17 March 2020 COVID-19 Update: At this point in time we are continuing to work upon completing the programmes for the 3 June - YES Conference at St Mary's College and the 5 June - Mini-It Takes a Spark Conference at Fairholme College in Toowoomba. We will also continue to keep registration open for the conferences, rest assured that places will be kept on hold and you will not be invoiced. Any payments that have been made to us will be fully refunded if the conference is cancelled.

We will reassess the situation next term and follow the advice of experts and the school systems involved (i.e. TCSO, QLD Dept of Education, ISQ). We will not go ahead if the situation with the virus has not been fully resolved. Our commitment is fundamentally to the safety and well-being of you, the students, the schools, the contributing organisations and the community. If necessary we will reschedule the conferences when the situation is resolved and contact you via email or phone.

If you have any questions, please contact us at office@spark-education.com.au or call 0411 270 277. Please stay safe and healthy during these challenging times and thank you for your partnership.

2020 Theme: Opening our eyes to the excitement of STEM in the world!

Most conferences currently being offered on STEM, STEAM and Entrepreneurship tend to be targeted towards teachers and involve a series of speakers and the occasional mini-workshops. This conference is designed to be different. This conference is designed by students and teachers for students and teachers.

The intent of the It Takes a Spark EDU Conference is to bring together Girls and their Teachers to connect with inspiring industry role models, share their current school based activities and projects using an authentic sharing and experiential model, create networks of teachers and student teams, and solve social justice design challenges.

Who Should Attend

  • Students – those who are already (or aspire to be) Technology Leaders in your school
  • Teachers – those who have little experience and those who have a lot
  • Heads of Learning Areas / Curriculum – who wish to discuss how to create trans-disciplinary units that are powerfully engaging
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding the Technologies Curriculum in your school


Cofounder & CEO, Missing School Incorporated

Megan Gilmour created the Australian-first telepresence robot initiative connecting students with serious illness to their classrooms. She is a social innovator with experience across 24 countries in large-scale social change. She’s a Churchill Fellow, a keynote and TEDx Speaker, and an award-winning education ambassador for sick kids. She has co-founded a nationally transformative not-for-profit, and tech startups in the global development and the assistive robotics sector.


This Mini It Takes a Spark will have the brightest educators, organisations and girls who are passionate about STEAM lead sessions at the hands-on STEAM Expo. These sessions are short, sharp action packed with activities / communications. After morning tea you will be posed with a real life Design Challenge and be led through the design process to ideate and present possible solutions.

STEAM Expo – 60 minutes

Who will present: students / teachers / university / sponsors / organisations

Audience: Students Years 4-10 and Teachers

Interactive, hands on STEAM or entrepreneurial activities
Grow in confidence by sharing ideas / innovation
Unique public speaking opportunity
Share knowledge and create networks

Problem Solvers Design Challenges – 70 mins

In the past we had challenges varying from Shaky Solutions – Earthquake simulator, Bee-pocalypse, TurtleGate, Self-Drive Cars, and Coding for Disaster Relief.

Each session will have a different real life design or STEAM challenge to solve aimed at Year 4 – 10 students and their teachers.
This session is an opportunity for schools, universities, industry, or community organisations to pose real life design challenges and lead students through the design process to ideate and present possible solutions.


