Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills

By showing your child that you have a positive attitude to STEM and you see the great possibilities it presents, you can have an impact on how your child feels.

The way that STEM subjects are taught may have changed over the years, but families are still able to support children of all ages engage in STEM related experiences.

Get involved

Here are some ways you can help your child engage with STEM:

  • Encourage them to investigate and ask questions about the real world. You can do 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..?'
  • Support 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.
  • Talk to your child's child care or school and ask the educator/teacher how children can learn about STEM. Some schools and child care centres let families volunteer for classroom activities and excursions.
  • Asking your Maternal and Child Health nurse for examples of STEM activities that you can do at home with your child.

For children at secondary school, you could:

  • Ask your child’s school about STEM subjects and extra-curricular activities that may have a STEM focus. This could be national science forums, pedal prix, engineering challenges and coding challenges.
  • Encourage young people to talk to their teachers or career advisers about pathways that lead to STEM careers.

Websites and places

STEM Programme Index (SPI) 2016 and STARportal has a collection of over 250 exciting activities and programmes for primary and secondary students in Australia.

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.

Zoos 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 leadership membership program.

The Digital Technologies Hub for families provides learning resources on digital technologies. The families section of the hub contains information, activities, careers advice and cybersafety links for families to explore.

Cosmos is a science magazine published in Australia. Its accompanying website has the latest science news, discoveries, developments and events.

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.

Backyard Species Discovery is a virtual citizen science Bush Blitz. It provides a virtual expedition to add to our knowledge of Australian biodiversity while keeping everyone busy at home and contributing data to the Atlas of Living Australia.