Using artefacts to articulate teachers' perceptions of STEM

Kathryn Paige, Lisa O'Keeffe, Ruth Geer, Denise McGregor, Debra Panizzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Among educators there is no clear definition for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This complicates its conception and application in schools. Thus, it is critical when working with students that we develop a common understanding of STEM, or at least understand and value the different perspectives that others may have. This paper draws on a partnership project that brings together a university school of education, three local schools, and local industry to provide a suite of targeted, structured interventions aimed at encouraging Year 8 and 9 female students to study STEM-related subjects. Here we report on an aspect of this, where we used artefacts with teachers, as an innovative way to develop an understanding of the complexity of the meaning of STEM among the project leaders. While the artefact task presented various challenges, it also provided a useful platform that enabled discussion about the degree of diversity around what STEM is and the various ways this is unpacked and actioned in schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalTeaching Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • STEM education
  • teacher perceptions
  • artefacts

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