The theme of the conference is to highlight how STEAM provides the skills and thinking for people to solve challenges, overcome barriers, and create a better and thriving world for everyone. This can include topics such as; inclusivity, renewable/ sustainable energy sources, artificial intelligence, diversity, acceptance, sustainability, ethical leadership, and empowering women.

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 Should Attend

  • Students – those who are already (or aspire to be) STEAM Leaders in your school
  • Teachers – those who have little experience and those who have a lot
  • Heads of Learning Areas / Curriculum – who wish to discover how to plan as a team to break down the discipline silos of learning
  • Principals and Deputy Principals – to witness what is possible by embedding STEAM authentically in your school

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

Head of Projects and Analytics
Grok Academy

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.

Alt Text

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).

ARE YOU A STEM SUPERSTAR?

The conference is an opportunity for Teachers, Students (Primary and Secondary), Industry, TAFEs, Universities, and STEM-based organisations to share their practice, in an authentic and practical environment.

The various ways you can showcase or share...

  • DigiDesign: 40 minute hands-on STEM workshops for students (Year 4 to 10) and teachers that link to the theme of the conference.

  • Problem Solver Sessions: 80 minute design challenges that lead students and teachers through the design process.

  • STEM Expo: hands-on activities that will last 10-15 minutes during a 40 minute rotation where teachers and students will move around the Expo.

  • Teacher Mini-Master Class: 40 and 80 minute hands-on masterclass on a STEM topic that will make a difference for teachers to enact in their schools (limited number of availability).

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

Head of Projects and Analytics, Grok Academy

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 STEAM topic
  • For teachers and students
  • Demonstrate hands-on STEAM 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 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 STEAM topic
  • For teachers and students
  • Demonstrate hands-on STEAM 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

Media

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 $TBA
Full fee teacher $TBA
*Early bird Student $TBA
Full fee student $TBA
*Early bird Pre-service $TBA
Full fee pre-service $TBA

Inclusive of GST, Morning tea and Lunch
*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.

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

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

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