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Suite 4: STEM & STEAM

What is STEM & STEAM?

Course Code: ODCR01

LENGTH: 30 mins


  • 2.2 – Content selection and organisation
  • 2.6 – Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • 3.3 – Use teaching strategies
  • 3.4 – Select and use resources
  • 4.1 – Support student participation

Divided into 3 parts, this session is designed to give you:

1. an overview of the theoretical concepts behind STEM and STEAM in the classroom and the role programs like this are playing in the future of education. 

2. a ‘how to guide’ providing you with an overview of how to plan and implement a STEM or STEAM program in your school.

3. the opportunity to apply your knowledge and share that with other teachers in the PAVE Academy Network. 


The grouping of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in schools saw the generation of the acronym STEM – a program that combined the forces of theses key learning areas to prepare students for career pathways for the future.

The integration of these 4 disciplines promoted the development of what is seen as 21 century skillset that will prepare students for career pathways that will become vital into the future. This approach to the development of theses skills was improved to incorporate Art, extending the approach and acronym from STEM to STEAM.

In this course, we are going to develop your understanding of STEM/STEAM programs ins schools by explore their concept, discuss why they are now a key element of most schools around Australia and the world and provide you with some tips to help plan and develop a STEM/STEAM program in your school!

  • An introduction to the concept
  • Expanding your understanding
  • Knowledge Check
  • Building this Game in SMART Learning Suite
  • Using this Game in your classroom
  • Knowledge Check
  • Exploration
  • Course completion
  • Getting your certificate

Let's begin

Part 1: Theoretical Background


Introduced in 2001 by scientific administrators at the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), STEM is a educational acronym that stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. Originally labelled SMET, it was American biologist Judith Ramaley (assistant director of education and human resources at the NSF) who rearranged the order of the curriculum areas to create the acronym that changed the face of learning and classrooms around the world. 

In the United States of America in the early 2000’s there were a series of articles published that identified a need for future employment and career pathways to focus on 

While the concept of student engagement seems straightforward, it can take fairly complex forms in practice. The following examples illustrate a few ways in which student engagement may be discussed or addressed in schools:


According to Phillip Schlecty, there are 5 categories for identifying how students engage in learning tasks or activities:



There are a number of different student engagement strategies that teachers are able to use, in order to increase interest, participation and overall enjoyment of their lessons. Some of the most popular and significant student engagement strategies are outlined below, and are strategies that we will explore in this On-Demand course suite:

Active Learning is focused on involving students in the learning process through meaningful activities, which help them to actually think about what they are doing and why. The idea is to provide students with the chance to really take part in the lesson. It could be applying theoretical learning to a simulation, demonstrate a process to the class, conducting an experiment, carrying out field research, and a variety of other activities that go beyond what might be experienced in a somewhat passive approach to teaching



Classroom Technology can assist with engagement in the ability to create lessons that use varied content and mediums to convey the curriculum or learning intention. Using tools like slideshow presentations, audio content, videos, augmented/virtual reality, teachers can not only increase engagement by ‘mixing up’ the learning approach, it can also increase the speed of content delivery while catering to students who have different learning styles or preferences. The use of Interactive whiteboard technology like the SMART Board can create an immersive learning experience for students to become more directly involved in their own learning.

A strategy used to boost student engagement through the use of game-based elements, game design principles, or game features in learning contexts. Intended to make learning more enjoyable and memorable for students, and to connect with them on a level that interests them, gamification increases the chances that they will take an interest and maintain the knowledge or skill being taught. Game-based learning can also help to challenge students, introduce a competitive element, encourage collaboration and metacognitive strategies while embedding feedback directly into the learning activity. . Meanwhile, research suggests that esports in schools can improve attendance and emotional engagement.



Collaborative Learning or cooperative learning is based around the idea of teamwork where students are arranged into pairs, small groups, or even much larger groups, with the premise that they work together to achieve their learning objectives set by the teacher.  Examples could include problem-solving activities, experiments, presentations, or debates and are designed to enhance the social aspect of learning, develop a sense of belonging, and skills related to communication, delegation, and compromise.


The following resources are provided to further develop your reading and understanding on the topic.

25 Self-Reflection Questions to get students thinking about their learning
By: Wabisabi Learning

Stop and Think
Teaching students to reflect
By: Responsive Classroom

Reflective Thinking:
How do I promote reflective thinking in students
By: Hawaii Department Education

In the video “Self Assessment: Reflections from Students and Teachers” by JFF, we discuss what is student-centered student self-assessment? What does it look like in the classroom? Do students and teachers find it useful and effective? Watch as students and teachers from IS 223 (Brooklyn, NY) explain self-assessment and reflect on their experiences using self-assessment in the classroom.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video. 

Video Length: 5.45min

In the video “Self Assessment” by the Michigan Department of Education, we explore the power behind having students look at, reflect upon and adjust their own work and how that benefits students and teachers. It is part of a series of videos on Formative Assessment.

Video Length: 6.27min


Below you will find 5 True/False question cards. 

Designed to review the content that was covered in Part 1 of this course, you need to reflect on the learning that we have covered thus far, answer the question in your mind and then click on the card to flip it over to see the correct answer.

While this assessment task does not affect your ability to pass this course, it is designed as a formative self-assessment task to allow you to reflect on your understanding from Part 1 of the course. 

Generally, the concept of “student engagement” is predicated on the belief that learning improves when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired, and that learning tends to suffer when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise “disengaged”


Yes this is true, when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired they tend to be more engaged in what is happening in the class, and that when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise “disengaged” they disconnect from what is being taught.

