Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australia’s High Schools Are Into STELR

By Doreen Thomas

The STELR program now reaches 500 schools, 50,000 students and 1500 teachers each year.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The campaign to get Australian secondary students interested in science and technology courses and careers has passed an extraordinary milestone with some 20% of Australian high schools now participating in the STELR program driven by the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).

The STELR (Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance) Program is aimed at science and maths students in years 6–10. It is now running in more than 500 schools in all states and territories, reaching an estimated 50,000 secondary students and more than 1500 teachers each year.

This is a remarkable achievement, given STELR started only 9 years ago as an ATSE response to the declining participation in STEM subjects in schools and tertiary institutions With support from state governments, it was trialled in 30 schools in 2009. Federal government funding enabled it to spread to more than 180 schools in 2010.

The first STELR offering was a renewable energy module, tapping into the high level of concern students have about global warming and climate change. A sustainable housing module is now available and further modules are in development: Carbon Dioxide – Friend or Foe; Water for the 21st Century; Future Health; Car Safety; and Construction Using Computer Modelling.

STELR has evolved to reflect the new Australian science curriculum, and the STELR modules...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.