Minister for Education

Member for Menzies


19 March 2019

Improving STEM education

Australian children will learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as they play.

The Morrison Government has funded the Conceptual PlayLab, a $3.2 million research project to investigate better ways to teach STEM to young children.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the lab would research how children learn through play in their early years as well as inform the teaching of STEM in play-based settings.

The Conceptual PlayLab is funded through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Australian Laureate Fellowship awarded to Professor Marilyn Fleer at Monash University.

“The researchers have developed an app that will support teachers, educators and families to create a play-based world where children form concepts about STEM,” Mr Tehan said. 

“Our Government understands that our children will need strong STEM knowledge to succeed in the jobs of the future and we are keeping the economy strong by investing in the skills of our future workforce. The ARC has awarded more than 950 grants valued at $398 million for funding commencing in 2019.”

Member for Menzies Kevin Andrews, who represented the Government at the launch of the Conceptual PlayLab, said the work undertaken would put Australia at the forefront of how STEM subjects were taught during early childhood.

“We know that quality early childhood experiences can impact positively on life choices and career pathways,” Mr Andrews said. “The work done at the Conceptual PlayLab will greatly improve what we know about how a child learns scientific concepts.”

Media contact:
Tehan: Byron Vale 02 6277 7350 |
Andrews: Cristy Elliott 03 9848 9900