Deep Dives

Deep Dive: Topic 1

Aldrin Maps – Mission to Mars Challenge

Presenters: Ben Moore, Shane Dryden

Synopsis: Join the Hunter and Newcastle Academies of STEM Excellence for the Mars Missions workshop at the STEM 2023 Conference, designed to help teachers create engaging STEM challenges using the Aldrin Family Giant Mars Map and LEGO SPIKE Robotics sets. Participants will gain hands-on experience with these tools, develop Mars-themed challenges, and collaborate with fellow educators to share ideas. The workshop will provide best practices and strategies for incorporating these resources into curriculum-aligned STEM activities. Attendees will leave with a personalised action plan to implement creative challenges in their classrooms. Don’t miss this opportunity to inspire students with immersive Mars missions and foster a love for STEM learning.

Recommended for Stages 3-5

Ben Moore
TAS Teacher/Newcastle Academy of STEM Excellence Project Officer
Shane Dryden
STEM Project Officer
Deep Dive: Topic 2

MTA Exploring the World of Robotics and Coding with LEGO® Education Spike 

Presenters: James Dwyer and Joanne Knight 

Synopsis: Welcome to the LEGO Education SPIKE Prime robotics workshop! In this hands-on, interactive workshop, you will learn how to design, build, and program robots using the latest technology from LEGO Education. SPIKE Prime is an innovative tool that enables students to explore coding and robotics in a fun and engaging way. The workshop will cover the basics of robotics, programming, and engineering design, using the SPIKE Prime platform. You will have the opportunity to choose from three different unit lessons, each designed to cater to a different level of expertise and interest. Throughout the workshop, you will work in teams to complete challenges and projects that reinforce the concepts you learn in each unit. You will also have the opportunity to share your creations and compete with other teams in friendly competitions. At the end of the workshop, you will walk away with a deeper understanding of robotics and coding, as well as the skills and knowledge to continue exploring the world of robotics on your own. So come join us and let’s build some robots together!

Recommended for Stages 3-4

James Dwyer
LEGO Education STEM & Robotics Lead
Joanne Knight
Business Development Manager-STEAM and Robotics
Deep Dive: Topic 3

Are you sure about that? Probability, data and decision making in science. 

Presenters: Sham Nair, Alexa Barr, Chris Bormann, Maninder Kaur, Lewanna Kenton, Bronwyn Gilmore and Lidija Radovancevic

Synopsis: Are you confident in your students’ ability to interpret data and make informed decisions? Join our 3.5-hour deep dive workshop and discover engaging ways to strengthen your students’ understanding of probability, data analysis, and math skills for testing claims. Together, we will explore hands-on activities that can be used in and out of the science classroom to develop critical thinking and decision-making skills. You will also gain insights into the important role of large datasets, probability, and mathematics in evaluating claims. Do not miss this opportunity to enhance your teaching skills and empower your students to become savvy consumers and creators of information and evidence-based reasoning.

Recommended for Stages 4-6

Sham Nair
Science Advisor, 7-12
Alexa Barr
Science Curriculum Support Advisor
Chris Bormann
Science Curriculum Officer 7-12
Maninder Kaur
Science Curriculum Officer 7-12
Lewanna Kenton
Science Curriculum Implementation Officer
Bronwyn Gilmore
Science Curriculum Implementation Officer
Lidija Radovancevic
Curriculum Advisor – Chemistry
Deep Dive: Topic 4

Revolutionising STEM in Public Education: A Deep Dive into the SISP Program

Presenters: Nikyetta Pencheff, Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre, Central Coast Primary School Representatives, Binaisha Daruwalla, Christine Freeman

Synopsis: Are you ready to take your STEM education to the next level? Look no further than the STEM Industry Schools Partnership (SISP) Program! Join us for an exciting opportunity to collaborate with industry experts and educators and explore innovative pedagogy and practical applications of STEM education. You’ll leave with access to ready-made programs, ideas for creating and engaging students in cross-curricular activities, and a network of STEM industry connections. Don’t miss this chance to empower your students with the skills they need to succeed in a constantly evolving world!

