The advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have been identified as key disciplines for the economic growth and a sustainable future (Adams Becker et al., 2017; Office of the Chief Scientist, 2016). A STEM focus provides an opportunity to equip future generations to create original ideas, design innovative products and services, and solve local and global problems (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2016; Walker, 2016). STEM learning and teaching in higher education plays a critical role in equipping graduates with STEM knowledge and skills necessary for today to create the future they want.

The STEM Network aims to bring educators together to learn about the diverse approaches to STEM learning and teaching among Australian universities, share ideas and explore areas of collaboration.

Areas of interest:

  • STEM course design
  • women in STEM
  • learning STEM in the digital age
  • STEM support-for-learning
  • STEM learning resources

Participants will be invited to share experiences and ideas. This network event provides an opportunity to develop a community of practice.

If you are interested in participating in, or contributing to, the STEM Network, please contact Ian Lightbody.

Ian Lightbody
Coordinator – Maths, Science and IT Learning Support
Queensland University of Technology

Ian coordinates the QUT STIMulate program to deliver maths, science and IT learner support across QUT (Lightbody et al., 2015). The program is provided by a team of 145 trained volunteer students and nine academic staff, and works in collaboration with faculty teaching staff. STIMulate received a national AAUT program award and two global Wharton Reimaging Education awards in 2016.

Ian has a background in education, management and working with volunteers. Ian was a mathematics and science high school teacher for 23 years and the general manager for a large not-for-profit youth organisation for two years before joining QUT. He has post-graduate qualifications in education and business, and he has recently commenced doctoral studies studying STEM support-for-learning in higher education. Ian has interests in peer-to-peer approaches, proactive motivational support and collaborative organisational strategies to enhance success for individuals and learning organisations.

 

Dr Richard Medland
Coordinator – IT Learning Support
Lecturer – Information Systems
Queensland University of Technology

Richard Medland is an Urban Informatics alumni, lecturer with the Information Systems School (ISS) at QUT, the outgoing director of learning and teaching operations (ISS), Bachelor of IT first year coordinator, and learning support coordinator (IT) at STIMulate. His work focuses on developing and introducing ICT in developing environments (Chandra, Polzin, Medland, & O’Farrell, 2016), resource use in homes and office and support for learning best practices (Sankupellay, Niesel, Medland, & Mealy, 2015). He has co-authored over 13 reports and research papers including publications within IEEE Pervasive Computing, CHI, Persuasive, and OZCHI. Richard is a twice recognised recipient of the QUT Vice Chancellor’s performance fund, and he was an invited scholar at the Oxford Internet Institute.

He is a discipline leader of STIMulate, an internationally awarded university-wide support for learning service. He works with universities, local partners, and governments in developing nations to introduce ICT into developing nations, having developed and deployed novel learning tools in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia (Chandra et al., 2016). He has worked on various projects with private industry and public sector organisations over the last decade. Key among these are the Queensland state government as part of the Climate Smart Home Service, National ICT Australia, Digital Technology Management at the Technical University of Munich, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute in Ireland, and Lancaster University. Richard teaches regularly in the QUT undergraduate and masters programs for Information Technology.

 

References

Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Davis, A., Freeman, A., Hall Giesinger, C., & Ananthanarayanan, V. (2017). NMC horizon report: 2017 higher education edition. Retrieved from Austin, Texas: http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2017-nmc-horizon-report-he-EN.pdf

Chandra, V., Polzin, G., Medland, R., & O’Farrell, K. (2016). The see box: Creating new learning opportunities across stem disciplines in developing countries. Paper presented at the STEM Conference, Bejing, China.

Lightbody, I., Wilson, T., Farr, A., Crane, D., Medland, R., Devine, C., . . . Lane, M. (2015). Stimulate: Maths, science and it support for learning. Paper presented at the STARS Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Office of the Chief Scientist. (2016). Australia’s stem workforce: Science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Canberra: Australian Government.

Sankupellay, M., Niesel, C., Medland, R., & Mealy, E. (2015, 2015). Personas of students accessing a peer-facilitated support for learning program. Paper presented at the STARS Conference, Melbourne.

Walker, M. (2016). Imagining stem higher education futures: Advancing human well-being (vol 70, pg 417, 2015). Higher Education, 71(6), 835-835.