STEM Education Online Conference 2021

Due to Covid restrictions, the conference will now be online. The Deakin STEM Education Online Conference 2021 will provide a forum for schools and educators to share their innovations and join the discussion about how to use STEM education and entrepreneurship to develop the next generation of creative and innovative thinkers.

18–19 October 2021
Online – powered by Zoom

Convened in association with the Geelong Tech School at The Gordon.

The conference will include keynotes, workshops and paper presentations. The conference aims to:

  • unpack the nature of, and possibilities for, STEM and entrepreneurship education for Australia and internationally
  • share best practices for STEM and entrepreneurship education
  • promote quality STEM education and cross-curriculum links
  • explore how schools can stimulate the development of entrepreneurial attitudes, skills and knowledge within a STEM-related context
  • explore how schools can mobilise and benefit from links with industry and the community
  • explore how STEM and entrepreneurship education can interact to contribute to all young Australians becoming successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.


The Criticality of Mathematics Training In Creating Innovative Futures

Professor Kate Smith-Miles, University of Melbourne

This talk tackles some of the many myths about mathematics that affect student perceptions and equips teachers to respond with debunking examples. The foundational aspect of the school mathematics curriculum can make it difficult for students to see the relevance to the real world and their future. The role of mathematics in tackling many of society's greatest challenges will be discussed, and the reason that mathematics consistently ranks as the top job in an annual world survey of occupations will be explained. Finally, some classroom suggestions will be offered that can help students appreciate that - far from being a dusty old and irrelevant subject - new mathematics is being developed all the time in response to society’s needs and STEM. A personal reflection concludes the talk, including an overview of the career opportunities and the societal impact that becomes possible with mathematics training.

Victoria’s STEM Education Ambassador

Dr Tien Kiew, Member of the Legislative Council for the South Eastern Metropolitan Region

Dr Tien Kieu will outline his role as Victoria’s first STEM Education Ambassador, including working with schools and teachers, specialist STEM facilities and employers across Victoria to champion STEM education and pathways. He will also be working with Dr Amanda Caples, Victoria’s Lead Scientist, to identify ways schools and STEM industries can join forces to give students more opportunities for hands-on learning.

Dr Kieu will describe the importance of STEM in his own life, from a refugee experience through to becoming a physicist and now a politician, where skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaborating and communicating have been crucial. As in his own experience, Dr Kieu will discuss how STEM skills set us up for more than just getting a job, being critical to young people becoming active and informed citizens.

Learn more about our keynote speakers


  • Early childhood, primary and secondary teachers
  • Teachers of science, mathematics, engineering design and digital technology
  • Pre-service teachers
  • Entrepreneurship educators
  • Careers teachers
  • Curriculum designers and resource developers
  • University educators from education, science, engineering, mathematics and digital technology
  • STEM industry representatives
  • STEM education bodies
  • Local, national and international STEM Centres

What place does STEM and entrepreneurship have in the future of education in Australia?

With the recent endorsement of STEM education as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda by the Australian Government, the challenge facing educators is how to meaningfully embed STEM-related knowledge, skills and dispositions in all levels of schooling. According to Boosting High-impact Entrepreneurship in Australia, schools play an important role in providing a foundation for entrepreneurial thinking. There is a need to clarify what contribution STEM and entrepreneurship can make to education, and how they can be meaningfully and practically translated into curriculum and pedagogy, particularly in primary and secondary schools.

Educators and researchers are becoming increasingly interested in investigating contexts that support students’ learning in STEM, and identifying the teaching approaches that are most conducive for developing investigative, design and reasoning skills. Linking with local industry representatives and community groups can enhance curriculum design and facilitate delivery of cutting-edge STEM programs. Engaging in entrepreneurial thinking provides young people opportunities to extend their STEM skills and turn their creative ideas into entrepreneurial action.

Considering the value of STEM and entrepreneurship in education acknowledges the diversity of pedagogical approaches, and encourages curricular innovations to address authentic problems arising in this area.

Important dates

February 2020Call for papers
20 August 2021Submission for papers and workshops closes
27 August 2021Presenters notified
17 September 2021Full conference program available
18-19 October 2021 Main conference
15 April 2022Full papers for proceedings due
1 July 2022Conference proceedings published

Contact us

Please direct all enquiries to our event management team.

Email the team
+61 3 9246 8185