STEAM Education Summit

A vision for new pathways of educating students in schools across New Zealand.


Registration and coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair
Faye Langdon, Co-Director, 21C Skills Lab
Justine Munro, Co-Director, 21C Skills Lab
Opening keynote: Encouraging a STEAM-focused curriculum in the New Zealand education sector

There is a push in schools to move away from the traditional methods of teaching to incorporating a STEAM-based learning initiative that encourages students to learn these subjects cohesively, rather than individually. It is a driving force in allowing students to future-proof their learning.

  • Discussing the importance of a cohesive learning initiative and its effect on students’ learning
  • Contextualising and applying STEAM to the New Zealand curriculum
  • Explaining the STEAM method and its opportunities and limitations in the New Zealand curriculum
Dr. Sarah Morgan, Manager STEM, COMET Auckland
Ministry of Education Address: Introduction of new Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko in The New Zealand curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

Hon Chris Hipkins recently announced that one of his goals as Education Minister is to ensure that the New Zealand education sector is being future-proofed. In this address, light will be shed on the vision for what the integration of new digital  technologies will achieve for both students as well as teachers and how it will shape The New Zealand curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Mark Grams, Lead Adviser | Pathways and Progress, Ministry of Education
Table discussion: how are schools implementing the Digital Curriculum?
Morning break
The growing importance of teaching computer programming

Globally, school curricula are starting to address  the importance of teaching students’ computer  programming (sometimes loosely referred to as "coding") from an early age. In NZ, a new "Digital Technologies" curriculum was gazetted in  December 2017 and it includes topics in Computational Thinking, including programming, from primary school. Programming has been regarded as future-focused literacy, and has direct connections to STEAM education.

  • How computer programming (coding) relates to students’ learning
  • How computer programming fits with STEAM topics
  • How the broader area of computational thinking (which includes programming) can be integrated into other areas of the curriculum
Professor Tim Bell, Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Canterbury
Panel: Addressing participation in STEAM in primary, intermediate and secondary schools

Schools around New Zealand are at different levels when it comes to implementing STEAM in their classrooms. This panel will get experts to discuss the STEAM pipeline for the flow of STEAM skills and abilities from ECE to university. 

Nick Pattison, Learning Designer, Ormiston Junior College
Professor Tim Bell, Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Canterbury
Claire Amos, Deputy Principal, Hobsonville Point Secondary School
Emma West, Engagement Manager, Ara Institute of Canterbury
Lunch break
Case study: Innovation Stream at Howick College

Howick College has introduced the Innovation Stream  for year 9 and 10 students who wish to be involved in a STEAM focused curriculum. The Innovation Stream  is focused on the following 6 areas of deep learning – character, citizenship, communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Louise Addison will discuss how Howick College is engaging students in this stream  and how the curriculum is developed for these students  for the latter half of their secondary education.

Louise Addison, formerly Associate Principal, Howick College; Principal & Edgewater College
Angela McCamish, Head of Social Sciences/Director of Innovation Stream, Howick College
Case study: Māori and Pasifika students in tertiary education | Otahuhu College

The participation rate for Māori students in Bachelors  or higher education was at 13% in 2015 and 2016 (roughly  2% increase from 2014), while for Pasifika students   aged 18-24 it increased from 17% to 18% in 2016. In recent  years, Otahuhu College has had more Pacific Island  students go on to do tertiary level study, which is higher  than any other coeducational school in Auckland.

  • A look at practical, hands-on teaching methods for science topics
  • Keeping students engaged in science and maths
  • Improving student performance around the curriculum
Eva Cornforth, Head of Department – Science, Otahuhu College
Lani Timu, Teacher in Charge - Senior Chemistry, Otahuhu College
Case study: Student learning at Hobsonville Point Schools

Hobsonville Point Schools focus their teaching by extracting key learning parts from the New Zealand curriculum that enables life-long learning. Both, primary and secondary schools, implement project based learning. Learning which exposes students to a range of opportunity to spark their  interests or pursue their passions.

  • Understanding a ‘concept teaching’ pedagogy and the integration of STEAM in achieving this
  • Highlighting the benefits of student learning that Hobsonville Point Schools have received around student learning
  • Teaching students to apply STEAM to real world concepts
Claire Amos, Deputy Principal, Hobsonville Point Secondary School
Amy Croxford, Team Leader, Hobsonville Point Primary School
Table discussion: Key takeaways on how schools can engage their students with STEAM
Afternoon break
STEAM in play: Ara Institute’s Mission to Mars

Ara Institute of Canterbury has designed a Mission to Mars programme aimed at Year 9 and Year 10 students with the backing from NASA. It is a holiday course designed to develop students’ knowledge in STEAM. Ara intends to design the  programme to attract students towards these  subjects and is also focused on presenting the program to Māori and Pasifika students. 

