Students showcase STEM skills to make a difference

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11 October 2023

Around 500 primary and secondary students from Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Melbourne will come together tomorrow (Thursday 12 October) to showcase how they are using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to address challenges faced by their communities and the planet.

The annual STEM MAD (Making a Difference) Showcase provides an exciting opportunity for our students to share their projects with peers and judges, and demonstrate how Catholic schools are taking practical action to make a difference.

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) STEM coordinator Shelley Waldon said teams of students have designed a product, service or innovation in response to an identified challenge.

‘The creativity and deep-thinking of our young people – along with the care they have for their fellow citizens, communities and the environment – never cease to amaze me. It gives great hope that the future is in good hands’, she said.

MACS Executive Director Dr Edward Simons said Catholic educators see learning as a journey of endless possibilities, where students are given opportunities to flourish fully.

‘The STEM disciplines are a vital component of our holistic approach to education – one that is focused on excellence and development of the “whole person”, and will help children succeed and be happy and confident in the world, no matter what path their future may follow’, he said.

Entries in the STEM MAD Showcase, including working models, address issues ranging from local and personal challenges such as disability or wellbeing, to community and global challenges such as natural disasters, aviation, climate action and threatened species.

The Showcase begins with a welcome and keynote address at 9.15 am, and culminates with the presentation of awards at 3.15 pm. Award-winning student teams will progress to STEM MAD National on Thursday 9 November.

Media contact: Gerard Delaney on 0413 274 176 or

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