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Global Changemakers Tinkering Toward Tomorrow — Empathy+STEAM Projects Developing Global Competencies

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Monday, November 30, 1:30–3:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Ian Fairhurst  
Liam Flanagan  
Sue Floro  
Matthew Hawke  

Learn how the eSTEAM approach guides students to be active, creative producers of digital & technological solutions rather than passive consumers. eSTEAM enables students to be globally mindful, informed, discerning users of ICT platforms and technological solutions. Learn how to implement inquiry & problem-based learning to build authentic future-focused skills.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Topic: Innovation in early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Social studies, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

With a vision to the developing students with flexible and adaptable skill sets, and ones who will be ready for the shifting careers in 2030, there has been a lot of discussion and research around how to best deliver activities which will best develop skills around innovation, entrepreneurialism and technological expertise.

The Empathy + STEAM approach guides students to be active, creative producers of digital and technological solutions, rather than passive consumers.

The model guides our students to also be globally mindful, informed, discerning users of ICT platforms and technological solutions. E-STEAM allows staff to implement inquiry, project / problem-based learning building authentic future-focussed skills.

Specific projects to be shared:

Year 4 have investigated the equity issues in Australia based around access to water (UN SDGs Goal 6). They have explored human engineering projects around the world focussed on the large scale management and movement of water. They have investigated the patterns of human settlement being strongly determined by access to water and

Year 5 focussed on a range of national and international problems identified in the Worlds Largest Lesson (UN SDGs Goal 14 and 15). They researched, designed and marketed a digital device to solve an identified need through the Micro:Bit Do Your:Bit challenge.

Year 6 students worked in looking more broadly at issues in society (Environmental, Elderly, Youth or people with a disability). In teams they worked to identify, research, design, prototype and create a full marketing platform to promote a working solution to an issue in society or the environment. (UN SDGs Goal 7, 9, 11 and 12)


The students of Knox Prep will guide you through a hands-on session exploring/trying out a range of creative digital and design technology tools. We will provide examples from a variety of Grade 4-6 classrooms and then provide teacher training in prototyping activities:

10 mins - Introduction to the Inquiry Learning Framework

20 mins - Students sharing examples of their working solutions

Student-Led Workshops:

Breakout Workshop 1 - 20 mins - Year 4 - CoSpaces - Learning -

Breakout Workshop 2 - 20 min20 mins - Year 5 - Hands-on learning time using Micro:bits -

Breakout Workshop 3 - 20 min - Year 5 and 6 TinkerCad 3D Design Tools and 3D Printing -

Breakout Workshop 4 - 20 mins - Year 6 - FRAMEVR - Building Virtual Showcases for your school community -

Supporting research

More [+]


Ian Fairhurst, Knox Grammar Preparatory School

Ian Fairhurst has been in Educational Technology roles for 15 years and has a passion for embedding authentic, globally focussed, learning opportunities through STEM education and establishing an active ‘maker culture’ within schools. As Team Leader of Technology Integration at Knox Grammar Preparatory School, he is currently responsible for leading and supporting the K-6 community in digital and design technologies. Ian also facilitates a Makerspace with the mantra that ‘anything is possible with technology and a creative mindset’. The students are encouraged to focus their ideas on authentic projects which can make a positive difference at a local or global community level.

Liam Flanagan, Knox Grammar Preparatory School

Liam Flanagan is an educator with ten years experience, teaching young learners from Kindergarten to Year Six. He is currently Head of Year Six at Knox Grammar Preparatory School. Throughout his tenure, Liam has enhanced curriculum development through the introduction of inquiry-based learning and individualised learning within the realms of History, English, Maths and Geography. The key focus of his current work has been implementing personalised learning programs in Mathematics across a year group consisting of 7 staff and classes and 173 students.

Sue Floro, Knox Grammar School
Matthew Hawke, Knox Grammar School

Matthew Hawke is a passionate K-6 educator who aims to always engage, challenge, and inspire his students. In his classroom, students learn to recognise the power that they, as an individual, to enact change in the world.

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