How to engage primary students with STEM in the classroom – ABC Splash

How to engage primary students with STEM

ABC Splash recently hosted a live chat with ICT integrator Ian Fairhurst. He talked about the importance of STEM in Primary Schools and then answered the questions posted during the event.

The key takeaway was that of identifying and maximising student passion and creativity, and that facilitating real world skills in learning activities is essential when teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to primary students.

Further boost in prizes

Australian scientific equipment supplier Rowe Scientific has committed significant financial support to ASTA and each state Science Teachers’ Association over the next 5 years. The STANSW Young Scientist Awards will benefit by receiving $10,000 annually, for which $8,000 will go directly into student and school prizes. This $8,000 will be allocated to the following three areas:

  1. $3,000 will go towards 3 grants of $1,000 for schools that are either rural or remote, have a high percentage of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or have rowe_logo (1)a high portion of indigenous students. Schools who satisfy one or more of these criteria and have two or more entries from Year 7-12 students in the 2016 STANSW Young Scientist Awards are eligible for one of these grants. Each grant will include at least $500 in resources (scientific equipment selected by the grant-winning school) and a visit from a Young Scientist Committee member who will run a training session for the staff of the grant-winning school.
  2. $700 will go towards prizes of $400, $200 and $100 for the Rowe Scientific Equipment Prize for three Year 7-12 students who best utilise scientific equipment in designing their solution to a scientific or technological problem.
  3. $4,300 will be allocated to increasing the value of all Working Scientifically, Working Technologically and Working Mathematically category awards by at least $50. Now, all of our 36 primary category awards and 36 secondary category awards will be at least $100 in value. Rowe Scientific are specifically contributing to extra prizemoney for secondary students and funds from BHP Billiton Foundation are being redirected to increase our primary prizes.

Exciting new prize from Sebel

2016 SSEBEL LOGO-TOP OPTION-CMYKebel Testing & Evaluation Prize

The Young Scientist Committee is very pleased to announce a new prize offered by our Principal Sponsor, Sebel Furniture. Based on the high level of quality control that Sebel displays in the design and manufacture of their products, they are looking for students who display the same meticulous and rigorous testing of their results or final products.

Three prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to the best K-12 entries. The project may be a survey where the student has taken hundreds of samples, an investigation involving multiple trials or the production of an innovative device or application incorporating rigorous testing and evaluation.

Welcome to Term 2

Website nearing Completion

It was our intention to have our website completely ready for the start of Term 2. All the pages are ready to go except for “New STEM Categories” , “Prizes” and “How to Enter” pages.  All our Judging Rubrics are ready to go, including the rubrics for the new MANSW Working Scientifically category. These final pages will be updated over the next week and it will include links to the MANSW and IIATE websites for Mathematics and Technology teachers.

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During the next week, we will be adding a new 2016 ISEF webpage where you will be able to follow the daily progress of our ISEF and Broadcom MASTERS International team who are departing for the US on Thursday 5th May. We will be adding daily posts to this website and you can follow the student’s progress on our facebook page . You can also read a special featured article of our team on ABC Splash.

Major STEM Initiative

MANSW & IIATE join Young Scientist

The Young Scientist committee is very pleased to announce a major STEM initiative that should inspire inquiry-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering Studies and Maths classes across New South Wales.

In an unprecedented move, the respective professional teacher associations that represent STEM education in NSW have collaborated together with the common purpose of building a better Australia by engaging students in the whole Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Enterprise.

From 2016, the restructured STANSW Young Scientist Awards will now feature the categories Working Scientifically, Working Technologically and Working Mathematically. The number of committed prizes have also dramatically increased from 86 in 2015 to at least 127 in 2016 (see diagram below).




Students will STILL be requested to conduct a scientific investigation and/or design and build a model of an innovative device or application.

For the Science Teachers’ Association of New South Wales Inc‘s “STANSW Scientific Investigation Awards”, projects will be assessed on the level of Working Scientifically outcomes that have been achieved.

For the Institute of Industrial Arts Technology Education‘s “IIATE Models and Innovation Awards”, projects will be assessed on the level of the Working Technologically outcomes that have been achieved.

For the Mathematical Association of NSW Inc‘s “MANSW Working Mathematically Awards”, projects will be assessed on the extent that the investigation or innovation incorporates the interrelated components of Working Mathematically.

STANSW, IIATE and MANSW are all keen to be involved in this major STEM initiative and are desirous that students get involved in a project that achieves outcomes across each Working Scientifically, Working Technologically & Working Mathematically strand. Details of each Category Award will be sent to all NSW schools, immediately after Easter.

Welcome to an Exciting Year for Young Scientist!

An Incredible Four Months!


The STANSW Young Scientist Committee would like to announce that since the 4th November Presentation Ceremony, our level of sponsorship and number of prizes has increased dramatically. Our number of committed prizes has increased from 83 (totaling  $11,300) to 116 prizes (totaling $17,700). As well as gaining a number of new sponsors, many of our existing sponsors have committed to doubling or even tripling their sponsorship contributions.                          

NSWYS LogoThis incredible 4-month period commenced with the securing of Sebel Furniture as our Principal Sponsor. Sebel made it possible to send an ISEF team to Phoenix in May, 2016, and further significant contributions by one of our existing Major Sponsors, Intel Foundation and our new Major Sponsor, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has made it possible to send a full contingent of six students to ISEF. We are thrilled to have the Australian Government supporting our STEM-focused project in the current climate of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

For the same reason, we are thrilled to have the Institute of Industrial Arts and Technology Education (IIATE) commit to sponsor our Models and Inventions awards for the next three years. It will be now known as the IIATE Models and Innovation Awards and will see the Young Scientist Awards promoted in Technology departments across NSW.

Best Resource Available

2015 Winning Projects now Accessible


Thanks to the consent of 75  of our 79 prizewinners and parents from the 2015 STANSW Young Scientist Awards we have a most valuable resource that is unique to our competition. In our Great Resources page we have uploaded their projects which consist of reports, logbooks, folios, posters and even videos that cover every single category, age level and sponsored award. This resource includes the projects of our youngest K-2 prizewinner though to our 2015 Young Scientist of the Year.

For teachers, parents and students new to science projects, the 2015 Past Winning Projects is the best resource you will ever find. There is no set formula for setting out a project, however, following the order of one or two of these projects is the best way to start.

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For teachers wanting to get their students inspired to undertake an IIATE Models and Innovations entry, have a look at our Young Scientist Youtube Channel which has 3-5 minute videos of our best projects from 2013-2015. As well as being entertaining, you will quickly see that every student has the opportunity to come up with some ingenious and innovative devices.