Credit points


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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Online Unscheduled
  • Semester 2Online Unscheduled



Unit rationale, description and aim

Science is central to innovation and national prosperity and plays a key role in STEM education. The study of science strengthens critical thinking and problem-solving capability and knowledge of science is also essential for informed and critical citizenship. Education in science is, for example, vital in responding to disruptive phenomena such as COVID-19 and climate change. Research-informed approaches to science education are important for effective instruction in STEM. Science and STEM education have a pivotal role in preparing young learners for tomorrow’s workforce, nationally and globally.

In this unit, participants will explore a range of topics in relation to STEM teaching and learning in schools. This includes the role of science knowledge and practices, digital resources for science education, and the application of computational and systems thinking to real-world problems. There is a particular focus on socio-scientific issues and the capacity to evaluate the veracity of claims and findings that appear in public forums. This capacity can be developed by adopting evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning science `in the context of broader STEM education.

The aim of this unit is to develop participants’ confidence in using a range of effective pedagogical approaches to science in STEM education that foster science knowledge and practices, and the use of digital resources.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate discipline knowledge and capabilities for science in STEM.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC11, GC12
LO2Understand the interconnectedness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contributing to a holistic approach to solving complex real-world problems.GC1, GC2, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11
LO3Apply creative and innovative STEM solutions in response to socio-scientific issues.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC12
LO4Communicate research-informed approaches to teaching science within STEM contexts.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC12

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Highly Accomplished

In connection to the learning outcomes, on successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Highly Accomplished standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome
APST(HA)1.2Expand understanding of how students learn using research and workplace knowledge.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(HA)2.2Exhibit innovative practice in the selection and organisation of content and delivery of learning and teaching programs.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(HA)2.6Model high-level teaching knowledge and skills and work with colleagues to use current ICT to improve their teaching practice and make content relevant and meaningful.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(HA)3.3Support colleagues to select and apply effective teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.LO1, LO2
APST(HA)3.4Assist colleagues to create, select and use a wide range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning.LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
APST(HA)4.1Model effective practice and support colleagues to implement inclusive strategies that engage and support all students.LO3, LO4
APST(HA)4.5Model, and support colleagues to develop, strategies to promote the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.LO2, LO4
APST(HA)6.3Initiate and engage in professional discussions with colleagues in a range of forums to evaluate practice directed at improving professional knowledge and practice, and the educational outcomes of students.LO4
APST(HA)6.4Engage with colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher professional learning activities to address student learning needs.LO4

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Lead

In connection to the learning outcomes, on successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Lead standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome
APST(Lead)1.2Lead processes to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programs using research and workplace knowledge about how students learn.LO3, LO4
APST(Lead)2.2Lead initiatives that utilise comprehensive content knowledge to improve the selection and sequencing of content into coherently organised learning and teaching programs.LO3
APST(Lead)2.6Lead and support colleagues within the school to select and use ICT with effective teaching strategies to expand learning opportunities and content knowledge for all studentsLO3
APST(Lead)3.4Model exemplary skills and lead colleagues in selecting, creating and evaluating resources, including ICT, for application by teachers within or beyond the school.LO3, LO4
APST(Lead)4.1Demonstrate and lead by example the development of productive and inclusive learning environments across the school by reviewing inclusive strategies and exploring new approaches to engage and support all students.LO3, LO4
APST(Lead)6.3Implement professional dialogue within the school or professional learning network(s) that is informed by feedback, analysis of current research and practice to improve the educational outcomes of students. LO4
APST(Lead)6.4Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to support high-quality professional learning opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved student learning. LO4


Topics will include:

Module 1: Science in STEM

  • Overview of STEM and iSTEM education
  • Current influences on science in STEM education
  • Science and STEM in the Australian Curriculum
  • First Nations peoples and STEM


Module 2: Science in STEM and responses to global issues

  • The role of science in STEM and critical citizenship
  • Socio-scientific issues and science education in STEM
  • Evaluating findings or claims based on scientific evidence


Module 3: Innovation within Science in STEM

  • Digital resources and science and STEM learning experiences
  • Bringing discoveries in Science in STEM into the classroom
  • Designing and implementing science in STEM tasks  
  • Connecting science and engineering within STEM


Module 4: Planning, teaching, and learning for Science in STEM contexts

  • Evidence-based practices for science in STEM teaching and learning  
  • Adopting inclusive pedagogies for teaching and learning science in STEM
  • Assessing capability for applying science in STEM contexts


Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered online and will be supported by a Learning Management site. Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum, therefore an active learning approach is utilised to support students in their exploration and demonstration of achievement of the unit’s identified learning outcomes. 

