STEMSmart 2018: A Whirlwind Adventure in STEM

STEMSmart 2018 –

As 2018 draws to a close, we send our biggest thank yous to all our tutors, staff members, and schools who have made such an amazing whirlwind STEMSmart, previously Fire Tech Australia, 2018 adventure possible 😊❤️️

It has been great to reflect on what just one small team of dedicated STEM ambassadors have set out to do – and achieved!


We saw more than 2000+ bright-eyed students up-skilling in tech know-how for their futures. Including Seniors at City of Stirling libraries and ages 12 – 25+ at City of Swan’s FuturesLab community.

2018 also saw a new partnership blossom with Edith Cowan University (ECU) School of Engineering, whose students have become some of our best tutors yet this year.

In the education sphere, we reached out to providing digital technology access for kids of all abilities – in the ESC world too! Special mention to Cyril Jackson Senior Campus ESC for your hard work throughout the entire year!

Our education team also switched up the game providing professional learning to teachers across Perth – who are fighting the front-line battle to get kids future-ready, while learning so much on the job themselves. Your perseverance, willingness to learn and work ethic are inspiring.

Teacher PD STEMSmart 2018 STEM Professional Learning

Top Memories 2018 –

Before we shut down for Christmas the STEMSmart Team collected a selection of our top memories from 2018 – and here they are!

Top Left:
Taking a road trip inland to visit some great kids at AASQA-Wasm Coder Dojo – Kalgoorlie. And making the biggest Ozobot map on the floor with masking tape!

Top Right:
Making new friends with Lionheart Camp For Kids, distracting families who have recently dealt with the burden of grief and teaching resilience sideways through tech.

Bottom Left:
Coming oh-so-close at 2nd place for the WAIITA awards. Realising how important transforming tech-skills is both inside and outside of education and re-aligning our mission since to keep doing even more.

Bottom Right:
Just having so much fun in the Edith Cowan University (ECU) School of Engineering robotics lab inspiring kids. VR, coding, mechanised robots – we can’t wait to see what the next-gen engineers and scientists bring!

in the news –

  • Our team also worked hard to release 6 new tech courses.
  • Recieved runner-up in the WAIITA Transformative Education Impact awards.
  • Took a road trip to Kalgoorlie to teach tech to AASQA Coder Dojo Kids!
  • And taught kids, grandparents, and fans how to fly drones at the Optus Stadium for Eagles Fans.


This year we are most proud to have more than double our STEAM outreach initiatives to communities all over WA at STEM festivals, volunteer workshops and own #Sheroes animation program.

There have been so many small transformations (and some big ones – goodbye “camp!”). But all the effort invested has been leading us ever forwards to our goal: tech skills for all. So that everyone is equipped for their best future.

What a transformation… We love our new shiny red branding!


What an adventure! It certainly is time to take a well-earned break.

Thank you again to our STEMSmart family for an amazing 2018. See you on the other side of New Years!

Best Wishes for 2019,

From the STEMSmart Team.

Christmas Hours 2018:
January Workshop bookings will still be available to book online.
Our office will be closed until January 2nd while our team enjoys a well-earned rest with family and friends. Merry Christmas!

The 8 Year Old Hacker

Rethinking our Unconscious Bias about Tech Skills and Ability

Written by Stephen Baker, Head of Education at STEMSmart, previously known as Fire Tech Australia.

In my travels as a teacher I recently discovered   story about a student in year 3 who thoroughly surprised all teachers with their ingenuity, creativity (and most of all, straight up stubbornness) to create YouTube content in the wee early hours of the morning.

Luckily at school, staff had discovered they were creating and posting video content on a self-made YouTube channel after sending invites to teachers to subscribe. After bringing the potential safety and privacy concerns to the family, the teachers were astounded to discover the parents had no idea this was happening! In fact, the student was using their parent’s phone to record and post onto YouTube! Sneaking into their room, using the fingerprint scanner on a parents sleepy arm to unlock the phone – then recording and posting away! They were even smart enough to delete the evidence after the fact.

The fact that this was achieved by a 3rd grader is pretty impressive. Whats even more remarkable is that this student was academically under-achieving, well below their age and year group. In fact, they could barely read and write. So where did this desire to produce, to share, to engineer their own access to creating content with tech come from? How does a student who is nearly illiterate and potentially unable to focus on lessons in a mainstream class come up with the idea to do something like this?

As an educator this was one of those aha moments where I looked at what we do, how we teach, how individuals learn – and question methodology. It reminded me of my first ever university lecturer imparting his wisdom upon us as undergrads… “If there was a perfect way to teach, we’d be doing it…” Luckily, equipped with this new knowledge, teachers and family have new skills to explore together and a great tool to discover further learning.

Every individual learns in their own unique way, so do we as teachers – it is our continual challenge to determine how to support all learners. Questioning our own bias about tech skills and ability to create is a great place to start.