New Hub will boost STEM identity in early childhood education
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New Hub will boost STEM identity in early childhood education

by Freya Lucas

July 27, 2022

An online hub that encourages girls to participate in STEM opportunities has received  $1.2 million funding injection from the Invergowrie Foundation, which will see a particular focus applied to building STEM identity in early childhood. 

 

While the STEM Hub will focus across the education continuum, from preschool through to secondary school, early childhood will be a central concern for the team, which is composed of representatives from Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University, and the University of Melbourne who will work in partnership with Science Gallery Melbourne.

 

The STEM Hub will provide teachers, carers and students with compelling STEM engagement opportunities, and will create content and resources that focus on the needs of girls and diversity, while ensuring that boys are not excluded in the process.

 

The project team will work collaboratively across three themes: STEM Experience, STEM Awareness and STEM Practices and Resources, and will curate the ‘best of’ existing STEM website activities and links, as well as create content and resources that focus on the needs of girls and diversity. 

 

Associate Professor Therese Keane is heading up the project, based on her more than 25 years of experience as a champion for girls and women in STEM. 

 

“The STEM Hub will be an exciting virtual laboratory,” she explained. 

 

“We will continuously evaluate and research the platform, its content and interactivity, and learning impact with students, carers and teachers. We will ensure the hub’s offering is continually improved and refreshed quarterly by frequently aggregating, curating, and creating content that is engaging.” 

 

Chair of the Invergowrie Foundation, Wendy Lewis OAM, said the collaborative project is “a wonderful example of bringing together the combined academic talent of these three universities, in the STEM field, to build a contemporary and innovative hub that will drive STEM literacy not just for girls but for the broader community.” 

 

The Hub will also address unconscious bias and stereotyping, the role of career education, the need to include carers in STEM education and the requirement for targeted professional learning for teachers and career educators. 

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