CATEGORY: 3-4, 5-6, STEMLinc

STEMex

Course Access: Lifetime
Course Overview

STEMex Video Conference: Connect with STEM experts as they share their knowledge and experience in applying science to real world issues.  Run on a fortnightly basis STEMex takes the form of short, powerful talks followed by a Q & A session.  A range of popular topics provide unique opportunities for students to develop a deeper understanding of the significance of STEM in their world.  STEMex aims to build a community of inspired thinkers empowered to make a difference.

Year Level: 3-6 (Initially)

Duration: 45 mins

STEM in a Box:

No

Background Information:

Today’s students will be responding to the world’s most urgent environmental challenges.   Humanity is at a critical environmental turning point.  To survive, we must reshape our relationship with nature. STEMex facilitates the sharing of big ideas and bold solutions.  It bridges the gap of distance and builds a networked community of learners through the power of video conferencing.

Prior Knowledge:

No prior knowledge is required.

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Engage with key STEM topics, ideas, issues and challenges
  • Develop questioning, listening and communication skills

Activities

In this video conference students will:

  • Hear from a leading STEM expert
  • Engage in a Q&A session with a STEM expert

Victorian Curriculum

Science Communicating (Level 3-4)

  • Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings to show patterns and relationships using formal and informal scientific language (VCSIS072)

Science Communicating (Levels 5-6)

  • Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships (VCSIS088)

Highlighting some final tickets still available on an event.

Thursday fortnightly @ 2pm
Dates & Times 2021
Guest Speaker Topic Topic Details Photo Booking Link
May 6th

2pm

Expert: Karen Player

Position: Australian Environmental Education Science Educator

Topic: Life in our Oceans


Outline:
Take a journey beneath the waves to explore the marine world. Learn about some of incredible animals, their adaptations and this unique habitat.


Year Level Suitability: 
5-6

Click to book
May 20th

2pm

Expert: Dr. Tiana Preston

Position: Environmental Water Resource Planner, Melb. Water

Topic: Securing water for the environment & our platypus

Outline: Water is essential for life in our rivers, creeks, estuaries and wetlands. Water gets taken out of our rivers for a variety of uses, so we need to carefully plan how we ensure there is enough left in the environment for the creatures that rely upon it, like our unique platypus. In this session we’ll look at the role of environmental water in protecting animals such as the platypus, and what you can do to help ensure a healthy future for our waterways.

Year Level Suitability: 5-6

Click to book
June 3rd

2pm

Postponed due to Lockdown

Expert: Dr Phoebe Readford

Position: Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, CSIRO

 

Topic:  You can do anything!

Outline: Would you ever think that someone who grew up on a farm would end up working in Paris, London, China, Japan or Canada? What about going from a school of 200 kids to speaking to politicians at Parliament House in Canberra? Or what if you were working as a labourer, could you end up photographing the world’s first coronavirus vaccine being given to an animal for the first time ever?! These are all things that I’ve been lucky enough to do during my career, and I’m not even old yet! There are so many exciting things you can do in the world of science and truly make a difference to the world we live in. And, importantly, it doesn’t matter where you come from, how smart you are, how cool (or uncool) you may think you are or that you don’t know what you want to be. If you really want to achieve something, you absolutely CAN! I’d like to tell you about my journey and hopefully inspire you to look beyond the boundary to see what you can do.

Year Level Suitability: 3-4

Click to book
June 17th

2pm

Expert: Professor Sarah Spencer

Position: Associate Professor & Head of Neuroendocrinology of Obese Brain Research Group, RMIT

Topic:  Your brain and junk food

Outline: What does a brain look and feel like? How do brains know when we’re full? How might junk food change our brain? Inside our skulls lies a grapefruit-sized squishy organ that is responsible for everything we do, feel, and think. Our brains and bodies communicate by chemicals produced by our bodies that travel in our blood. Our brains and bodies also communicate by wire-like structures called neurons that send electrical signals from everywhere in our bodies up to our heads and back again faster than you can blink. Both of these methods of communication can be damaged by not enough nutritious food or too much junk food.

 

In this STEMex lesson, we’ll talk about:

  • What your brain looks and feels like
  • What your brain is made of (neurons, glia, astrocytes)
  • How your brain knows when you’re hungry or full
  • How junk food can change your brain

Year Level Suitability: 5-6

Click to book

July 15th

2pm

Expert:Dr Kate Charlton-Robb
Position:
Marine Mammologist,
Marine Mammal Foundation
Topic: Our fragile oceans

Outline: Dr. Kate Charlton-Robb is the Founding Director and Head of Research at the Marine Mammal Foundation. With over 17 years’ experience researching dolphins across southern Australia, Kate achieved a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Freshwater and Marine Ecology and Zoology and a Doctor of Philosophy. Her research led to the formal description and naming of a new Australian species of dolphin, the Burrunan dolphin, Tursiops australis. Kate has instigated and supervised numerous applied marine mammal research projects. Kate has numerous peer- reviewed scientific publications aimed at informing positive conservation and management outcomes of marine mammals. A highlight of Kate’s career was personally meeting Sir David Attenborough in 2013.

