STEM and STEAM; science, technology, engineering and mathematics meet the arts in playful and play-based contexts


Price $138—240


National Quality Standard
QA1Educational program and practice
QA3Physical environment
QA5Relationships with children
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
1Know students and how they learn
2Know the content and how to teach it
3Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments


Dr Kate Highfield
Kate Highfield is an experienced teacher and researcher with an interest in how technology impacts on learning, pedagogy and play.


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in early childhood appears to a polarising topic – we either LOVE it or LOATHE it.

For some it elicits fears of “pushing down a school curriculum”, for others they see it as part of everyday learning. This community of practice explores STEM (and STEAM, the integration of the Arts in STEM) with a focus on playful and play based settings.

Drawing on on modules, discussions with international experts and current research, the community allows educators to explore all aspects of STEAM and to build skills and share experiences of STEAM in their setting. Community members will select a project to explore within their context, or with peers from the community, and will have the opportunity to critically reflect on and extend their practice in a supportive environment.

At the completion of this course participants will have:

  • Considered personal skills and beliefs in STEM and STEAM and how this impacts on their practice
  • Explored current research and examples from STEM practice
  • Examined and evaluated current STEAM resources and ideas for use with children
  • Developed a project that extends STEAM in their context.

Learning schedule

By engaging in this community participants are committing to approximately 1 to 2 hours each week for a period of 8 weeks. This includes completion of modules, readings, online discussions and completion of a project that will be relevant to your work and setting. The following structure summarises this:

Week Learning
Week 1 Introduction and completion of a short (30 mins to 1 hour) module


Week 2

Online community meeting (Wednesdays between 3:30 – 4:30pm AEST).

Note all online meetings will be recorded for participants who cannot meet at this time and online discussion

Week 3, 4 and 5 Exploring research and practice. During these weeks educators will have a range of technologies to engage with including 2 modules, research papers, vodcasts with international experts and a series of short videos demonstrating technologies (eg Apps, robotics, tech toys and interactive tools). Participants will be able to reflect critically on these and engage in online discussions and meetings to reflect on their learning.


Weeks 67 Educators will complete a small project to extend or revise the use of technology in their setting. While completing this project educators will be supported online by the facilitator and the community.
Week 8  Educators will be invited to share their project through an online forum or Zoom meeting.

Enrolment information

The average time commitment for a learner per week is: 1—2 hours.

Enrolments open: Monday 8 April 2019

Enrolments close: Thursday 16 May 2019

Course run dates: Monday 20 May finishing on Friday 12th June 2019, with the first session on Wednesday 22nd May.

NESA Accreditation

Completing STEM and STEAM; science, technology, engineering and mathematics meet the arts in playful and play-based contexts will contribute 8 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing standards 1, 2, 3, and 4 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.