The theme of the conference ‘STEAM – Empowering Leaders for a Changing World’ will highlight how STEAM provides the skills and thinking for people to solve challenges, overcome barriers, and create a better and thriving world for everyone. 

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 STEM Conference is to bring together Students (Year 4 to 10) and 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.

The participation of the students is as important as teachers as our intent is to ignite, empower and nurture both to be leaders of STEM and Entrepreneurship within their schools. This is a conference designed and led by students and teachers for students and teachers.

Teachers will have both formal and informal opportunities to speak to other teachers who have enacted programs and activities in their schools and get their questions answered. 

The workshops and social justice design challenges are all hands-on so students and teachers will experience first-hand what it is like to be part of great STEM and entrepreneurial learning. This will spark new ideas about curriculum and pedagogy.

Who the conference is for…

  • Year 4 to 10 students: those who are already (or aspire to be) STEM Leaders in your school OR students’ schools wish to spark an interest in, and engagement in STEM
  • Teachers: those who have little experience and those who have a lot, looking to be inspired, participate in hands-on professional learning and network with peers
  • Heads of Learning Areas / Curriculum: who wish to connect and elevate their STEM discipline
  • Principals and Deputy Principals: to witness what is possible by embedding STEM authentically in your school
  • …and the event is a 6 hour Professional Learning day for teachers – certificate provided.

Teacher Professional Development Stream

“Many teachers and schools are challenged by HOW to create STEM learning that develops students across the years to be the independent critical thinkers and problem solvers the world needs.

We will bring together some of Australia’s leading practitioners in the fields of design, technology, curriculum planning, student engagement and STEM learning to develop a special Teacher Professional Development stream at this year’s QLD It Takes a Spark STEM Conference.

Every session is designed to provide teachers with the insight, practical guidance and resources they need to improve their planning and practice upon return to their schools. The professional learning will support teachers no matter their prior background, confidence, or capability.”

INTRODUCING THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

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DR KARSTEN SCHULZ

CEO, Digital Technologies Institute

Karsten holds a PhD in Computer Science and a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Software Engineering. In 2010, Karsten created the Young ICT Explorers Competition and, in 2014, whilst working for NICTA (now part of CSIRO), he founded the Bebras Australia Computational Thinking Challenge, which is part of the International Bebras Challenge with over 2.9 million participants annually. Karsten is a former track and field athlete, who competed at German national youth level in long jump.

Karsten has been working in the Australian ICT and Digital Technologies space since 1999 in an international R&D leadership position. He has designed a computer processor, builds artificial neural networks, has 18 patents in his name and has a passion for data, process flow and artificial intelligence.

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DR ALEXANDRA CAMPBELL

Marine Scientist, University of the Sunshine Coast
Superstar of STEM

Can we save the world with seaweeds? Dr Alexandra Campbell is working hard to find out.

As a key member and co-founder of the USC Seaweed Research Group, Alex leads projects that are investigating how seaweeds can restore damaged ecosystems, improve food production and enhance human health.

She was a founder of ‘Operation Crayweed’, which restores underwater seaweed forests along Sydney’s coastline, won a ‘Green Globe’ award and was a Eureka Prize finalist (2017). Alex is a Churchill Fellow (2014), a Young Tall Poppy (2012), a busy mother of twins (always) and a passionate advocate for Women in STEM (forever).

TEACHER MINI-MASTER CLASSES

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Object-Based Learning in the Classroom
Rebecca Lush
Integrated Pathology Learning Centre
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Extending your skill range using generative AI
Derek Long
University of Southern QLD
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AI Launchpad: Igniting Entrepreneurial Minds
Digital Literacy Licence
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Deeper knowledge with coding pedagogies
Grok Academy
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Dive into the world of Micromelon Robotics with the Rover and Python!
Micromelon Robotics
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Arduino in AgTech
IntegratedSTEM
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Practice, Failure and Learning – what I wish I was taught
Cran Middlecoat
That Pilot Guy!
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How to attract more girls into Technology
Australian Computer Society

