21 July - 4 August 2020
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Online Meetings. Participants must be able to attend all three online workshops.
$50 registration fee. Incentives of $100/participant also available.

QUT STEM for Schools is delighted to be working with the School of Design to bring teachers a unique online professional development opportunity in Design-based Integrated STEM Pedagogy utilising 3D Printing. This PD is part of a research project involving both teachers as participants.

Led by PhD Candidate Ding (Joe) Zhou and his supervisors Dr Rafael Gomez, Dr James Davis and Associate Prof Markus Rittenbruch, teachers will have the opportunity to explore design-based pedagogy (DBP) which aims to enhance the integrative way STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is taught in the classroom. In this program, 3D printing assists in illustrating the design-led process. This workshop is designed for delivery to Year 9 and 10 students.

Learn more about the program.

Details for the professional development workshops


Queensland high school teachers who have teaching experience in Year 9 or 10 STEM-related subject areas, such as Science, Mathematics, Digital Technologies and Design & Technologies


The program consists of the following four workshops:

  • Workshop 1 – design immersion via self-directed video learning (must be completed at your own pace prior to Workshop 2)
  • Workshop 2 - use an application design process to construct and integrated STEM learning tasks (2.5 hour facilitated online session)
  • Workshop 3 - use the design process and its informed skills and mindsets to formulate implementation approaches (2.5 hour facilitated online session)
  • Workshop 4 — based on the outcomes created earlier, build a detailed unit plan of design-led integrated STEM program utilising 3D printing (2.5 hour facilitated online session)

Teachers will be invited to group discussion and individual survey at the conclusion of the sessions to evaluate the program.


Available dates for Workshops 2 to 4 are:

  • Tuesday 21 July, Thursday 23 July, and Tuesday 28 July from 4pm – 6.30pm
  • Tuesday 4 August, Tuesday 11 August, and Tuesday 18 August from 4pm – 6.30pm

Workshop 1 content will be emailed to participants once they have registered for their desired dates and times. Participants must be able to attend all three online workshops.


Online Zoom or Microsoft Teams Meeting
Maximum number of participants: 8 in each round

Cost & Incentives:

Costs - $50 for Workshops 1 to 4 of the PD

Incentives - $100/participant ($50 fee reimbursed and an additional $50 for compensation of your time) available upon successful completion of the program.

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About the research

Ding (Joe) Zhou has a B.A. and M.A. in Industrial Design. He is pursuing a PhD degree, having commenced in July 2018 at QUT. Joe is also an associate member of the QUT STEM Education Research Group. His research interests lie in design-led STEM education, design for additive manufacturing/3D printing and tangible interaction design. His research topic is ‘Adopting Design-based Pedagogy Utilising 3D Printing to Develop Integrated STEM Programs in Queensland’. You can find out more about Joe’s research here.

The QUT Ethics Approval Number is 1900001027

Program breakdown

There are two stages to this research that you can participate in:

Stage 1: Teacher Professional Development (Workshops 1, 2, and 3)

We are seeking teachers who would like to explore design-based pedagogy (DBP) to develop their own integrated STEM program for use in the classroom. A post-workshop discussion and survey allows our researcher to evaluate the efficacy for teachers.  

If possible, we strongly recommend that you invite colleagues who teach other STEM-related subjects to come with you. Such a team will benefit the most from this activity of integrated STEM education.

Stage 2: Detailed unit plan of integrated STEM program (Workshop 4)

To further evaluate the efficacy of this approach, teachers who expect to deliver the integrated STEM program will be instructed to build a unit plan from various perspectives (e.g. learning tasks, supportive information, procedural information, part-task practice). Any individual participant will collaborate with others as an integrated STEM teachers’ team. They will be invited to implement peer observation and complete a survey for experience evaluation.


Value and benefits for teachers and their future students.

For teachers

This project will benefit teachers through a conceptual model of integrate STEM pedagogy. Teachers can develop an experimental integrated STEM program which aligns with the Queensland and National secondary STEM curriculum.

Design-based pedagogy (DBP) is defined as an educational environment with instructional scaffolds that allows students to solve programs through the practice of design.

The value of DBP its potential to offer three essential attributes (transdisciplinary integration, authentic context, and process of solving design programs) to STEM Programs.

For students

Utilising digital printing skills like 3D printing students will be able to foster a creative disposition that satisfies the future demands of Australia’s industries and economy. It will raise students interest in STEM education because applying the integrated STEM knowledge to real-world programs creates an exciting learning experience.

The adventure of product design will build participants’ integrated STEM capabilities particularly program-finding and problem-solving.

STEM for Schools