STEM Club Grants 2018

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STEM Clubs

What a STEM Club is 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 STEM 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

Other elements

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