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

[Music plays and logo and text appears: STEM academy]

[Text appears: 2017]

[Image changes to show Tania Gilchrest talking to the camera and text appears: Tania Gilchrest, Coopernook Public School, Primary Teacher]

Tania Gilchrest: Imagine the best professional development you’ve ever been to

[Images move through of Tania Gilchrest working with a student, a computer screen display and Tania Gilchrest talking to the camera]

and by best I mean the one that got you the most excited but the one that made you the most excited to go home and make a difference and then times that by 1000 and you might be close to the STEMX experience.

[Image changes to show a female talking to the audience and then the image changes to show Sue Synnot talking to the camera and text appears: Cathedral College Wangaratta Vic, Secondary Teacher]

Sue Synnot:  So, I suppose it’s trying to teach my students who are from a rural community,

[Images move through of people at the STEMX doing experiments and working together]

so regional Victoria, trying to show them that there’s more beyond, “Oh I’m smart at Maths and Science, I’ll just do Engineering”. 

[Image changes to show a demonstrator doing an experiment with flames and then the image changes to show Sue Synnot talking to the camera]

No, look beyond, look for what’s going to come next, where am I going, what amazing things am I going to be able to come up with?

[Image changes to show a female talking to a group of teachers and then the image changes to show Mat Reece-Anderson talking to the camera and text appears: Mat Reece-Anderson, Sheldon College, QLD, Primary Teacher]

Mat Reece-Anderson: Before I came to STEMX, I’ve always felt Primary School Teachers do a really good job of teaching STEM. 

[Images move through of teachers listening and talking together on the STEMX programme]

They’ve been teaching enquiry learning for a long time, maybe lacking some of the skills in the science and the technology. 

[Images move through of teachers standing around and working on pieces of paper on the floor, Mat Reece-Anderson talking to the camera and then a group of teachers posing for a photograph]

So, I’m feeling energised and therefore I’m hoping I can energise my colleagues and therefore I can energise my students about STEM.

[Images move through of Adam Mosconi talking to the camera, Adam Mosconi in the audience, Adam Mosconi working on an experiment and text appears: Adam Mosconi, Mullaloo Beach Primary School WA, Primary Teacher]

Adam Mosconi:  I think it’s a ridiculously phenomenal experience and one that’s going to give you relevant and up to date knowledge and insight into the world of science. 

[Images move through of teachers working on experiments, Adam Mosconi and three other teachers posing for a photograph, written ideas on a piece of paper and Adam Mosconi talking to the camera]

It’s something that we don’t get in Primary School very often and I think that that is something that is invaluable, something that I can pass back to my kids.

[Image changes to show Female 1 talking to the camera]

Female 1: And as you step them through categorising and defining and analysing…

[Image changes to show Lee Jarvie talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a group of teachers listening to a speaker and text appears: Lee Jarvie, Lavalla Catholic College VIC, Secondary Teacher]

Lee Jarvie:  I really want to bring the enthusiasm and the inspiration that I felt amongst this group of people back to my school

[Images move through of teachers posing for a photograph, three females smiling and then various experiments]

and inspire others to join me in implementing some of the great ideas that we’ve learnt about this week.

[Image changes to show Lee Jarvie talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Lee Jarvie and two females smiling at the camera]

I see so much potential in my school and I really hope to bring others in that excitement bubble. 

[Image changes to show Mady Colquhoun talking to the camera and text appears: Mady Colquhoun, Armadale Primary School WA, Primary Teacher]

Mady Colquhoun:  As a Primary School Teacher we don’t see some of the high-level science

[Images move through of people in conversation and watching demonstrations and listening]

and the mind-blowing moments for me were going out and speaking, or hearing passionate researchers who are just living that whole dream.

[Image changes to show Malak Dubois talking to the camera and text appears: Malak Dubois, Dubbo School of Distance Education NSW, Secondary Teacher]

Malak Dubois:  It’s given me the chance to build some amazing contacts and just really get to know them over the course of a week, a very hectic week.

[Images move through of a computer screen display a female talking to an audience and Lubna Sayed talking to the camera and text appears: Lubna Sayed, Australian International Academy NSW, Secondary Teacher]

Lubna Sayed:  When you look at in on the backside it looks all too big and too scary but coming here has made me realise

[Images move through of people listening and watching and the camera pans along the room, Lubna Sayed watching demonstrations, doing experiments and smiling at the camera]

that there are small initiatives that I have already been doing which come under the STEM umbrella and I can easily build on them, like make the spaces for example or these hands on activities like [02:22] and everything that we’ve done here.

[Images move through of Heath Henwood talking to the camera, people in conversation and eating and a group of teachers clapping and text appears: Heath Henwood, Yeppoon State School QLD, Primary Teacher]

Heath Henwood:  I’ve seen the resources, seen the products, the people that are out there and visiting the locations. 

[Image changes to show Heath Henwood talking to the camera]

It’s a jam packed week.  You’ve got to come and do it.

[Image changes to show a smart phone picture being taken of an experiment and then the image changes to show Robert Hilford talking to the camera and text appears: Robert Hilford, Grace Lutheran College, Caboolture QLD, Secondary Teacher]

Robert Hilford:  I’m excited, there’s lots of changes. 

[Images move through of a group of teachers smiling at the camera and people in conversation]

I’m going to take some time to let it bubble away in my mind and probably get back to lots of new friendships that I’ve formed here too to see how they’re going. 

[Images move through of Robert Hilford taking a photo of a screen on an iPad, Robert Hilford talking to the camera, a group of teachers watching an experiment and Robert Hilford talking to the camera]

Probably in a year’s time I’ll know exactly where I would have headed but that’s a nice feeling because the unknown is exciting, getting out there and making science actually practical, hands on, real for kids and preparing them for the real world.  That really does a lot for me as a teacher as well.

[Music plays and image changes to show a group of teachers all posing for a photograph]

[Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, CSIRO, Australian Science Teachers Association and Questacon logos appear]

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

The third STEM X Academy in Canberra will be held from 7-12 January 2018.

Successful applicants will be asked to make a one-off minimal contribution towards covering flights, accommodation, meals and transport. A number of STEM X Academy scholarships are available, thanks to the generous support from a range of sponsors and partners.

For more information, visit STEM X Academy .

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, and our next workshop will be held in Condobolin on 29 and 30 November 2017.

Register your interest to attend our Condobolin workshop.

If you are interested in hosting a STEM X Regional event, please get in touch via email at communications@asta.edu.au.

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