Top 4 ways to get school students excited about #STEM

18 Aug 2017


"The enhanced awareness and interest in STEM related learning is both opportune and exciting, says Churchill Fellow Neil Bramsen. "As future innovation and global changes create new opportunities and challenges in the years ahead, love of, and achievement in the STEM subjects offer students the mindset, skills and passion to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow."

For National Science Week we asked Neil Bramsen why #STEMinschools is such a national priority and to share his top 4 tried and tested methods to get students excited about STEM.

Neil Bramsen is Assistant Principal at Mt Ousley Public School and travelled to the US and UK in 2014 to study programs that successfully engage and enthuse primary and middle school students in MES (Maths, Engineering and Science) learning.


1. Learning through doing!

STEM learning is hands on learning. Plan activities and experiences that rely on students making, tinkering and testing for instance. 10% intro the lesson – 80% making and doing - 10% reflecting on the learning process



2. Think - make - improve!

As Gary Stager says, keep it simple in the engineering design process. Think about a solution to the challenge or purpose. Make it and test it. Improve it - the iterative design process is about failing forward to success and looking to improve and refine the product.


3. Love the learning – make it fun!

It goes without saying that the most rewarding and productive learning environments are ones where teachers and students are working in a respectful and purposeful manner. Integral to this for me is having fun during the learning process – share and laugh with students and importantly celebrate success and learn from mistakes. 



4. Reach out and share!

STEM is not a scary acronym! Reach out and use programs such as Scientists in SchoolsEngQuest, and the NSW Aeronautical Challenge to harness knowledge and support from other experts. The Exploratorium runs free online courses in tinkering and making that teachers love. Give back, share and learn through Teachmeets, social media and school visits.


 You can find more information on classroom STEM projects via

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