming and coding skills to the students.

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Jessica Carroll: I think having access to an expert in the field has been excellent, not only for the students, but me as a teacher. Obviously, we’ve got a full curriculum, trying to be experts in everything is extremely difficult and with technology moving so fast, trying to keep up to date with it is really, really hard. So having an expert there with you who can really help the kids and challenge them and we can give them more high level problem solving activities because Brendan’s there to help with any trouble shooting, to direct the children in a whole range of ways I’d never be able to do myself with the development I’ve got.

[Image changes to show the camera panning over a table set up with laptops and controller boards plugged into the laptops]

So that’s probably the best thing, is that they can really be extended and excited about their learning and get a greater depth of understanding of how everything works.

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Brendan Lucas: It’s really interesting just seeing, because we’re doing a lot of experiential learning, so it’s just hands on let the kids go, it’s really nice just seeing them sort of struggle with problems and concepts, but then things start to make sense and from that point it’s really… yeah, it’s quite fun to see them sort of go ah, of course, and then the next jump’s made.

[Text appears on screen: What have been the benefits and positive outcomes of the partnership?]

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Jessica Carroll: For me as a teacher, I’ve learnt lots more about coding then I knew before. I’d started teaching it a bit myself by using online programs and tutorials and all of those kind of things, but then, as I talked about before, all the trouble shooting side and all the tricky bits you come up against, I’ve learnt through watching Brendan with the kids and listening to his really clever questioning and prompting them without quite giving them the answer to how they might look for the way to go, has helped me myself when I’ve been teaching myself and the problems I’ve come upon.

[Image changes to show

And just being exposed to all different new ideas and technology that may have taken me lots of research and everything and not being sure what might work, whereas, Brendan comes across things in his work and other areas more often, so I’m learning products, ideas all sorts of things that would be a lot more difficult having to do that independently.

[Image changes to show Brendan and Jessica seated and talking to colleagues and then moves back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Brendan Lucas: It’s been excellent really from a networking point of view, like the exposure to sort of people and opportunities that I would not normally have encountered.

[Text appears on screen: What advice would you give others to get started?]

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

Register with SMIS it’s a fantastic resource, have fun, don’t make it hard for yourself, it doesn’t need to be difficult.

Jessica Carroll: No, it can be quite simple and outlining, I suppose, and negotiating what your time commitments are and what you can give to the program early on

[Image changes to show Jessica and Brendan standing in from of a sign that reads Scientists and Mathematics in Schools: Bring STEM education to life in the classroom]

[Image changes back to show Jessica and Brendan seated together and talking to the camera]

so there’s no unrealistic expectations from either party, I think, is really good.

Brendan Lucas: And challenge yourself. If it’s something you’re interested in then almost guaranteed the students are going to be interested as well, so work from that.

Jessica Carroll: And share ideas, not everything might come into fruition, but the more ideas you throw around and just come across, then you can fine-tune it and pick up on the things that are practical and able to be implemented, which is good.

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

Spotlight on a partnership – Brendan and Jessica

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