Families can support their children to engage with STEM in a number of ways, for instance:
- Encouraging children to investigate and ask questions about the real world. You can support this by asking open-ended questions. For example, 'Can you describe..?', 'I wonder what would happen if..?', 'How would you answer that question..?' , 'What if..?'
- Supporting play activities that are STEM-related. For younger children, this could include playing games to identify different shapes, numbers and patterns, singing songs and nursery rhymes about numbers and playing with building blocks. For older children, this could include using a digital device to make a movie with special effects, learn cooking skills and encouraging the use of apps and computer games that are STEM-related.
- Engaging your child's child care facility or school and asking the educator/teacher what opportunities exist for children to learn about and experience STEM. You could also investigate opportunities to get involved in STEM-related learning activities. Some schools and childcare facilities have opportunities for families to volunteer for classroom-based activities and excursions.
- Asking your Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurse for examples of STEM-related activities that you can do at home with your child.
For secondary school learners, this may include:
- Engaging your child’s school or learning institution about STEM subjects that are offered and extra curricula activities that may have a STEM focus, such as national science forums, pedal prix, engineering challenges and coding challenges.
- Engaging with young people about STEM-related careers and educational pathways and seeking the advice of teachers and careers advisers about the broad range of STEM-related educational pathways that are available. Skills Gateway is a one-stop-shop of Victorian vocational education and training and will assist students to decide on career options. This resource has been developed by the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
For more information, see: Skills Gateway
STEM Programme Index (SPI) 2016
SPI 2016 is a collection of over 250 exciting activities and programmes for primary and secondary students in Australia. The Index includes excursions and competitions suitable for families. Some are provided by businesses, some by universities, science and education agencies, and some by government.
For more information, see: SPI 2016
Museum Victoria cares for the state's scientific and cultural collections. Museum Victoria includes Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks, These museums provide stimulating exhibits and activities ensuring that families can maximise their STEM experience.
For more information, see: Museum Victoria
Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo, provide families with the opportunity to discover a wild range of wildlife and learn about conservation.
Over the school holidays, students aged 13 to 18 years old can participate in the Youth at the Zoo membership program.
Digital Technologies Hub
The Digital Technologies Hub provides learning resources and services for teachers, students, school leaders and parents. It aims to support the implementation of quality Digital Technologies programs and curriculum in schools and to support after school activities. Please note that the Hub relates to the Australian Curriculum; in Victoria the Victorian Curriculum is taught.
The Families section of the Hub contains information, activities, careers advice and cybersafety links for families to explore.
For more information, see: Digital Technologies Hub: Families
Cosmos is a science magazine published in Australia. Its accompanying website has latest science news, discoveries, developments, events and more.
For more information, see: Cosmos
Victorian Maths Challenge
Explore and solve maths challenges with family and friends. Amongst many activities, young children can collect, count and sort objects from the garden, balance on a see-saw and find patterns in the world around us. School-aged children can create the ultimate paper plane, float a better boat, strategise, optimise and post videos, pictures or stories.
Join in the fun at: Victorian Maths Challenge Take the Challenge at: VMC Students