School and Early Learning STEM initiatives

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High quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is critically important for Australia’s current and future productivity. It is important that we continue to focus on building STEM skills in young people so they are inspired to continue their studies in STEM, and to build the skills they will need to make useful contributions to Australia’s future.

The Australian Government works closely with State and Territory governments to support STEM education and funds a range of STEM initiatives for schools, teachers, students, carers and families, from early years to schooling.

Online Teaching and Learning Resources to Support Mathematics and Numeracy (Mathematics MOOCs and Mathematics Hub)

The online teaching and learning resources for mathematics and numeracy initiatives will provide support for teachers on the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and the Numeracy general capability. It will deliver:

  • an online Mathematics Hub providing a curated collection of evidence-based, curriculum-aligned teaching and learning resources for teachers and school leaders, as well as resources for students and families, including a voluntary, teacher administered Year 1 Number Check for students;
  • a series of self-paced online modules to enhance primary school teachers' understanding and skills in the explicit teaching of mathematics and a suite of webinars and podcasts to complement the core online professional learning modules in the explicit teaching of mathematics; and
  • Mathematics Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) providing free online professional development for teachers of Foundation to Year 10 students, supported by face-to-face professional learning.

Research into Best Practice Models for the use of digital technologies in mathematics teaching and learning

  • In 2022, the Department commissioned dandolopartners to undertake research on what worked well in lifting mathematics and numeracy outcomes during COVID-19 and what key aspects could potentially be further explored and developed as enduring augmentations to mathematics teaching. The researchers found that there are a variety of technological tools which can be used to help address some of the key challenges affecting students maths performance, noting that there is no ‘one size fits all’ option.
  • The findings of this research are discussed in detail in the final report, which is accompanied by a set of principles to guide schools and teachers in their consideration of how to use digital technologies in maths teaching, and short summaries of the eight best practice models identified through the research. There are also videos to step policy makers, school leaders and teachers through the key findings from the research and consider some of the practicalities of using digital technologies in schools. Find out more on the research report and resources page.

Supporting Artificial Intelligence in Schools

The Supporting Artificial Intelligence in Schools initiative (funded over 2018-19 to 2021-22) funded the development of a range of curriculum resources to assist with the delivery of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies content and the associated general capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.

The key elements included:

The Digital Technologies Hub and National Lending Library are continuing to operate in 2023, with funding from the National Schools Reform Fund.

Digital Technologies Hub

The Digital Technologies Hub is an online resource portal that supports implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies across different year levels for teachers, students, carers and families. Developed by Education Services Australia, the Digital Technologies Hub includes curriculum linked, quality assured learning resources and activities that will equip students and teachers with the skills and capabilities they need to flourish in a digital world.

National Lending Library

To support teachers, the Australian Government is funding the National Lending Library program, which supports the integration of the latest Digital Technologies equipment into classrooms.

Teachers and schools can request to borrow, for free, a selection of Digital Technologies educational equipment, accompanied by lesson plans, for different age groups and mapped to Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies learning areas. To find out more visit the University of Adelaide’s National Lending Library.

The University also offers Digital Technologies Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which provide free professional learning for teachers on the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.

Curious Minds (Summer Schools for STEM Students)

Curious Minds targets high-potential female students in Years 9 and 10 through a series of hands-on summer camps, supported by a mentoring program and follow-up winter camps. Delivered by the Australian Mathematics Trust, Curious Minds aims to ignite girls' passion and participation in STEM, particularly those who have had limited opportunities because of where they live and/or their socio-economic backgrounds.

STEM Professionals in Schools

STEM Professionals in Schools partners teachers with STEM professionals to enhance STEM teaching practices and deliver engaging STEM education in Australian schools. The initiative is delivered by the CSIRO. The program brokers and supports flexible partnerships between STEM professionals from industry, government and tertiary institutions, and primary and secondary teachers to engage students in quality learning in the STEM disciplines.

Science by Doing

Science by Doing provides comprehensive online science resources that are freely available to Australian teachers and students in Years 7 to 10. Delivered by the Australian Academy of Science, Science by Doing includes curriculum units and professional learning modules and offers a practical way of implementing the Australian Curriculum: Science.

Primary Connections: Linking Science with Literacy

Primary Connections: Linking Science with Literacy provides primary teachers with comprehensive curriculum and professional learning resources that link the teaching of science with the teaching of literacy. Delivered by the Australian Academy of Science, Primary Connections focuses on developing primary students' knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy, through an inquiry-based approach.

reSolve: Maths by Inquiry

reSolve: Maths by Inquiry provides teaching and professional learning resources that support teaching mathematics through inquiry-based methods and help students learn mathematics in fun and innovative ways. Delivered by the Australian Academy of Science, reSolve: Maths by Inquiry resources target students from Foundation to Year 10 and are freely available to all Australian teachers.

Early Learning STEM Initiatives

The Australian Government offers a number of early learning STEM initiatives. Further information can be found on the Early Learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) page.

Previous initiatives

Principals as STEM Leaders

The Principals as STEM Leaders research project piloted approaches to support principals to provide high quality STEM leadership in schools. The final research report will be made available shortly.

Mathematics Teaching Practice Guide

The project, Growing Mathematically – A Teacher’s Manual for Learning Progressions in Multiplicative Thinking was led by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and resulted in the Mathematics Teaching Practice Guide (the Guide). Growing Mathematically supports and promotes the use of learning progressions, formative assessment and targeted teaching as effective teaching strategies for mathematics.