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STEM research projects

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The STEM Education Research Centre (formerly SMEC) produces innovative, relevant and high impact research.

With extensive national and international partnerships, our research community is global, dynamic and collaborative.

See our current and past research projects

Digital Technologies in Early Childhood: How do young children learn to code?
Chief Investigators: Dr Karen Murcia, Associate Professor Lina Pelliccione
Curtin University Early Childhood Centre


Early Childhood STEM: Mathematics as Inquiry
Chief Investigators: Dr Karen Murcia, Dr Sharon Davies
Funded by Scitech


Youth STEM Career Choices: Curtin & Scitech Collaborative Pilot Research Project
Chief Investigators: Dr Karen Murcia, Professor John Williams
Internal School of Education funding (RATLD)


Strengthening Australian Indonesian Connections
Investigators: Dr Rekha Koul, Dr Rachel Sheffield, Dr Susan Blackley, Dr Nicoleta Maynard
Funded by DFAT


MIS: Makerspace in STEM for girls. An Exploratory Study
Investigators: Dr Rachel Sheffield, Dr Susan Blackley, Dr Rekha Koul, Dr Nicoleta Maynard
Funded by a TEDF grant


Drawing students’ ideas of science in Australian and Korean schools
Chief Investigators: John Curtin Distinguished Professor David Treagust, Dr Mihye Won
Funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Australia-Korea Foundation.


Using online teaching threshold concepts in transformative professional learning curricula for novice online educators
Investigators: Associate Maria Northcote, Dr Kevin Gosselin, Dr Daniel Reynaud, Dr Peter Kilgour, Mr Chris Boddey, Associate Professor Catherine McLoughlin, Dr Tony Rickards (Curtin).
Partners: Avondale College of Higher Education, Texas A&M Health Science Centre, Australian Catholic University, Murdoch University.
Funded by the OLT Seed Projects Funding Grant.


The online future of science and engineering education: The essential elements of laboratory-based learning for remote-access implementation
Investigators: John Curtin Distinguished Professor David Treagust, Dr Tony Lucey, Dr Mauro Mocerino, Dr Mario Zadnik, Dr Euan Lindsay, Dr Sven Esche
Partners: Charles Sturt University; Steven Institute of Technology, New Jersey.
Funded by the Australian Research Council (Discovery).


The efficacy and cultural transferability of student inquiry learning approaches in foundation chemistry: improving conceptual understanding and confidence
Investigators: John Curtin Distinguished Professor David Treagust, Dr Daniel Southam, Associate Professor Mauro Mocerino, Dr Dr Venkat Vishnumolakala, Dr Sheila Qureshi, Dr Venkat Vishnumolakala, Dr Katherine Bradley (Qatar)
Partners: Weill Cornell Medical College.
Funded by Qatar’s National Research Priority Program.


Einsteinian Physics: A new paradigm for school science
Investigators: John Curtin Distinguished Professor David Treagust, Professor David Blair, Professor Grady Venville, Dr Nancy Longnecker, Associate Professor Marjan Zadnik, Professor Gary Partington, Professor Francis Chun, Dr Brian Hewitt, Neil Jarvis
Partners: The University of Western Australia
Funded by the Australian Research Council.


Effectiveness of a whole-school intercultural approach aimed at removing barriers to learning for students from non-mainstream backgrounds
Investigators: John Curtin Distinguished Professor Barry Fraser, Associate Professor Farida Fozda, Associate Professor Jill Aldridge
Partners: The University of Western Australia.
Funded by the Australian Research Council (Linkage).


Igniting interest and promoting understanding in engineering and technology among primary-school students through engaging learning environments
Investigators: John Curtin Distinguished Professor Barry Fraser, Professor Moses Tade, Dr Rekha Koul, Dr Nicoleta Maynard.
Funded by the Australian Research Council (Linkage).