STEM MAD National
'Inspired to lead for a better future'
What is STEM MAD & STEM MAD National?
The STEM MAD Student Showcase is a celebration of student learning designed to acknowledge and promote STEM learning initiatives that address real-world problems and demonstrate the particularity of Catholic Schools; encouraging students to make a difference (MAD) in the world by acting for justice and the common good. This aligns with the papal call for action in Laudato Si': On Care for our Common Home.
STEM MAD has been taking place in Melbourne since 2018 and the inaugural STEM MAD National took place as an online awards event and student showcase in 2021 at the NCEC conference, with dioceses from around Australia participating.
STEM MAD National is a celebration of excellence in Catholic education, in which the nation's best primary, secondary and 'Future is STEM' student teams, nominated by their dioceses, showcase their projects to conference participants, diocesan representatives, sponsors and affiliated organisations, school communities and their fellow students.
A STEM MAD School Story of Practice
Interview with a winning school
Coming Together for the Common Good
Schools celebrate our shared purpose
How do I participate in STEM MAD National?
In order to participate in STEM MAD National, primary and secondary student teams from across Australia participate in their own diocesan or statewide STEM showcases. The showcases may take place digitally or face to face depending on the context of the schools involved. A number of dioceses already have some form of STEM competitions, celebrations or showcase challenges which can be easily leveraged into participation for STEM MAD National. Prospective participants are required to address the STEM MAD National Project Criteria and must be able to demonstrate that they have met the criteria's standards when presenting their projects.
Following their own individual showcases each diocese or state will be responsible for nominating up to three projects per category (primary, secondary and 'Future is STEM'), which best demonstrate their learning and meet the project criteria for possible representation at STEM MAD National (Online Awards program and Student Showcase).
The STEM MAD National Advisory Committee - a Committee made up of representatives from each participating state - share the curating and judging of the projects against the criteria and make the final decision on which projects receive the awards and are invited to attend STEM MAD National showcase in Melbourne.
What is 'Future is STEM'?
The 'Future is STEM' project category was created when it became apparent that there were students creating extremely impressive integrated STEM projects which demonstrated all the STEM capabilities but didn't quite meet the 'MAD' criteria. In order to continue to encourage those students to participate in STEM MAD and celebrate their demonstrated understanding of STEM the 'Future is STEM' category was born. This category continues to produce exciting, skilled projects, including those from senior students working in highly technical disciplines such as Product Design or Systems Engineering. Examples of projects which have been classified as 'Future is STEM' can be found on this site under the 'Showcase Winners' page.