STEM Professional Learning Opportunities

DET Learning and Teaching branch are proud to announce a series of STEM workshops in term 3 with Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager, authors of ‘Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom’. Each workshop will run from 9.00am – 3.30pm. These workshops will be free of charge to Victorian Government teachers.

Don’t miss out! Register as soon as possible.

9:00 – 3:30pm, Monday 22nd August: Invent to learn with Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager

Melbourne Museum – 11 Nicholson St , Carlton, Vic 3053


Join colleagues for a day of hard fun and problem solving — where computing meets tinkering and design. The workshop begins with the case for project-based learning, making, tinkering, and engineering. Next, we will discuss strategies for effective prompt setting. You will view examples of children engaged in complex problem solving with new game-changing technologies and identify lessons for your own classroom practice. Powerful ideas, breakthroughs in science education, and the global maker movement combine to create rich learning experiences

Participants will have the chance to tinker with a range of exciting new low- and high-tech construction materials that can really amplify the potential of your students.

You will learn:

  • How new tools and technology can reinvigorate Project-Based Learning
  • Best classroom practices for integrating maker technology
  • How to plan engaging projects based on the TMI design model
  • How to choose the technologies with the maximum learning impact
  • How to make the case for making, tinkering, and engineering
  • How to incorporate found, recycled, and reclaimed materials in project development 

Fabrication with cardboard and found materials, squishy electronic circuits, wearable computing, Arduino micro controllers, Hummingbird robotics, LittleBits, and computer programming are all on the menu.

Bring a laptop and your imagination. We’ll supply the rest (craft materials, art supplies, construction elements). Invention is the mother of learning!

This workshop is suitable for teachers of all year levels and subject areas.


9:00 – 3:30pm, Tuesday 23rd August: Wearables and Soft-Circuits for STEM Education – Supporting Inclusion and Equity with Hands-on Maker Technology with Sylvia Martinez

Scienceworks,  Booker Ave, Spotswood, VicWearable Tech

Are there ways that work to interest more girls in STEM, and keep them interested? How can K-12 schools  and informal learning organizations address a gender disparity problem that impacts not just schools, but colleges, jobs, and every walk of life? This session will explore research, resources, and best practices to involve girls of all ages in STEM. Participants will learn about the potential to bring new tools and technology to learning spaces to support hands-on learning across all grades and curriculum – plus areas that are of particular interest to girls, such as inventions that help people, sewable electronics, e-textiles, bio-materials, citizen science, and community projects. Hands-on projects and tools can engage girls (and all learners) in STEM activities that matter. We will explore how the collaborative, tinkering nature of global revolutions like the maker movement, open source, and project-based learning dovetails with girls ability to work collaboratively and in a connected way.

A way to support learners who are traditionally under-represented in STEM courses is to introduce interesting new technology that supports diverse interests and passions. Wearable technologies do this by combining craft traditions with digital electronics. Sewable, wearable projects invite different students into the maker movement by providing new and multiple onramps for a wider range of students. We will explore new conductive materials, such as thread, fabric, paint, glue, foils, and specialty microcontrollers.

Bring a laptop and your imagination. We’ll supply the rest (craft materials, art supplies, construction elements). Invention is the mother of learning!

This workshop is suitable for teachers of all year levels and subject areas.


9:00 – 3:30pm, Thursday 24th August: Reinventing Maths with Gary Stager

Scienceworks,  Booker Ave, Spotswood, Vic

There may be no greater gap between a discipline and the teaching done in its name than when the beauty, power and mystery of mathematics become math instruction. One can only begin to address the systemic challenges of math education by understanding the nature of mathematics and the power of computing. Nearly 100 years of efforts to increase achievement with unchangedReinventing Maths curricular content continues to fail spectacularly; yet, we do not change course. Surely, the widespread availability of computational technology demands new pedagogical approaches and a new diet of mathematics.

This workshop moves beyond the goal of making math instruction engaging for children by providing educators with authentic mathematical thinking experiences. Such experiences acknowledge the role computers play in mathematics and society’s increasing demand for computational thinking. Project-based approaches with mathematics at the center of the activity will be explored. Traditional concepts such as numeracy, geometry, probability and graphing will be investigated in addition to exciting new branches of mathematics rarely found in math class.

Bring a laptop and your imagination.

This workshop is suitable for Primary Maths teachers and Secondary Maths Teachers up to year 10.

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