In the section above, we unpacked 5 different stages or examples that illustrate ways in which student engagement may be discussed or addressed in schools.


We actually discussed 6 areas or exampes that can be duscssed in schools
1. Intellectual engagement
2. Emotional engagement
3. Behavioural Engagement
4. Physical Engagement
5. Social Engagement
6. Cultural Engagement

Phillip Schlecty identified 5 categories for how students engage in learning tasks


This is correct. He identified the following 5 key areas for student engagement in learning activities
1. Engagement
2. Strategic Compliance
3. Ritual Compliance
4. Retreatism
5. Rebellion

One strategy to incorporate student engagement into your classroom is the concept called Active Learning where students apply their learning into a simulation, demonstration experiment or carrying out field research, in an attempt to create a meaningful learning experience.


TRUE. Active Learning focuses on involving students in the learning process through meaningful activities where they have the opportunity to apply their learning.

Collaboration and team work in the classroom is not an effective tool to engage students in the learning .


FALSE. While there may be a few students who are not a fan of working in groups, for the most part students who are able to experience their learning through a group based activity will be more engaged than solo tasks. The social element of group work, coupled with the constant negotiation between members creates a highly engaging environment.

Part 2: How To Guide

In this part, we will provide you with video guides that will walk you through two key aspects of using the SMART Learning Suite, in the SMART Learning Suite Online platform to create engaging and interactive lessons for your students. 

Below you will be able to access a series of video guides that will walk you through completing this process on your own. 

Part A: An overview of the Questioning & Reflection activities in SLSO

This video from SMART Technology provides a brief overview of the Questioning & Reflection tools available in the SMART Learning Suite Online platform. Using the How do you feel about this template, the video provides a brief overview of how you can engage students and capture their voice in the learning process in your classroom.  

Video Length: 1.25min

Part B:Understanding Questioning & Reflection Tools

In this video we explore how you can access and use the questioning and reflection tools in the SMART Learning Suite Online platform. We cover the different categories available and how they can be used to assist you with capturing your students voice in the learning that is happening in your classroom.

Video Length: 6.58min


Below you will find a series of statements that relate directly to the information that was covered in PART 2 of this course.

Click on the blue icon under the Tick/Cross if you think the statement is correct or incorrect to see if you are in fact, on the money!

Question 1:

SMART Learning Suite Online is a cloud based platform that can be accessed on any internet connected device.

Question 2:

Questioning & Reflection tools are built into the SLSO platform and these template can be access easily and quickly.

Question 3:

These templates can be used either at the front of class SMART Board or directly on their student devices 

Question 4:

Questioning and Reflection tools are a part of the SMART Notebook program and can be accessed through a menu in the platform.

Part 3: What's Next?

Now that you have developed an understanding of some elements behind Student Engagement, creating engaging and interactive lessons, and you have seen how to build your own lessons in the SMART Learning Suite, you are ready to complete the final 3 steps in the course: 

Click on each box to find out more.

Step 1


Sign into SMART Learning Suite on your computer and start building your very own engaging and interactive lessons.


Click on the button below to be redirected to the SMART Learning Suite Online page here you can sign in and start building your lessons.


Step 2


Apply your new learning and lesson resource in your classroom.


You can either re-watch the "How To Guide" in Part 2 of this course, or if you are a partner school with Pro AV Solutions, you can reach out to one of the PAVE Academy staff who can arrange a free coaching session.

Step 3


Share your lesson with other teachers in the PAVE Academy Network. Click on the button below to share your SMART Learning Suite Online file.


SMART Learning Suite Online:

Click on the "3 dots" icon on your game in the SLSO dashboard and select the Share Link option. Follow the prompts to access the Get Teacher Share Link and then paste this URL into an email


Congratulations! You are a step away from getting your PAVE Academy certificate.  Simply click the link below – you will be redirected to a certificate application form for you to complete. This form will also ask you to provide feedback on the course so that we can work to offer the most valuable PD sessions for teachers that we can. 

The certificate you will receive will show the course title, description, length, and AITSL standards covered so that it can be used as evidence for your annual teacher registrations. Please ensure that you save them in a safe space on your device but if you misplace it, please get in contact via the Contact Us page and we will assist with acquiring a new one. 


Badges are essential gamification elements that symbolize achievements completed by learners, and the PAVE Academy wants to celebrate your completion of this course, and recognise your efforts with this exclusive PAVE Academy GBL Badge. There is a new badge for each course you complete so collect them all to become a Recognised PAVE Academy Educator.

Attach your brand new badge as a signature on your email and share it on your social medial channels to let all you peers know the learning you have obtained. This can open professional conversations between yourself and your colleagues around your use of technology in your teaching and can encourage them to approach you for advice and guidance to help them improve their professional practice. 

You have now completed this on demand course

We hope that you have enjoyed this course and were able to get some valuable tools and knowledge that you can use in your teaching.

If you need any assistance with your school’s Education Technology or have any questions regarding this training session please contact us and we will assist you with all your needs. 

And finally, our big 5 reminders:
          1.  fill out the form to get your certificate and then keep an eye out for your certificate in your email inbox
          2. download your badge, attach it to your email signature and share it on your social media platforms
          3. revisit this course as many times as you need, so if you feel you need a refresher on the content we covered this resource is always available for you here.
          4. follow the PAVE Academy on Facebook, LinkdIn, Twitter, and Instagram
          5. engage with the PAVE Academy Network