"STEM fairs are a fun educational way to celebrate National Science Week." Lyn Beard
In response to state and national calls for a stronger focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and ‘creative thinking’ in schools, South Coogee Primary School (SCPS) recognised that STEM education was the critical component in preparing students for a rapidly changing future.
Staff at SCPS agree that a STEM focus is not only integral to classroom teaching but can influence all facets of school life. Equally, staff also acknowledged that the importance of these subjects doesn't always resonate with students when taught in theoretical isolation. For this reason, it was decided that learning at SCPS must become more purposeful. This has resulted in a learning approach that provides students with ‘real-life’ opportunities to put STEM learning into practice. One example of this approach is the annual STEM Fair. The planning of this initiative is undertaken as part of a project-based learning strategy in which the Year 6 students are handed the responsibility of hosting a STEM Fair for their fellow students.
This website has been developed as a way of sharing with others our experience in delivering STEM Fairs. By no means do we consider ourselves experts. We do, however, hope that from our anecdotes others will gain an insight into the things that we have found to work well and the pitfalls to avoid.
Within these pages, you will find an overview of the project-based learning approach to running the Fair, copies of planning and teaching resources, and handy hints for those wanting to host a similar event. The Year 6 students of 2019 have also contributed brief reports outlining the work they undertook in preparation for the fair.