Bringing STEM outside the classroom
With more and more students showing a keen interest in exploring STEM subjects in innovative ways, the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is developing a framework that aims to secure the future of STEM clubs in the state.
With youth clubs dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) on the rise, USQ is collaborating with Queensland Museum and Inspiring Australia to identify the main supports and resources required for running a quality STEM club.
The evaluation framework currently being developed is set to become an important new resource for Queensland STEM clubs, assisting them to build sustainable programming.
Team leader, Associate Professor Angela Fitzgerald, from the School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood (STEEC), said the University was excited to be involved in the project.
“Typically we’ve had sport, music and drama as extra-curricular activities, but now we’re starting to recognise there are many children who want to engage in STEM outside the classroom,” she said.
“STEM clubs are an effective way to inspire and extend young people’s learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and promote essential 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.”
Professor Fitzgerald says the new framework will provide a formal guide of plans and strategies on how to run a successful STEM club program, drawing on the University’s research and experience in STEM education and digital technologies, together with feedback from existing clubs.