The STEM X Academy is a unique professional development program for primary and secondary school teachers.

Run in partnership with the Australian Science Teachers Association and Questacon, STEM X Academy is teacher professional learning experience designed to tie the national STEM curriculum to high-end research underway in Australia's research sector, and place inquiry-based learning at the heart of both teacher development and classroom practice.

As scientific inquiry becomes more multidisciplinary and recognised as a critical skill-set needed to tackle the challenges of the future, STEM X helps teachers develop the skills and confidence to deliver hands-on, inquiry- based lessons and activities using innovative teaching tools that are relevant to the world of science today.

Rather than providing teachers with a package of resources to use in the classroom, STEM X is an experience that builds teacher enthusiasm and ability to create high-quality classroom activities that tap new ideas in STEM.

The five-day Canberra residential experience is the signature program of the STEM X Academy, held in Canberra annually. A number of shorter regional STEM X experiences are also offered each year.

What past participants had to say

[An image appears of text on a white screen: STEM X Academy]

[The image changes to show the Australian Government, STEM X Academy, Questacon, Australian Science Teachers Association and CSIRO logos and text appears: STEM X Academy is a teacher professional learning program developed and delivered by CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and Questacon,

www.stemx.edu.au

]

[Music plays and Image appears of a group of course participants including Kate Garrard walking towards the camera]

Kate Garrard: Hi, my name is Kate Garrard. I’m a teacher in Melbourne, Victoria.

[Image changes to show a group of course participants including Matt Gallen climbing some stairs and then entering a building]

Matthew Gallen: My name’s Matt Gallen. I’m from Christmas Island District High School.

[Image changes to show a rear view of Matt and Kate walking along and then the image changes to show group participants entering the CSIRO Discovery Centre]

Kate Garrard: I’m really excited about the week ahead and Matt and I will be checking in with you to share our STEM X journey.

[Image changes to show Kate standing outside the Discovery Centre talking to the camera and then images move through of Kate looking down, and then taking notes and text appears: Kate Garrard, Primary School Teacher, Melbourne]

We’re just about to start our day of activities, pretty excited.

[Images move through of various course participants in conversations and then the image changes to show Kate talking to the camera again]

I kind of couldn’t fall asleep last night because I was already thinking about what I could be doing and planning and things like that.

[Images move through of course participants in conversations again and then the image changes to show Matt Gallen talking to the camera and text appears: Matthew Gallen, Secondary School Teacher, Christmas Island]

Matthew Gallen: I see this as a great opportunity for me to improve what I’m doing in my classroom

[Images move through of course participants participating in various conversations and activities]

with the obvious spin-off that students will enjoy what they’re doing more and get more out of what they’re doing in the classroom.

[Image changes to show Matt Gallen talking to the camera, and then images move through of participants making Rube Goldberg machines and text appears: Questacon Maker Space]

It’s lunchtime on day one.

[Image changes to show Matt talking to the camera, and then images move through of the participants notetaking at a table]

We’ve just finished making Rube Goldberg machines and I’m really keen to take it back and include it in different ways in what we do at school.

[Image changes to show a male presenting, and then images move through of participants listening, a hand taking notes, and participants walking through a door, and then participating in activities]

For me, right now, the key take away that I’m getting from this is the importance of getting hands on again and giving kids more opportunities to devise their own solutions to complex problems.

[Image changes to show Matt talking to the camera, and then images move through of a male looking down, a hand putting down post-it notes, and a female walking across the room]

For the rest of today we’re starting to devise a problem-based learning activity that will work at our own schools.

[Images move through of a male putting post-it notes on a large piece of paper on the floor, a female looking at questions on large sheets of paper fixed to a wall, and a male jotting notes on the paper]

Kate Garrard: For the last session we looked at what enquiry learning is, and we started by formulating our own questions.

[Images move through of the participants around a table in conversation, a pen in a hand, the participants talking, and then a hand writing notes on a whiteboard]

So, we were given a bit of a stimulus and we had to just write questions non-stop and then kind of prioritise it as a group on which ones we really liked.

[Images move through of Kate talking to the camera, a male sticking post-it-notes on a tabletop, Matt in conversation with a female, and then a male talking]

And then we got the chance to actually talk to the experts about their work and kind of have some of those questions answered.

