STEM clubs include any extra-curricular programs in science and technology, including science clubs, robotics clubs, young engineers, coding clubs, and citizen science programs. They are informal, social learning zones where children explore STEM topics through inquiry-based, participant-led learning designed to foster and capitalise on personal interests.
As informal learning spaces, STEM clubs function differently than traditional learning environments like the classroom.
STEM clubs are usually facilitated rather than taught, and the facilitator does not require any expert knowledge to run the clubs – local experts can be brought in where needed.
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.
STEM clubs do not require any particular set of resources or fancy technology. Clubs can be run very cheaply with materials available to anyone, or can use local resources where they do exist.
STEM clubs 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.
There are already some dedicated STEM Club programs operating in Queensland. These include:
Many providers offer one-off workshops, kits and holiday activities for students interested in STEM. For a more comprehensive list of STEM programs in education, visit the STAR Portal. Key providers in Queensland include:
Along with the basic principles, there are other elements that can help to make a STEM Club successful:
Our STEM Club Toolkit provides advice on creating and maintaining a sustainable STEM club.