The University of Newcastle, Australia

Inspiring Communities Through SMART Programs

Monday, 14 September 2020

The SMART community engagement program with the know-how to inspire, inform and involve young people in STEM. For 21 years, the University has been opening young people’s minds to the questions and curiosities of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program is (STEM) through its ground-breaking SMART (Science, Maths and Real Technology) program.

Inspiring Communities Through SMART Programs
SMART Presenter Nathan Burke (also a University of Newcastle alumnus and current PhD student) presenting a SMART Science Show

A huge thank you to our philanthropic partners, the NSW Office of Chief Scientist & Engineer, Google and Yancoal, whose support makes it possible to connect SMART with 20,000 students of all ages each year, and spark interest in discovery and learning. We wouldn’t be SMART without you!

Delivered by a team of University of Newcastle students, STEM professionals, and teachers, SMART science shows and workshops generate ideas and break down barriers to learning about STEM concepts. SMART supports much needed equity and diversity in STEM by showcasing exciting STEM career opportunities and steering regional school students towards STEM pathways.

FUN WITH PHYSICS, CODING, ROBOTICS AND MORE

The SMART program works closely with schools to help deliver the NSW curriculum in an interactive and engaging way. Taking shows and workshops to schools and community audiences across NSW broadens our reach to young learners. SMART also provides professional development opportunities across NSW to help teachers stay on top of the latest technology trends and teaching strategies to keep kids feeling excited by and engaged with STEM.

A NEW LOOK FOR SMART IN 2020

While in-person delivery of SMART science shows and workshops necessarily paused during the first half of 2020, the SMART team quickly adapted to offer after-school STEM Clubs, holiday workshops and teacher professional development online to keep the program relevant and connected in our schools.

On behalf of the students who made their own balloon powered rocket, and those who learnt about 'elephant's toothpaste', thank you so much to our supporters. Because of this program so many kids are discovering science is fun.

PASSIONATE PRESENTERS BRING STEM TO LIFE

As a SMART presenter I see students’ perceptions of science and the world around them change. I most enjoy seeing them marvel at the wonders of science without even knowing they are learning from the experience! I am honoured to have this opportunity thanks to our supporters."

Nathan Burke
Bachelor of Science (Honours), 2019; current PhD Student

ENGAGING YOUNG MINDS IN STEM TOPICS INCLUDING:

* Sustainability, resources and renewable energy
* Chemistry and states of matter
* Coding and robotics
* Energy and electricity

The University of Newcastle also presents the award winning Science and Engineering Challenge, a nationwide STEM outreach program that focuses on inspiring high school students to consider a future career in science and engineering. Thank you to all our philanthropic partners all over Australia who help us make that happen for over 1100 schools each year.

Read more in the Gift Magazine