[Images move through of various hands on science activities and people watching and participating in those activities at Questacon and text appears: Questacon National Science and Technology Centre]

Matthew Gallen: So, for me the biggest benefit from being here is getting access to so many other brains that have done things like this and have got different ways of doing things.

[Images move through of Matt operating a touchscreen, and then Kate walking around perusing the displays]

Kate Garrard: I think STEM will be the core of teaching and learning as we go forward.

[Images move through of a male building up a stack of wooden blocks, the stack falling over, and then a male and female watching paper cups hovering above a round table]

It’s not just the content, it’s about those thinking skills that students and young people are going to need for their jobs in the future.

[Images move through of Kate participating in an activity, Matt talking, a male writing on a whiteboard, pages being turned in a workbook, a female listening, and participants in conversation]

Matthew Gallen: It’s been a really busy week so far but I still feel like I’m enjoying a lot and learning a lot and taking a lot of information in.

[Images move through of a female writing on a whiteboard, a female talking, people scooping various sized rocks into a cup, and participants completing an activity pouring rocks into an upside-down old water bottle with the base cut off]

The opportunity to see such world class research and world class equipment has really inspired me again.

[Images move through of Kate talking to the camera, and then a rear view of a male and female entering a door]

Kate Garrard: One of the highlights I think was walking around with our scientist.

[Images move through of a female talking, and then the camera zooms out on the female talking to a group of participants in a laboratory and text appears: CSIRO Black Mountain Science and Innovation Park]

We got to go into the lab and see what they really do. They were looking into early detection of lung cancer through breath samples.

[Image changes to show the female displaying the mask and then the image changes to show a female trying on the mask]

So, we got to try on the mask and test our own breath and see how that worked with the machine.

[Images move through of a male presenter, a laptop screen, participants listening, participants taking notes, and a female writing notes on a whiteboard]

This week I’ve discovered things that I had no idea about.

[Images move through to show notes being written on a large piece of paper, a large paper with post-it-notes stuck on to it, various participants listening, and Kate talking to the camera]

I think the biggest learning I’ve had so far is that STEM is about your mindset rather than being about content of science and maths and all that stuff. It’s more about that design thinking and that’s something I’m going to bring into my curriculum and that’s something I’m really going to take with me.

[Images move through of various participants seated at tables talking and laughing and text appears: Mount Stromlo Observatory]

Matthew Gallen: This has blown my mind. It’s truly immersive and working with industry, working with researchers, it changes how you think about science.

[Images move through of Matt talking to the camera, Kate in conversation with other participants, participants at a table, a female presenter, and then waiters carrying around food to the tables]

I’ll honestly say I am exhausted mentally and physically but really, really keen to get back to school and start making some changes to what I’ve done in the past and to share with my students some of what I’ve learnt.

[Images move through of various participants in conversation, a male wearing a foil hat and holding a sign, participants in conversations, and a hand sticking up post-it-notes]

Kate Garrard: It’s really a bit sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful STEM Xs because it’s so inspiring to work with likeminded people.

[Images move through of a female drawing on a large piece of paper fixed to a wall, the pictures she is drawing on the paper, and then Kate talking to the camera]

And I know that those people that I’ve met through this experience I’m going to keep in touch with and it’s a beautiful community that’s formed through STEM X.

[Music plays and the Australian Government, STEMX Academy, Questacon, Australian Science Teachers Association and CSIRO logos and text appears: STEM X Academy is a teacher professional learning program developed and delivered by CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and Questacon,

www.stemx.edu.au

]

STEM X 2019 :  What is it like to attend STEM X Academy?

STEM X Academy: Canberra

STEM X Academy residential program is a five-day residential experience held annually in Canberra, and open to approximately 70 Primary and Secondary school teacher applicants.

Over the course of the five days, teachers will take part in inquiry-based workshops, are connected with researchers from CSIRO to co-create STEM lessons and activities for the classroom and are given the opportunity to take part in field trips to some of Australia's leading science organisations to experience current science and research first hand.

Applications for the 2020 STEM X Academy have closed.

STEM X Academy: Regional

We are currently piloting STEM X Regional , a free two-day intensive workshop and professional learning experience for primary and secondary teachers. To date we have run workshops in Townsville, Darwin and Alice Springs, Condobolin, Hobart and Burnie.

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