STEM X Academy Regional Workshops are professional learning programs for primary and secondary teachers of science, developed in partnership between Questacon (The National Science and Technology Centre), the CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) to address the national need for improving teachers and students STEM skills and knowledge. These workshops are free and open to Australian primary and secondary science/STEM teachers.
The inaugural STEM X Academy, a five day-residential program based in Canberra, debuted in January 2016. This program was a huge success with strong feedback from participants attesting to this fact. The demand for this type of professional development continues to grow, and is articulated by the increase in the number of people who applied for the 2018 STEM X Academy. With only limited places available, we had to rethink how best we could satisfy the professional development needs of more educators. STEM X Regional Workshops, which are held in different regions of Australia, aim to further the spread of the STEM X Academy so as to reach more teachers and empower their teaching as well.
In December 2016, we trialled our very first Regional Workshop in Townsville. Nearly 70 participants travelled to James Cook University to participate. Since then, another five workshops have been run with two in the Northern Territory, one in Condobolin, New South Wales, and two more in Kalgoorlie and Albany in Western Australia in April of 2018.
This free Professional Development is delivered by the CSIRO, with the opportunity for participants, just by taking part, to become alumni of one of the most exclusive STEM teacher professional communities in Australia.