Recent Question/Assignment

STEM Portfolio
(25 marks)
Your STEM Portfolio documents your personal experiences and key aspects of your learning journey in relation to the core principles of STEM Education.
Please be honest while reflecting.
Please Note: Where requested, all references must be in the Harvard format.
Insert memorable photo.
Results of Fizzy Tablet Experiment
1. Hypothesis.
4. Variables.
Conclusion. Hint: State the hypothesis (1), dependent and independent and control variables (2). Summarise the observations (3) you made and make a conclusion (4) based on your observations.
This is covered in Week 1 - Session 3.
Insert photo of your experiment with an appropriate description.
Victorian Curriculum Links
• With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be based on previous experiences or general rules (VCSIS082).
• Decide which variables should be changed, measured and controlled in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data (VCSIS084).
• With guidance, plan appropriate investigation types to answer questions or solve problems and use equipment, technologies and materials safely, identifying potential risks (VCSIS083).
• Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (VCSIS086).
Links to AITSL Teacher Professional Standards
• Facilitating group work in a safe laboratory environment aligns to AITSL standard 2.4 (AITSL, 2019) - Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments. Conducting a scientific investigation to test a hypothesis aligns to standard 2.1 (AITSL, 2019) – demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts and teaching strategies of the teaching area. Using the Primary Connections resource “Tablet Investigation” planner will help students complete this experiment efficiently. Using Primary Connections resources links well to the AITSL Standard 6.4 (AITSL, 2019) – Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.
• Hypothesis: Heavy objects sink but light objects float in water (University of Canberra 2019).
• Materials: Glass marble (5 g), Tennis Ball (60 g), measuring scale and camera.
• Safety Precautions: Prepare to mop up potential spills. Enclosed footwear should be used. Floor should non-slippery.
• Facilitation Technique: Students allocated specific roles - recorder, materials manager, technician and reporter.
• Independent Variable: The variable that is changed. Weight of the object.
• Dependent Variable: The variable that is observed/measured. Observe if the object being tested floats or sinks.
• Control Variables: The variables that are kept the same for the experimental conditions be fair.
Same bucket, same amount of water, same time period for recording results.
• Experiment: Place glass marble and tennis ball in a bucket of water at the same time. Use camera to record results.
• Observation: The heavy tennis ball floats but lighter glass ball sinks in the same bucket of water!
• Conclusion: The hypothesis is *NOT* supported. Reason – density of construction matters.
• Explanation: A ball of foil filled with coins sinks, while the same size piece of foil formed into a raft, filled with coins, floats in water (Washington Post 2019). In other words, “if an object is more dense than water it will sink when placed in water, and if it is less dense than water it will float. Density is a characteristic property of a substance and doesn't depend on the amount of substance” (American Chemical Society 2019).
Results of Floating and Sinking Investigation Harvard Formatted References:
1. The Washington Post, 2019, Why do things float in water?, viewed 29th March 2019, .
2. University of Canberra, 2019, Misconceptions in Floating and Sinking Rich Task, viewed 29th March 2019, .
3. American Chemical Society, 2019, Density and Sinking and Floating , viewed 29th March 2019, .
Key Features of a Scientific Argument
1. Claim. Hint: Use an example to explain the key
features of a scientific argument. You can use 2. Evidence based argument 1.
banning junk foods in schools as an example
3. Evidence based argument 2. or come up with your own example.
Arguments and counter-arguments need to
4. Evidence based counter-arguments. be scientific and must be referenced.
5. Conclusion. This is covered in Session 6.
Victorian Curriculum Links: VCSIS088 | Science | Levels 5 and 6 | Science Inquiry Skills | Communicating
Descriptor: Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships.
Elaboration: Using a variety of communication modes, for example, reports, explanations, arguments, debates and procedural accounts, to communicate science ideas.
Links to AITSL Teacher Professional Standards: Facilitating a scientific debate aligns to AITSL standard 2.4 (AITSL, 2019) - Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments.
