Inspiring Australia in Queensland is funded to support the establishment and development of STEM Clubs across Queensland, to provide out of school opportunities for children in all regions to engage with STEM. As part of this mission, we want to understand how different clubs operate and what is effective in a variety of regions and for different age groups.
In collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland, we have developed an easy-to-use evaluation framework to assist us to understand how STEM clubs operate and where we can best provide support.
Inspiring Australia Queensland invites organisations running STEM Clubs or those interested in developing a club, to apply for a grant of up to $2000 to participate in this pilot program. Any organisation can apply – for example: schools, libraries, non-profit organisations or businesses. However, you must have an ABN.
Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday 4 September 2018. Applicants will be notified on 10 September 2018.
Grant Program Application 2018 – Guidelines
Grant funding can be spent on any elements that will assist your STEM club, such as materials, resources, administration, venue hire or collateral.
As part of this program, Inspiring Australia will also provide you with access to a range of STEM club resources that you can choose to use if you like (outlines of appropriate activities for various ages), and an online portal to collaborate with other grant recipients across Queensland.
For more information on what Inspiring Australia understands as a STEM club, please see the shared vision below. Clubs do not need to meet all these criteria to apply for a grant, however should be aiming for these approaches where possible.
Grant assessment criteria
- The initiative aims to assist students or young people to develop problem solving, teamwork and creative thinking skills
- The initiative incorporates hands on practice and project based investigation, instilling a real experience for students to draw upon.
- The initiative is fun and brings an element of social interactivity
- There is the potential for broad community engagement and cross-generational involvement
- The initiative actively aims to include diverse communities and/or interest groups.
Requirements of receiving grant funding
- Sign a grant agreement with the Queensland Museum by 21 September 2018
- Use the Inspiring Australia logos in any STEM Club promotional material
- Use the funding to support the establishment/operation of your STEM club
- Complete an acquittal form by 31 December 2018.
- Complete a Health Check form about your STEM Club at the beginning and end of the funding term
- Ensure STEM club participants and their parents/guardians complete a short evaluation at each session
Please read the overview of the STEM Club Evaluation Framework – these materials can be adapted to the circumstances of your club and assistance will be provided in implementing the evaluation tools.
Our Shared Vision
STEM Clubs share a set of common principles which form a guiding framework.
What the clubs are all about:
- They connect children with local challenges, local expertise and real world problems
- They aim to foster enterprise skills (such as problem solving, creativity and teamwork) and the students’ belief in their own ability to use STEM practices.
- They don’t aim to teach children specific knowledge or link to the school curriculum.
- They use hands-on, project-based investigation
- They are fun, inspiring and have a strong social element including working in teams
How the clubs are run:
- They are facilitated rather than being taught, and the facilitator does not require any expert knowledge to run the clubs – local experts can be brought in where needed
- They do not require any particular set of resources, clubs can be run very cheaply with materials available to anyone, or can use local resources where they do exist.
- They are embedded in the community, particularly in the network of families in the area, involving a cross-generation pipeline of inquiry and fun and using parental expertise wherever possible
- They have a basic intention of giving everyone access to STEM and so there is a strong focus on inclusion, equity and gender and cultural diversity as well as supporting children with different mental and physical abilities
Along with the basic principles, there are other elements that can help to make a STEM Club successful:
- Have a clear understanding of the age range and focus of that club and provide materials appropriate to that age range, e.g. early years, primary school or high school
- Are cost-effective with a sustainable funding/business model
- Are embedded in evaluation and regularly self-assessed on their effectiveness
- Use volunteer assistants, often through local high schools/universities or parents
- Can be any combination of on and off site locations, making use of resources such as local industry, museums, science institutes, and TAFE, universities, whenever possible.
- Share knowledge, resources, materials and link in person or online with other clubs