A rewarding career in STEM begins with a passion for lifelong learning

Dr Marie Boden1, Dr Gurion Ang2

1School of IT & Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland
2Science Engagement Unit from the Faculty of Science, the University of Queensland

A rewarding career in STEM begins with a passion for lifelong learning. As an entomologist, I get to indulge in this passion on a daily basis. Insects represent a weird and whimsical facet of the natural world, and in my presentation I will show how a short summer research project on insect pests during my undergraduate studies led to my PhD and ultimately an improvement in the way crops are grown in the developing world. My story is one of many that highlights the opportunities for international students to engage in research at the University of Queensland, and in doing so inculcate a sense of global citizenship in our STEM graduates.

Technologies is new to the Australian Curriculum. With the constant changes in our society and with new professions on the horizon, school leaders and teachers need to ensure our students have the skills necessary to be successful when they enter the workforce. I will talk about my research around introducing the Digital Technologies Curriculum into the Australian classrooms. My studies show how the introduction of Design Thinking, Iterative processes and Computational Thinking will be of benefit to students in more areas than just the digital technologies. Further, my research is finding that teachers are changing their teaching practices and this leads to increased creativity in student projects.


Dr Marie Boden is a researcher in the School of IT & Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland. Her main research is in Interaction Design and she has over 15 years of expertise on design of technology for teaching and learning in school classrooms. Marie collaborates closely with teachers on research about new designs of technology for support of the teaching and learning in classrooms.  Currently, Marie is researching the impact of using humanoid robots in the classroom and she is part of a team designing and building a humanoid robot for the classroom. Further, Marie organise outreach workshops for school students and is involved in organising RoboCup Junior, Young ICT Explorer’s competition and GovHack, with the aim of promoting and engaging students to choose ICT and engineering studies. Marie has been recognised for her work with an Australian Computer Society Digital Disrupter award and in 2017 and a Rising Star award in 2011 from Women in Technology.

Dr Gurion Ang is from the Science Engagement Unit from the Faculty of Science, the University of Queensland. He completed his PhD studies in 2017, and the over-arching theme of his research is in insect-plant interactions. He has a secondary interest in teaching and learning, and teaches into several undergraduate and postgraduate biology and ecology courses. More recently, he has started the development and delivery of lectures and workshops that are closely aligned with international curricula, for high school students both locally and overseas.

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