Yr Level Suitability: 5-6

Click to book
July 29th

2pm

Expert: Dr Tristan Reid
Position:
Duty Veterinarian Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO
Topic: Bats, Rats and You – The link between animal and human diseases

Outline:
Have you ever wondered if your dog could catch your cold? We live and interact with animals every day. We have pets, we go to the zoo, we keep animals on farms and we share our parks and gardens with wildlife. Us humans are really not all that different to animals – we all have to eat, drink, sleep and we all have eyes and ears and noses! But what about our diseases? Can humans catch a disease from animals? Can animals catch diseases from us?! And how does the health of our environment impact on the health of both humans and animals? We are learning more and more every day about the fascinating links between animal, human and environmental health – and how important these links are to the future health of all life on our planet. In this session we’ll take a closer look at some examples of where animal and human health have collided in the past, and what we can learn from these events to prevent more disease outbreaks in the future.Dr Tristan Reid completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne and a Master of Science in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.  He is one of the the Duty Veterinarians at the CSIRO Australian Center for Disease Preparedness.Yr Level Suitability: 5-6
Click to book
August 12th

2pm

Expert: Steve Poropat
Position:
Victorian paleontologist.
Topic: Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Outline:
In 2016, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History (AAOD) was told about a potential discovery of fossilised dinosaur footprints on Karoola Station, 60 km northwest of the outback town of Winton, Queensland. Museum staff and palaeontologists visited the site, not expecting much, but what they observed was so amazing it defied belief: a 40 metre-long sauropod trackway, surrounded by footprints from all manner of Cretaceous critters! These include small theropod and ornithopod dinosaurs, and relatives of modern day crocs and turtles. Between 2018 and 2020, the Snake Creek Tracksite – which is about the length of two basketball courts – was relocated by AAOD staff from Karoola to the AAOD Museum, where it is now on public display. This amazing tracksite captures a snapshot of life in northeast Australia ~95 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the outback.
Yr Level Suitability:
Yrs 5/6
Click to book
August 26th

2pm

Expert:Chelsea Long
Position:
Ice Core Technician, Glaciologist
Australian Antarctic Program Partnership
(University of Tasmania, CSIRO, Bureau of Meterology and the Australian Antarctic Division)
Topic: Discussing the formation of ice cores and their importance in understanding the Earth’s climate, what it is like to work in Antarctica, and general ice core processing. With discussions about school subjects and pathways towards careers in STEM.

Outline:
I knew that I wanted to work in Glaciology ever since someone from the Australian Antarctic Division showed me a picture of a person holding an ice core. My favourite part about ice core chemistry is that it’s the closest thing we have to actual time travel. As ice forms is traps impurities, air bubbles, and water molecules creating a layer in time which tells us about the natural and un-natural changes over decades, hundreds, or even thousands of years! I grew up in Tasmania and was never strong in my maths or science subjects but I didn’t let it stop me and now I work as an ice core technician in -20 degree temperatures every day!

Yr Level Suitability:
Yrs 5-6
Click to book
September 9th

2pm

Expert: Shasta Henry
Position:
PhD Candidate – Entomology
University of Tasmania
Topic: Insect ID 101

Outline:
Do you know the difference between a bug and a beetle? or a moth and a butterfly? I bet you do, because the human brain is very good at detecting small differences. So good that you never had to think about how you know what you know.  Shasta will teach the insect characteristics which set common groups apart. So, the next time you are in the garden you can say ‘Butterfly!’ (or moth), with confidence.Yr Level Suitability: Yrs 3-4
Click to book
October 21st

2pm

Expert:TBC
Position:
Topic:
Outline:
Yr Level Suitability:
Click to book
November 4th

2pm

 

Expert: Dr Phoebe Readford
Position:
Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, CSIRO
Topic: You can do anything
Outline:
Would you ever think that someone who grew up on a farm would end up working in Paris, London, China, Japan or Canada? What about going from a school of 200 kids to speaking to politicians at Parliament House in Canberra? Or what if you were working as a labourer, could you end up photographing the world’s first coronavirus vaccine being given to an animal for the first time ever?! These are all things that I’ve been lucky enough to do during my career, and I’m not even old yet! There are so many exciting things you can do in the world of science and truly make a difference to the world we live in. And, importantly, it doesn’t matter where you come from, how smart you are, how cool (or uncool) you may think you are or that you don’t know what you want to be. If you really want to achieve something, you absolutely CAN! I’d like to tell you about my journey and hopefully inspire you to look beyond the boundary to see what you can do.
Yr Level Suitability:
Yrs 3-4
Click to book
November 18th

2pm

Expert:Chris Johnson
Position:
World Wildlife Fund global marine scientist specialising in technology and science communication to achieve conservation outcomes.
Topic:
Outline:
Yr Level Suitability:
Click to book