Exemplar-Key Features of a Scientific Argument
1. Claim: Nuclear power should not be banned.
2. Argument 1: Nuclear energy is environmentally friendly because it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions during the production of electricity as compared to traditional sources like coal power plants (Conserve Energy Future 2019).
3. Argument 2: Nuclear energy is efficient and has an incredibly high fuel to power output ratio (Renewable Resources Coalition 2019). It is estimated the amount of energy released in a nuclear fission reaction is ten million times greater (Energy Informative 2019) than the amount released in burning a fossil fuel atom (e.g. oil and gas).
4. Counter -Arguments: A typical nuclear power plant generates about 20 metric tons of used nuclear fuel per year (Conserve Energy Future 2019). The problem is that this spent fuel is highly radioactive and difficult to store safely for hundreds of years (Renewable Resources Coalition 2019).
5. Conclusion: Nuclear power is not as envorimentally friendly or efficient as is claimed. Crucially, “spent nuclear fuel is difficult to dispose and takes hundreds of years to decompose before it reaches adequate levels of safety” (Renewable Resources Coalition 2019).
Victorian Curriculum Links: Science as a human endeavour Descriptor: Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problemsthat directly
affect people’s lives (VCSSU073). Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity (VCSSU081).
Links to AITSL Teacher Professional Standards: Facilitating a scientific debate aligns to AITSL standard 2.4 (AITSL, 2019) - Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments.
Key Features of a Scientific Argument
Harvard Formatted References:
1. Reference for Argument 1:
Energy Informative. (2019). Nuclear Energy Pros and Cons - Energy Informative, viewed 29th March 2019, .
2. Reference for Argument 2:
Renewable Resources Coalition. (2019). Nuclear Energy Pros & Cons, viewed 29th March 2019, .
3. Reference for Counter-arguments to Arguments 1 and 2:
Conserve Energy Future. (2019). Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy, viewed 29th March 2019, .
Key Principles of STEM Education
Young children hold “naive theories about the world around them” (for example understanding balanced and unbalanced forces) and the role of a primary teacher Diagnosing and remedying student is to “organise the child’s naive ideas into coherent concepts which are both misconceptions in STEM. accurate and explicit” (Pine , Messer & John 2001).
Conceptual change is one approach teachers use to diagnose and remedy student misconceptions in science. This process typically involves creating cognitive conflict between two sets of knowledges that child evaluates evidence and abandons their incorrect conceptualisation in favour of a more correct conceptualisation (Duit and Treagust 2003).
For example, the Primary Connections resource on ‘Earth's place in space’ (Primary Connections 2012, p. 40) uses a role-play activity to create cognitive conflict to remedy a common misconception – “The Earth stays still while the Sun and the Moon move around clockwise remaining on opposite sides of the Earth”.
Key Principles of STEM Education
Harvard Formatted References:
Pine, K, Messer, D and John, K 2001, ‘Children's misconceptions in primary science: A survey of teachers' views’, Research in Science & Technological Education, 19(1), pp.79-96.
Duit, R and Treagust, F 2003, ‘Conceptual change: A powerful framework for improving science teaching and learning’, International journal of science education, 25(6), pp.671-688.
Primary Connections 2019, Earth's place in space, viewed 29th March 2019, .
Key Lessons Learned from
Microteaching and STEM Model Making
1. Briefly summarise the relevance of a learning theory that you find personally useful in STEM education. Please provide a reference to support your conclusions.
2. Describe the strengths could you identify in your personal approach to teaching in relation to
Microteaching and STEM Model Making. Please provide a reference to support your conclusions.
3. Describe areas of improvement you could identify in your approach to teaching in relation to Microteaching/ STEM Model Making ? How would you improve in this area? Please provide a reference to support your conclusions.
Key Lessons Learned from Microteaching and STEM Model Making
1. I am excited about Inquiry-based learning (IBL): Here students drive their learning through asking questions and discovering answers on their own (Concordia University 2019). The teacher serves as an educational guide, not a sage on the stage. For example, learning about unbalanced forces by completing the tallest tower STEM challenge.