Miranda Satterthwaite, STEM Coordinator, Ara Institute of Canterbury
Inspiring keynote: STEAMpreneurs

Nick Pattison has been integral to STEAM integration in primary schools in Auckland by Introducing it firstly at Rongomai School with a STEAM immersion class, and then designing a  STEAM Centre and programme at Kauri Flats and at Ormiston Junior College. In this session, Nick will discuss the STEAMpreneur accelerator project that he’s developed in collaboration with Creative HQ, where students learn about  cutting ed ge technology and then apply the tools towards local community issues, all while creating a sustainable social business model around their solution.

Nick Pattison, Learning Designer, Ormiston Junior College
Summary remarks from the chair & networking drinks
Welcome back from the Chairs
Faye Langdon, Co-Director, 21C Skills Lab
Justine Munro, Co-Director, 21C Skills Lab
Opening keynote: Beyond the digital wall: The importance of Arts in STEAM

The lesser discussed idea of STEAM considers  how the arts might fit within STEM. New Zealand is a highly creative country and our purpose as educators is to care for and expand both knowledge and cultural health. These two things are not  binaries. This keynote will discuss the importance of fostering arts in STEM and encouraging students to take a creative approach to technical subjects.

Zoe Timbrell, Co-Founder, OMGTech!
Preparing students for STEAM-focused tertiary

Graeme heads the STEM Online NZ development - an interactive online teaching and learning resource  that is available free of charge to all New Zealand secondary schools. The aim is to increase the number of secondary school students successfully completing NCEA external standards in STEAM (Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry and Computer Science) subjects. 

  • Utilising technology to help teachers to help engage students with content that is specific to the NCEA curriculum
  • Exploring the interactive resources available on STEM Online NZ
  • Understanding the thinking behind the development of the resource and its key features
Graeme Aitken, Director of Educational Initiatives, University of Auckland
Morning break
Upskilling teachers to enhance science education in schools around NZ

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme  provides opportunities for primary and intermediate  schools and secondary science departments to enhance  the teaching of science within their school communities. The programme is funded by the Government and managed by Royal Society Te Apārangi. It is a whole school/science department learning opportunity with a focus on developing science leaders. Over two years, schools embark on a science  development journey that locates science learning  in meaningful contexts. Integral to the programme are the partnerships established between schools  and local science communities.

Jenn Corbitt, Science Teaching Leadership Coordinator, Royal Society Te Apārangi
Janine Bidmead, Science Teaching Leadership Coordinator, Royal Society Te Apārangi
Dianne Christenson, Curriculum Team Leader - Science, Koraunui School
The importance of robotics in teaching STEAM

Overall, robotics, incorporates all of the elements of STEAM. However, more importantly, it addresses all five New Zealand Curriculum key competencies: thinking; using language, symbols, and text; managing self; relating to others; and participating and contributing.

  • Building STEAM into normal classroom learning with robotics
  • Equipping teachers with the knowledge and skillset to be able to teach robotics
  • Learning how to assess skills around robotics
Geoff Bentley, Founder & Technology educator, Tech Leap NZ
Lunch break
Integration of STEAM and the workplace

New Zealand’s education system has been ranked first by the London-based Economist in 2017. One of the biggest factors for this result is the focus on ‘future-skills’ and project-based learning in schools.

  • Understanding the content-based knowledge that is being taught to students and why this needs to continue to prepare them for the future workplace
  • Integrating project-based pedagogy in the New Zealand curriculum
Jack Boyle, President, Post Primary Teachers Association
Helping teachers teach STEAM to 21st century learners

A major challenge in teaching STEAM is enabling teachers to upskill in creative use of technology. The Mind Lab by Unitec is an organisation that provides assistance to teachers who would like to develop their STEAM skills, particularly around creative design and digital technologies, and apply them directly in the classroom.

  • Strengthening teachers’ STEAM knowledge and skills
  • Practical approaches to understanding and teaching digital technology
  • Highlighting the shift from 20th century learning to 21st century learning and what this looks like
David Parsons, National Postgraduate Director, The Mind Lab by Unitec
Afternoon break
Effective pedagogy: Teaching as inquiry

Inquiry-based learning assists teachers in identifying the needs of the groups of target students and responding to them through planned programmes. Subsequently, the students are assessed on the impact of their programmes. 

  • Understanding the impact on student learning using inquiry teaching
  • Highlighting the benefits of the phases of inquiry learning and how a teacher can support students’ learning
  • Understanding the evaluation framework around inquiry teaching
Richard Rowley, Education Director, The Mind Lab by Unitec
STEAM in early childhood education: the benefits of introducing STEAM early on

The Early Childhood Curriculum addresses outcomes that are a result of teaching STEAM, such as reasoning, practical thinking, becoming inquisitive about the physical and social world, and more. This session will explore the benefits  of encouraging such outcomes from an early age, and how they can ease transitioning from ECE to primary and thereafter be easier on the students

Peter Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer, Early Childhood Council
Table discussion: Top 3 takeaways on engaging students and teachers with STEAM
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
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