DIGIDESIGN MINI-WORKSHOPS - Students and/or Teachers

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Exporting Coding with Microbits
Grace Lutheran College
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Cyber Live
Grok Academy
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Design a Smart Sustainable Home in 3D
The School Locker
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From the arena to the clinic: how does movement impact our lives?
Jessica Williamson
CSIRO
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Digital Frontier: Design Thinking for Innovative Solutions
Grace Lutheran College
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App Prototyping Inclusive Mental Health Solutions
Sandy Gardner
Insight Technology Education
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First Steps with Artificial Intelligence
Dr Karsten Schulz

Digital Technologies Institute
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Virtual pet
Grok Academy
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LEGO Robotics Engineering Challenge
Grace Lutheran College
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Corals are Cool and Crucial
CoralWatch
The University of Queensland
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Mission to Mars
Stephen Broderick
St Ursula’s College Toowoomba
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Does stuff float on Oobleck?
Students from Islamic College of Brisbane
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Curious Kids can Code!
Kaye North
Code Club Australia
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The Tower Triumph Challenge
Students from Islamic College of Brisbane

STEAM Expo hands-on activities area

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Highly autonomous robots assisting humans
CSIRO Data 61
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Insect Pest Management for Australian Cotton
Bayer Crop Science
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Beyond Boundaries: Building the Next-Gen Smartphone
Grace Lutheran College
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Grok Academy
@ the STEAM Expo
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The Future of Transport Signalling
Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
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Bush Neighbours: A CoSpaces project
St Joseph’s Primary School Bardon
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Australian STEM Video Game Challenge
Australian Council for Educational Research
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This IS Rocket Science!!!!
Cran Middlecoat
That Pilot Guy!
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Solar Activity: Sunspots, Prominences and Filaments
Stephen Broderick
St Ursula’s College Toowoomba
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Drone Experience
Pakronics
Grace Lutheran College students
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Hands on Robotics with Micromelon
Micromelon Robotics
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Emerging Energies
Webuild
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Robot Drive Challenge
BotBuilders
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CSIRO’s STEM Professionals in Schools program
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Flying Scientists showcase
Wonder of Science
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Melting Metal Mementos
Mark Baker
Assumption College Warwick
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Paper Plane Launcher
BotBuilders
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Explore Electronics!
Integrated STEM

PROBLEM SOLVERS DESIGN CHALLENGE

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Innovating for a changing world
Grace Lutheran College
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What’s involved in making Windfarms happen?
Department of Transport and Main Roads
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Reducing your carbon footprint by design
St Andrew’s Anglican College
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Inclusion Through Innovation
The Glennie School
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How many trees?
Professor Peter Galbraith
University of QLD
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Sustainable Space Exploration
Cran Middlecoat
That Pilot Guy!
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Creating a sustainable environment for all lives
Veronica Farina and Shelley DeRuyter
William Ross SHS
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Matchbox Rockets
Wonder of Science
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Taking Flight with Design
Moreton Bay College
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Game on! Using card games to plan and design video games
Australian Council for Educational Research
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Classroom Noise Reduction Design Challenge
Beenleigh State High School
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DesignDash: Helmets – Necessary or a Nuisance?
Brisbane South State Secondary College
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Creating a healthy food future
Professor Lindsay Brown
Griffith University

Queensland
Friday, 30 August 2024
Agenda

8.15 AM

REGISTRATION, COFFEE/TEA & NETWORKING

8.45 AM

MASTER OF CEREMONIES

Acknowledgement of Country, Welcome to Participants, Set up for the Day, Housekeeping

9.00 AM

Keynote Speaker – Dr Karsten Schulz

CEO, Digital Technologies Institute

9.40 AM

TEACHER ORIENTED MINI-MASTER CLASSES (Rotation 1)
40 min Parallel sessions

  • Hands-on masterclass on STEM topics that will make a difference for teachers to enact in their school

