The STEM Industry School Partnerships program works with a range of organisations through the Academies of STEM Excellence to develop authentic and cross-curricula STEM educational programs. These programs are contextualised to meet the individual needs of their communities. Specific learning programs are focused on improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, females, and those from regional, rural and remote areas. This is achieved by developing innovative STEM curriculum materials and programs designed around a regions demographics, industry and identified skills needs. SISP curriculum is often aimed at enhancing opportunities for transition to further education and employment.
iSTEM - School Developed Board Endorsed Course
Developed in response to an industry need for more students qualified in science, technology, engineering and maths, the iSTEM elective course delivers STEM knowledge to students in an innovative and integrated way through the use of problem solving, enquiry and hands-on project work.
iSTEM covers a range of STEM-based fields including STEM fundamentals, aerodynamics, motion, mechatronics, surveying, aerospace and biomedical innovation.
The iSTEM process was developed by the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program. It was designed to provide a consistent language across K-12 schools based on an industry-recognised engineering design process and scaffolds the understanding and application of design thinking.
The SISP program through its Academies of STEM Excellence are developing teaching and learning units to embed the iSTEM process into various curriculum. There are different versions of the iSTEM process that vary in the number of cogs. The purpose of the different versions is to allow for the process to be adapted to different stages and types of problem solving activities. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the iSTEM process to various aspects of their teaching of STEM.
The iSTEM process has been designed to assist in the learning and teaching of STEM from K – 12.
8 Cog iSTEM Process
The eight stage/cog version of the iSTEM process is recommended for Secondary students, Stage 4 - 6. The addition of "Identify" provides an extra process which allows students to autonomously identify parameters in the early stages of the STEM process. This leads to a clearer understanding of expectations for planning and establishing the best possible solution.
5 Cog iSTEM Process
The five stage/cog version of the iSTEM process, recommended for Pre-school and Early Stage 1 students, creates the foundations of the STEM Process. When embedded within curriculum, students become familiar with the each stage. Through continual application, mastery can be accomplished to assist the continuum of learning.
7 Cog iSTEM Process
The seven stage/cog version of the iSTEM process is recommended for Stages 1 - 3. With the addition of "Brainstorm", allows students to expand on ideas for a possible solution. "Evaluate" provides an additional layer for students to reflect on their planning and practice in creating an effective solution, both assisting in building skills in problem solving.
RACE - iSTEM Process
This seven stage/cog version of the iSTEM process was developed by the Rivers Academy of STEM Excellence as an alternative to the SISP version. It replaces the need for multiple processes betwwen stages and is meant to be a K-12 process.