Recommended for Stages 2-4

Nikyetta Pencheff
STEM Project Officer
Binaisha Daruwalla
Head Corporate Social Responsibility –Tata Consultancy Services
Christine Freeman
Principal Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre
Deep Dive: Topic 5

Mini automated irrigation system – Mechatronic and automated systems

Presenters: Peter Davis and Liz Rose

Synopsis: The new Computing syllabuses released under Curriculum Reform include learning about mechatronic and automated systems. This workshop has participants design and develop a computing solution to the problem of moving water to drier ground. Participants will use a microcontroller, moisture sensors and actuator pumps to develop an automated mini-irrigation system that will keep their household plants watered while modelling larger systems from the Agricultural industry. Participants will collect data, modify and optimise their code and add to their teaching toolkit a meaningful, real world and engaging project to deliver to students in the classroom. Participants will require some basic experience with Arduino coding and bring a laptop with Arduino installed and a USB A port.

Recommended for Stages 5 & 6

Peter Davis
Curriculum Project Officer
Liz Rose
TAS Curriculum Officer
Deep Dive: Topic 6

Cyber security for beginners

Presenters: Andrew O’Brien, Chris Sandoval

Synopsis: In simple terms, cybersecurity involves the protection of computer systems connected to the Internet. Entities such as government, business and organisations, as well as millions of individuals in Australia, rely on these connections every day. But what does teaching cyber security look like in a classroom? Participants will engage with two main activities which involve setting up a sandboxed network/environment to safely develop skills with software tools used in cyber security roles. Participants will need to bring a laptop with VirtualBox (or VMWare Player), Python and Thonny installed for the activities and have administrator privileges to install software for Cyber Security activities.

Recommended for Stages 5-6

Andrew O’Brien
STEM Curriculum Advisor 7-12
Christopher Sandoval
STEM Curriculum implementation officer 7-12
Deep Dive: Topic 7

Working mathematically in the primary years

Presenters: Phil Hollins and Nat Hawkins

Synopsis: In this hands-on workshop, we’ll explore a variety of tasks and mathematical games, with a focus on working mathematically. We’ll tap into a variety of rich resources including ReSolve – Maths by Inquiry, nRich, Maths300 and the K-2 Mathematics units published by the NSW Department of Education. We’ll analyse the features of high-level tasks and highlight working mathematically processes within the new syllabus.

Recommended for Stages E1-2

Phil Hollins
Curriculum Support Teaching and Learning Advisor, K-6
Nat Hawkins
Curriculum Implementation Officer
Deep Dive: Topic 8

The Science and Engineering Challenge Experience

Presenters: Mick Cassey, Chris Hendry, Pete Newman and Lisa Campbell

Synopsis: Come along for a deep dive into what high school and primary school aged students experience at the Science and Engineering Challenge across Australia. Work in small groups to complete 2 activities; A Computer Science critical thinking activity on scheduling; and the SEC flagship activity, “The Bridge” were you build a bridge out of balsa wood and test its strength.

Recommended for Stages 3-6

Mick Cassey
Events Manager, Science and Engineering Challenge
Chris Hendry
Team Leader, Science and Engineering Challenge
Pete Newman
Events Manager, Science and Engineering Challenge
Lisa Campbell
Events Manager, Science and Engineering Challenge
Deep Dive: Topic 9

Visual Representations in STEM

Presenters: Meagan Rodda, Dave Watson, Sam Houda and Brendan Passmore

Synopsis: Park & Brannon (2013), found that the most powerful learning occurs when we use different areas of the brain. When students work with symbols, such as numbers, they are using a different area of the brain than when they work with visual and spatial information, such as an array of dots. The researchers found that mathematics learning and performance was optimized when the two areas of the brain were communicating (Park & Brannon, 2013).