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

9.40 AM

DIGIDESIGN MINI-WORKSHOPS + STEAM Expo (Rotation 1)

  • 40 min parallel mini-workshop sessions on specific STEM topic that link to the theme
  • For Teachers and Students
  • Demonstrate hands-on STEM activities for Year 4 to 10 students
  • Presented by attending students / teachers / universities / sponsors / organisations
  • STEAM Expo: 10-15 min activity, moving between activities during the 40 minute session

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

10.25 AM

MORNING TEA

An opportunity to network with other teachers and students, and explore EXPO

11.00 AM

PROBLEM SOLVERS DESIGN CHALLENGE

  • 80 min session – parallel sessions aimed at Year 4 to 10 students and their teachers
  • This session involves real life design challenges where attendees are led through the design process to ideate and present possible solutions

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

11.00 AM

TEACHER ONLY SESSIONS

  • Teacher Masterclass – 80 minute session
    • Hands-on masterclass on STEM topics that will make a difference for teachers to enact in their school

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

11.00 AM

  • Teacher Networking and STEM Pathways (80 minute session)
    • Opportunity to connect with other teachers and presenters to share ideas, possibilities and practices then meet with STEM organisations/sponsors in the STEM Expo area to discuss (without students) how they can support you in delivering and inspiring STEM in your school.

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

12.25 PM

LUNCH

An opportunity to network with other teachers and students, and explore EXPO

1.00 PM

Keynote Speaker – Dr Alexandra Campbell

Marine Scientist, University of the Sunshine Coast and Superstar of STEM

1.40 PM

TEACHER ORIENTED MINI-MASTER CLASSES (Rotation 2)
40 min Parallel sessions

  • Hands-on masterclass on STEM topics that will make a difference for teachers to enact in their school

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

1.40 PM

DIGIDESIGN MINI-WORKSHOPS + STEAM Expo (Rotation 2)

  • 40 min parallel mini-workshop sessions on specific STEM topic that link to the theme
  • For Teachers and Students
  • Demonstrate hands-on STEM activities for Year 4 to 10 students
  • Presented by attending students / teachers / universities / sponsors / organisations
  • STEAM Expo: 10-15 min activity, moving between activities during the 40 minute session

Breakout Rooms
Pre-registration required

2.30 PM

FEEDBACK AND CONFERENCE COMPLETION

  • Awarding of prizes to attendees
  • Completion of feedback form

2.45 PM

CLOSE OF CONFERENCE

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

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VENUE
Grace Lutheran College, Rothwell Campus
Anzac Ave & Mewes Rd
Rothwell QLD 4022

DATE  Friday, 30 August 2024

TIME / AGENDA  8.15am open
8.45am start – 2.45pm finish

Read School FAQ’s – suggestions on who should attend, answers about what stage you are at and if the conference will suit, registration T&C’s, and more…

Teachers are able to attend without students
We recommend max 25 students per school with minimum teacher ratio of 1T:10S

CONFERENCE RATES

*Early bird Teacher $195
Full fee teacher $235
*Early bird Student $27.50
Full fee student $35
*Early bird Pre-service/Aide $77
Full fee pre-service/Aide $99

Includes Morning tea and Lunch for all
*book in by 30/07/2024

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. Workshop selection will open 3 to 4 weeks prior to the conference, we will email the registered teachers and contact person.


Queensland It Takes a Spark STEM Conference
Sponsors and Partners


Thank you to our 2024 sponsors and partners

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CREATE SPARKS IN LEARNING FOR TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS! BECOME A SPONSOR…

To discuss sponsorship contact Dr Adrian Bertolini – Conference coordinator
Email: adrian@spark-educonferences.com.au or Call +61 0 413 036 382

GET IN TOUCH WITH US

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

Stay Connected

Facebook: @SparkEDUConferences
Instagram: Spark.in.STEAM
LinkedIn: spark-educonferences

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