2. One of my key strengths in relation to Microteaching is producing ways for students to enjoy and be engaged in experimental activities. In relation to the explore stage of the 5E model (ACER 2006), I believe many students love collaborative hands on activities where they can learn from their peers. For example, in my Year 4 microteaching lesson on the “float my boat!” STEM challenge (STEM Education in Victoria 2019), students were able to compare and experiment and test various designs and materials that prevent a model boat from sinking.
3. An area of growth for me would be managing students behaviour in a classroom. One way of managing student behaviour is to ‘ensure a quiet and orderly entry to the classroom’ (NSW Teachers Federation 2019) to make it clear that I have control and to set the tone for the lesson.
Key Lessons Learned from STEM Microteaching and STEM Model Making Harvard Formatted References:
1. Relevance of a learning theory that you find personally useful in STEM education.
Reference: Concordia University 2019, Inquiry-Based Learning Using STEAM Education, viewed 29th March 2019, .
2. Strengths could you identify in your personal approach to STEM Education.
Reference: Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) 2006, Enhancing science teaching and student learning: A BSCS perspective,
viewed 29th March 2019, .
Reference: STEM Education in Victoria 2019, Foundation to Year 4 STEM Challenge – Float my boat!, viewed 29th March 2019, .
3. Areas of improvement could you identify in your personal approach to STEM Education.
Reference: NSW Teachers Federation 2019, Prac Teaching Survival Tips, viewed 29th March 2019, .
STEM Creative Showcase Slide
Student Name Examples for STEM Showcase 1 (Students Choose)
Student 1 Unsinkable Boat STEM Challenge
Student 2 Popsicle-stick Catapult STEM Challenge
Student 3 Tallest Tower STEM Challenge
Student 4 Egg-drop STEM Challenge
Student 5 Spaghetti Bridge STEM Challenge
Focus Questions
• What are the KEY CONCEPTS that are meant to be learned?
• How does integration to STEM help students learn these concepts better?
References that support your conclusions are required.
Exemplar-STEM Showcase Slide
Key Concepts: Tallest Tower STEM Challenge
Science: Balanced/Unbalanced Forces, Gravity, Centre of Gravity.
Technology: Application of key scientific concepts. Choosing appropriate materials to deal with the problem unbalanced forces and construct the tallest free-standing tower. Engineering: Problem solving. Designing, testing, revising and perfecting design plans to solve the problem of instability and meet the STEM challenge of building the tallest tower with limited recourses (Mcdonald, 2019).
Maths: Choosing and measuring appropriate geometrical shapes.
Reference: Mcdonald, W. (2019). STEM for Kids: Tower Building Challenge | Wikki Stix. Retrieved from:
Links to AITSL Teacher Professional Standards: Using the STEM for Kids: Tower Building Challenge resource relates to AITSL standard 7.4 - Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice (AITSL, 2019).
Victorian Curriculum Links: VCDSTC024|Design and Technologies | Levels 3 and 4 | Technologies Contexts / Engineering principles and systems
Descriptor: Investigate how forces and the properties of materials affect the behaviour of a designed solution (VCAA, 2019).
• Examining models to identify how forces and materials are used in the design of a toy.
• Identifying and exploring properties and construction relationships of an engineered product or system, for example a structure that floats; a bridge to carry a load.
• Experimenting with available local materials, tools and equipment to solve problems requiring forces including identifying inputs (what goes in to the system), processes (what happens within the system) and outputs (what comes out of the system), for example designing and testing a container or parachute that will keep an egg intact when dropped from a height.
STEM Creative Showcase
Harvard Formatted References:
1. McDonald, W 2019, STEM for Kids: Tower Building Challenge | Wikki Stix, viewed 29th March 2019, .
2. Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) 2019, Victorian Curriculum - Science, viewed 29th March 2019, .
3. Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) 2019, Victorian Curriculum - Design and Technologies, viewed 29th March 2019, .
4. Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) 2019, Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, viewed 29th March 2019, .

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