Free STEM education programs from the Queensland Museum have given a boost to more than 120 teachers interested in upskilling their STEM-based knowledge.
Part of a professional development (PD) workshop series held throughout the year, teachers from Chinchilla, Gladstone, Toowoomba and Ipswich took part in 10 cost-free STEM workshops courtesy of the Future Makers program.
The aim is to inspire teachers with curriculum-aligned learning strategies to increase their confidence in delivering STEM activities in the classroom.
The Future Makers PD workshops are delivered by specialist learning officers from the Queensland Museum Network, who develop and provide tangible, free and ready-to-use resources based on the museum’s collections for teachers to implement in their classrooms.
Gladstone teacher Corinne Wright from Clinton State School said she found the Future Makers teacher PD experience highly beneficial to her lesson planning and developing strategies for teaching STEM subjects in the classroom.
“The resources provided are highly relevant to the subjects I teach to my year 6 class. I use them often and have seen students become more engaged in their learning as a result. It’s an added bonus that the learning materials are linked to Queensland themes, helping students find understanding in their local areas,” said Ms Wright.
"Further, due to a high level of student engagement with the hands-on and inquiry based-learning resources provided by Future Makers, I’ve found that students draw upon their learning far more in assessment tasks and the results have been much higher across the class in both scientific knowledge and reasoning.
"Students’ ability to be real-world problem solvers and inquiry thinkers is an essential skill for the 21st century. The Future Makers program is essentially equipping our students with the skills to be life-long learners,” she said.
The workshops received a high level of interest in 2021, likely linked to a national trend of STEM teacher shortages and building pressure in rural and remote schools which was highlighted in a report by the Australian Education Union earlier this year, paired with a global spotlight on the value of STEM careers post-pandemic.
In-person professional development workshops will recommence in early 2022. Free online teacher professional development courses are available to educators in Queensland and further afield to access year-round via Queensland Museum’s Learning Resources Hub. Shell’s QGC business. https://learning.qm.qld.gov.au/
The Future Makers program is a partnership between Shell’s QGC business and Queensland Museum Network and supported by Shell’s joint venture partners Tokyo Gas and CNOOC.