STAV Science Leaders’ Conference
Theme for this conference is: New Horizons in STEM Education
Online: Thursday 9 September 2021 from 8.40am to 12.30pm
Online: Friday 26 November, 2021, from 8.00am to 4.30pm
Darkness Visible Down Under
Prof Alan Duffy, Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute, Swinburne
Decades of research have led astronomers to a staggering conclusion, that there exists a new, invisible type of mass that outweighs everything we can see five times over. I will explain how we know so much about the properties of a particle we have yet to discover, and how Australia is playing a leading role in uncovering the nature of this mysterious dark matter with SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector at Victoria’s Stawell gold mine.
Professor Alan Duffy is Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute, a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics, and an astrophysicist who creates universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies form and to probe the nature of dark matter. He then tries to explain all this work to as wide an audience as possible on TV, radio and public events, as the Lead Scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia.
Teaching STEM in uncertain times
Prof Jan van Driel, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne
The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are among the global challenges that require an understanding of STEM concepts and principles. The misunderstanding and confusion about these challenges, partly caused by the proliferation of misinformation via the media, underscores the importance of STEM education. However, the performance and uptake of STEM in Australia is problematic. In this talk I will address opportunities and questions for STEM education: What should we be teaching (curriculum), to whom and how (pedagogies)? Which abilities need to be assessed and how? What does this imply for the preparation and ongoing professional learning of teachers of STEM?
Jan van Driel is a Professor of Science Education and leader of the Mathematics, Science & Technology Education Group in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. After obtaining a Master’s degree in chemistry (1984), he worked as a teacher of chemistry in a secondary school. He did a PhD at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, which focused on the teaching and learning of chemical equilibrium. His research interests include science teacher knowledge, teacher education and professional learning, science and gender, and interdisciplinary science and STEM education.