Issue 10
Monday, 02 December 2019
Charles Darwin University
Dr Farha Sattar is finding new ways to engage young STEM students
Dr Farha Sattar is finding new ways to engage young STEM students

STEM educator takes the buzz to Top End schools

By Andrew Hall

A research project that uses airborne drone technology in STEM education – which started with a $48,000 CDU Institute of Advanced Studies Rainmaker Readiness Grant – has taken off in Darwin’s schools.

Lecturer in Education (Mathematics) Dr Farha Sattar recently received the go-ahead from the NT Department of Education to introduce her STEM education research program into six primary and secondary schools.

Dr Sattar said she would focus on Year 7 and Year 10 students with a project that uses drones to introduce and inculcate STEM-related concepts.

“Using drone technology is a hands-on, interactive, and importantly, fun way for young people to conceptualise subjects like maths and physics,” Dr Sattar said.

“I have private schools on board with this project, as well as government and community schools and I am collecting data about what STEM-related teaching and learning resources exist in these places. 

“I am also delivering professional development seminars to teachers in order to start a conversation about what they feel their needs are in terms of teaching STEM subjects.”

Dr Sattar said when her research was completed, the data would feed into a national public policy discussion about the importance of introducing STEM education at an early age in State and Territory curriculums.

“I am focusing on experiential learning, which is demonstrating a greater level of student engagement, which in turn helps them with their deep learning,” Dr Sattar said.