A range of asynchronous learning strategies will be used, including recorded lectures, self-directed learning activities, experiential learning and authentic problem-solving.  

 This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support learning such as reading, reflection, online discussion, and assignments.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In line with the principles of constructive alignment (Biggs & Tang, 2011), the assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes. In addition, the tasks represent an opportunity to align with the needs of students and their professional contexts. Adhering to the andragogical principles (Knowles, 2015), the assessment tasks in this unit are authentic, relevant and have direct application in the professional contexts of the students. The multiple quizzes in the unit provide an opportunity to demonstrate their conceptual understanding of STEM and stimulate their critical and creative thinking capacity as well as problem-solving skills. The design task allows them to apply their STEM understandings to address a real-world problem to come up with an innovative, creative, and futuristic solution.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate CapabilitiesStandards

Assessment Task 1: Quiz

Students undertake short answers that show knowledge and understanding of content and practice from Modules 1 to 2.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12APST(Lead)1.2, APST(Lead)2.2, APST(Lead)2.6, APST(Lead)3.4, APST(Lead)4.1, APST(HA)1.2, APST(HA)2.2, APST(HA)2.6, APST(HA)3.3, APST(HA)3.4, APST(HA)3.5, APST(HA)4.1

Assessment Task 2: STEM solution

Students will choose a socio-scientific issue or a real-world problem, Design a STEM task for school students that includes a socio-scientific issue or a real-world problem and requires students to design a STEM solution that uses design thinking, and incorporates the application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts. This task should require students to show research, develop a STEM prototype and explain the STEM ideas that underpin the design to a non-scientific audience.

Include in this task the learning outcomes the students will achieve and provide guidelines to explain how the STEM task will be implemented in a classroom setting.

The task should include an expectation of creative and innovative thinking, using future-focused ideas to solve the real-world problem.  

Include an evaluation of this task in terms of the alignment with the ideas and pedagogies for teaching and learning Science in STEM contexts which have been addressed in this course.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12APST(Lead)1.2, APST(Lead)2.2, APST(Lead)2.6, APST(Lead)3.4, APST(Lead)4.1, APST(Lead)4.5, APST(Lead)6.3, APST(Lead)6.4, APST(HA)1.2, APST(HA)2.2, APST(HA)2.6, APST(HA)3.3, APST(HA)3.4, APST(HA)4.1, APST(HA)4.5, APST(HA)6.3, APST(HA)6.4

Representative texts and references

Albion, P., Campbell, C., & Jobling, W. M. (2022). Technologies education for the primary years (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Anderson, J. A., & Li, Y. (Eds.). (2020). Integrated approaches to STEM education: An international perspective. Springer.

Barkatsas, T., Carr, N., & Cooper, G. (Eds.). (2019). STEM education: An emerging field of inquiry. Brill.

Bybee, R.W. (2013). The case for STEM education: Challenges and opportunities. National Science Teachers Association, NSTA Press.

Falloon, G., Hatzigianni, M., Bower, M., Forbes A., & Sevenson, M. (2020). Understanding K-12 STEM education: A framework for developing STEM literacy. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 29, 369-385.

Forbes, A., Chandra, V., Pfeiffer, L., & Sheffield, R. (2021). STEM Education in the primary school: A teacher’s toolkit.Cambridge University Press.

Jorgensen, R., Larkin, K. (2018). STEM Education in the junior secondary: The state of play. Springer.

Larkin, K., & Lowrie, T. (2022). STEM education in the early years. Springer.

Moore, T. J., Johnston, A. C., & Glancy, A. W. (2020). STEM Integration: A synthesis of conceptual frameworks and definitions. In C. Johnson, M. Mohr-Schroeder, T. Moore & L. English (Eds.), Handbook of Research on STEM education (pp. 3-16). Routledge.

Owens, D., & Sadler, T. (2020). Socio-scientific issues as contexts for the development of STEM literacy. In C. Johnson, M. Mohr-Schroeder, T. Moore & L. English (Eds.), Handbook of Research on STEM education (pp. 210-222). Routledge.  


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