Machine Vision in Agriculture
Derek Long, USQ
Centre for Agricultural Engineering
Building a simple pulley
STEM Girl Power Alumni
Dept of Education QLD
Monkeying around with Python
Junior Engineers
Blast Off to the Virtual Universe!
Jackie Bondell, OzGrav
TechCentral: 3D Printing, Artificial Intelligence & Electronics
Renewable Energy – I’m a big fan!
UQ Women in Engineering
Coding a LEGO maze
STEM Girl Power Alumni
Dept of Education QLD
Optimising Rocket Design
Matthew Billing
Its Rocket Science Adventures
Imagine. Prototype. Automate.
Shane Krog
Gatton State School
Using STEM to manage agricultural pests
Kristen Knight, Bayer
Putting the M Back into STEAM!
Ted Carter & Amanda Taylor
Squishy Circuits
STEM Girl Power Alumni
Dept of Education QLD
Interactive IT
Dr Marie Bodén & Claire Cresswell
UQ – IT and Engineering
Use of chromatography in forensics
Jennifer McPhie
Toowoomba Grammar School
Learning with Micro:bits and Makey Makey
Emma Pukallus and students
Haden State School
First Lego League Challenges
Bianca Willis and Oakey State HS students
Makey Makey Activities
Joy Taylor
CoderDojo Toowoomba
Printing 3D Fashion
Jay Wright and students
Vale View State School
Maze Runner
Bianca Willis and Goombungee SS students
Programming a 5-Axis Robotic Arm
Lindsay Watt and Samual Ashcroft, RAWrobotics
Upcycling – making use of what we have
Sherie Navin
Junk Made



Each session has a different real life design or STEAM challenge to solve aimed at Year 4 to 10 students.  You will be posed with a real life design challenge and lead through the design process to ideate and present possible solutions.
Determining the Eccentricity of the Earth’s Orbit
Stephen Broderick
St Ursula’s College
Growing Food as Medicine – a STEM project for schools
Professor Lindsay Brown
University of Southern QLD
War on Waste: The WarCry
Peter Harris
University of Southern QLD
It’s Rocket Science!
Cran Middlecoat
Its Rocket Science Adventures
What a load of rubbish!
Dr Marie Bodén & Sarah Matthews
University of Queensland
Island Escape
Amanda Kilgour and the Year 10 Girl Power team
BattleBots: A Tale of Mayhem & Destruction
Basem Aly & Lizzy Cleland
Reading, Writing, Robots
Megan Gilmour
Missing School Incorporated
Ground Zero Virus
Jay Wright and students
Vale View State School
An Indigenous approach to combating climate change
Joshua Waters
Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office





8.45 AM


9.25 AM


Welcome to Participants, Set up for the Day, Housekeeping

Assembly Hall

9.35 AM

Keynote Speaker – Megan Gilmour

Assembly Hall

10.10 AM


  • 60 min expo
  • a wide range of hands-on STEAM activities run by local schools, universities and even STEAM businesses and sponsors
  • Activities at each station will last between 10-20 min
  • Students and teachers will be able move around through the activities during this period

Assembly Hall

11.10 AM


An opportunity to network with other teachers and students, and explore trade displays.

11.35 AM


  • 70 min session – parallel sessions aimed at Year 4 – 10 students
  • This session is an opportunity for universities, industry, schools, or community organisations to pose real life design challenges and lead students through the design process to ideate and present possible solutions.

Breakout Rooms

Pre-registration required

12.50 PM


Invitation to be on the Steering Committee for the following year.

Assembly Hall


40 Wirra Wirra St
Toowoomba QLD 4350

DATE  Friday 5 June 2020

TIME / AGENDA  8.45am open
9.25am start – 1.00pm finish


Early bird Teacher $55.00*
Teacher $85.00

Student $10.00
inclusive of GST, Morning tea provided
*book by 30 April

Upon registration you will receive a confirmation email and invoice, payment is via direct deposit or credit card. For full details click on the register button alternatively call Rachel on +61 (0) 411 270 277  to coordinate your registration or ask any questions.

The Steering Committee

Jaye Ross – Fairholme College
Shane Buckley – Fairholme College
Bianca Willis – Goombungee State School
Adrian Bertolini – Intuyu Consulting

Erin Tonscheck – Fairholme College
Amanda Kilgour – QLD Department of Education
Jennifer McPhie – Darling Downs STEM Hub
Arlie Hollindale – Fairholme College

Spark Scholarship

Gold Sponsor


Rachel Manneke-Jones

Registration & Bookings
Ph: 0411 270 277
E: rachel@spark-educonferences.com.au

Dr Adrian Bertolini

Conference Co-Ordinator
Ph: 0413 036 382
E: adrian@spark-educonferences.com.au


Facebook: @SparkEDUConferences
Instagram: Spark.in.STEAM