Step into the STARportal and find your science fun
If you’re a student or parent or teacher looking to find an entertaining and engaging STEM activity, the STARportal is the answer.
STARportal is a collection of the fantastic extracurricular STEM activities happening around Australia. The activities have been developed by individuals, corporations, governments and non-profit organisations, and are designed to support young people who are interested in science, to keep the flame of their curiosity burning.
What sparks curiosity? The answer is having the opportunity to solve real world problems, using well-developed, high-quality, tested activities.
“Arming young people with opportunities to solve real world problems means that they learn from a lived experience. For example, an engineering challenge that looks at designing, building and testing a water filtration system using household items develops thinking skills, cooperation and hands-on dexterity, and has the added bonus of being fun!” says Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel. “This is the kind of activity waiting for you on the STARportal.”
He believes encouraging as many children as possible to “do” science, for as long as possible –in addition to their formal education – will maintain and extend their interest in science and be good for Australia too. “Keeping young people engaged in science is key to meeting our future challenges.”
STARportal works just like a job search or real estate or used car portal. The information about the STEM activities is searchable by a number of different filters or criteria, such as location, age suitability, distance from home, cost, and subject or content areas. So a young woman in Hobart can search for a weekly coding activity near her school, or a dad in Sydney can search for a science holiday program that would suit a young boy, and is located conveniently near dad’s office.
Teachers can also use the STARportal to support their classroom teaching, says Dr Finkel. “There is information about resources, excursions and programs that offer visits. Teachers can also use it to support students and their parents to find activities that offer either extra practice or exposure to a topic, or extension activities to build on their school work.”
The information on STARportal is loaded by the providers and they are responsible for keeping it up to date.
Dr Finkel has encouraged all providers to seek out STARportal and load their activities to it to spread their message.
“The STARportal is a one-stop shop for all who are looking for their dose of science fun. Just step into the STARportal and you enter a new world of science opportunities.”