Episode 4: The juggle

Let's Talk STEM
Monash Education

Is STEM just another thing for teachers to juggle?

There is little doubt that teacher workload is increasing and the idea of adding something new into your curriculum may be overwhelming. This episode addresses the key challenges and misconceptions that relate to inclusion of STEM education at your school.

Our experts address ideas around the inclusion of engineering, collaboration between teachers and touch on some common misconceptions about STEM.

Using this video

Suggested Activity 1

Teaching with the E using the Design Thinking process - The Spider in the Room

Try this challenge with your teachers:

Mr Watson has a huntsman in the corner of his Year 3 classroom. He is very scared of spiders. Using only simple classroom materials how might we help Mr Watson with his problem?

Key engineering features of this problem to look out for:

  • Empathy- fully understanding the problem. What’s the best solution for both Mr Watson and the spider?
  • Is there a more simple solution to this problem? Why can’t the spider stay in the room?
    What are the working parts of the design?
  • Constraints – What’s the best solution with the materials provided?
  • Is it safe for the person and the spider?
  • What skills are we using when developing this solution? i.e. critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, capacity to learn from failure

Suggested Activity 2

Layering on the S.T.M.

In Activity 1, what opportunities presented themselves for concepts to be taught from the Mathematics, Science and Technologies curriculum?

Use the Curriculum Mapping Tool to identify relevant teaching, learning and assessment opportunities that could present themselves in this activity.

Marilyn and Kirsten

“STEM is more than just teaching content, it’s about giving experiences and allowing students to find their passion”

Kirsten Banks

Meet our experts


Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith


Australia's Women in STEM Ambassador



Felicity Furey


Power of Engineering




Danny Summerell

STEAM Teacher

Instructional Leader, Innovations

Hazel Glen College



Professor Marilyn Fleer

Laureate Professor

Director, Conceptual Playlab



Lucas Johnson

Research & Development,

STEM Education



Rachael Lehr


Founder of #PrimarySTEMChat



Professor Deb Corrigan


Monash Education Futures



Kirsten Banks

Wiradjuri Astrophysicist