This session will focus on how to empower students to use visual representations in Desmos and Polypad to deepen their understanding of key concepts and represent their thinking

Recommended for Stages 3-6

Meagan Rodda
Mathematics Advisor 7-12
David Watson
Mathematics Curriculum Support Advisor
Sam Houda
Mathematics 7-12 Curriculum Implementation Officer
Brendan Passmore
Mathematics Curriculum Officer 7-12
Deep Dive: Topic 10

Mathematics in Surveying 

Presenters: Matt Fitzsimmons, Corinne Towns, Renee Wells & Colleen Worton

Synopsis: This session will give teachers, and students alike, a flavour of surveying by answering some key questions which will support students to answer the question “Where could I build?”

• Where am I?

• Which direction?

• How far/high?

• How can I improve accuracy?

Recommended for Stages 5-6

Matthew Fitzsimmons
Mathematics Curriculum Implementation Officer 7-12
Corrine Towns
Mathematics Curriculum Officer
Renee Wells
Mathematics Curriculum Support Officer 7-12
Colleen Worton
Curriculum Advisor Mathematics
Deep Dive: Topic 11

Developing flexible and creative problem solvers: A journey connecting pedagogy and practice

Presenters: Daniel Proctor

Synopsis:At the very heart of mathematicians is problem-solving. It is the very thing mathematicians do and without problems, there would be no need for mathematics. In this session we explore how problem solving can be taught? What is a problem? And what isn’t? What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the student? What is the role of the class? This session will look at problem solving through three lenses:

Teaching for problem solving: Acknowledging that prior knowledge is a key aspect of problem solving. However, this requires teaching for understanding and sense-making in such a way to develop conditionalised knowledge – knowing what, how, why, when and where to use the knowledge.

Teaching about problem solving: Developing problem solving capacity through meaningful strategies and self-regulation (metacognition).

Teaching through problem solving: An approach to teaching and learning where problem solving is the vehicle for learning. Through carefully curated analogous problem situations, learning is activated. Intentionally selected teaching for and about problem solving strategies can then be utilised to consolidate and extend learning.

Recommended for Stages 3-6

Daniel Proctor
Secondary Mathematics Coordinator
Deep Dive: Topic 12

Aboriginal Perspective in STEM

Presenters: Sonia Sharpe, Marissa Floyd, Stephanie Earl, Corrin Shoesmith

Synopsis:Aboriginal Australians are the oldest civilisation on earth and could be considered the world’s first scientists. We have been observing, experimenting, and documenting the physical world around us for tens of thousands of years. As modern technology advances, members of the Korreil Wonnai AECG, invite you to look back at snapshots of Aboriginal history to show the connection between modern technology advances and our peoples’ first scientists.

Recommended for Stages 3-6

Sonia Sharpe
Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer Newcastle, Maitland and Cessnock Principal Networks
Stephanie Earl
School learning support officer, Mount View High School
Corrin Shoesmith
Assistant Principal Curriculum and Instruction, Weston Public School
Deep Dive: Topic 13

Mathematics in STEM: Exploring the Hidden Connections

Presenters: Sally Gorman and Peter Thew

Synopsis: Calling all STEM teachers! Embark on a journey applying Mathematics into the real world.  Discover new ways Mathematics underpins technology around us and how students can use day to day tools to explore Mathematics within STEM projects. Join us for an engaging and dynamic presentation with a Mathematics Teacher and an Engineer as we delve into the world of spreadsheets, colours, Lego and more while having a blast with exciting Mathematics games. Gain insights into practical classroom activities that foster critical thinking, numerical literacy, and Mathematical reasoning.

Unveil the hidden connections between Mathematics in STEM through engaging and inspiring case studies. With hands-on examples and collaborative activities, we will demonstrate how Mathematics and working Mathematically play a pivotal role in problem-solving and critical thinking across various STEM disciplines. Together, let’s create inspiring and enjoyable learning experiences that foster curiosity, critical thinking, and a lifelong love for Mathematics in our students.

Recommended for Stages 3-6

Sally Gorman
Trainer, Mathematics Growth Team
Peter Thew
Associate Professor, Charles Sturt University