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STAV Science Leaders Conference

August 26, 2021 All day

Theme for this conference is: New Horizons in STEM Education

Venue: Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Keynote Presenters

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.

Felicity Furey

Felicity Furey is the inaugural STAV STEM Ambassador and a leader in STEM education. She is an award winning business leader, engineer and entrepreneur who helps students and educators get excited and inspired about STEM. Find out more at www.felicityfurey.com


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.


University of Melbourne

Parkville, VIC 3010 Australia + Google Map