The theme of the conference is to highlight how STEAM skills and mindsets can foster curiosity, innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact. The conference will explore how education and teachers can achieve this, and how to foster interdisciplinary and cross-cultural partnerships with industry, universities and STEAM organisations.

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 SARA WEBB

Astrophysicist and Superstar of STEM
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Swinburne University of Technology

The last 100 years of astronomy has seen our knowledge of our own home galaxy, universe and even the things that make-up us change in almost immeasurable ways. We simultaneously know more and less about the Universe we live in, and with new and exciting telescopes, we’ll soon have too much data to work with manually.

To prepare for the future of Astronomy, Dr. Sara Webb works with optical telescope data and machine learning to explore explosions in the universe and how astronomers find them. Sara focused on studying small, yet mighty, red dwarf stars and their flares. When a star flares, energy and matter are spewed out into the surrounding solar system, and Sara has worked to build up a large and unique population of these stars that flare in very short periods of time. In her broader research into investigating the use of AI in team situations, Sara is currently working on studying how astronomers work in their various cognitive states.

Aside from her academic research, Sara also coordinates and co-leads Swinburne’s unique student space challenge programs, sending student led experiments to the International Space Station. This Australian wide program gives students insight into a space science career.

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DR PRUE FRANCIS

Marine Scientist and Superstar of STEM
School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Deakin University

A former high school teacher and now marine scientist and educator at Deakin University, Prue is exploring the extent to which ocean literacy is being taught in schools across Australia and evaluating innovative methods to enhance ocean literacy. Notably, Prue and her Deakin SEA.Ed team have been exploring ocean-themed picture books as a useful tool to educate school children about marine science. Subsequently, Prue has co-authored a children’s book, The Great Southern Reef (by Paul Venzo, Prue Francis; illustrated by Cate James) to promote ocean education in schools and raise awareness of Australia’s Great Southern Reef.

Prue regularly engages with community groups and is passionate about inspiring younger generations to be curious about life underwater. Prue visits schools to present her fun and engaging (not slimy!) Seaweed Matters incursions and champions ocean literacy on Melbourne’s independent radio station, Triple R.

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).

Victoria
Thursday, 24 October 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 Sara Webb

Astrophysicist and Superstar of STEM, Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

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

10.20 AM

MORNING TEA

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

10.50 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

10.50 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

10.50 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

12.10 PM

LUNCH

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

12.50 PM

Keynote Speaker – Dr Prue Francis

Marine Scientist and Superstar of STEM, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University

1.20 PM

Student Panel – facilitated by Dr Prue Francis

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
The Knox School
220 Burwood Hwy
Wantirna South VIC 3152

DATE  Thursday, 24 October 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 20/09/2024

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.


Victoria 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

© 2024 Intuyu Consulting Pty Ltd