The STEAM Room Project

The STEAM Room Project was envisioned as a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) literacy and learning venture staffed by pre-service teachers (PSTs) in a community setting. Through informal or ‘pop-up’ programs, it aimed to build wider science-maths fluency in the community, and enrich and encourage innovation in PST learning. In addition, professional development workshops, featuring the latest pedagogy, introduced new ways of teaching science and maths in the classroom to an audience of PSTs and in-service teachers (ISTs).

“By combining the Arts with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM), we are able to engage a whole new audience with scientific literacy.”

Dr Chris Campbell
Lead Academic for the STEAM Room

STEAM Room Project Impact Pre-service teachers engaging with STEAM across learning environments
STEAM Room Project Impact
Pre-service teachers engaging with STEAM across learning environments


Throughout 2015 the STEAM Room Project trialled several hands-on activities in Brisbane and Townsville.
These included:

  • Design Thinking professional development workshops for pre-service teachers and in-service teachers
  • Informal teaching opportunities at The Edge and The Queensland Museum

The project engaged 23 PST participants who facilitated STEAM education activities, working alongside education and science professionals. Participants’ feedback was positive about their perceptions on knowledge and confidence gained, and their reflections on teaching experiences. See further details in the STEAM Room Poster and the PST Engagement Report <LINK>.

The project involved collaborative design and delivery between education, science and creative industries academics at the University of Queensland (UQ), Griffith University (GU) and QUT. STEAM teaching modules and assessment were developed and have been integrated in UQ teacher education courses.

What next?

Dr Chris Campbell, STEAM Room project leader, was awarded a Smithsonian Fellowship in 2016 to work at the Smithsonian Centre for Learning and Digital Access, and is working alongside science educators to evaluate the potential for STEAM online training sessions to be utelised in Australia.

STEAM is also an emerging focus at Griffith University, with a new Creative Practice Lab (CPL) in the School of Education and Professional Studies, and as part of the STEM/STEAM Studio there. Towards the end of 2016 The STEM Studio at Griffith changed it’s name to the STEAM Studio to reflect the use of design processes and to represent the use of creativity in innovation. The STEAM Room project is independent of the work that emerged in the STEAM Studio.


Project Leader: Dr Chris Campbell (Griffith University, previously at UQ).

Collaborators and partners throughout the project: Natalie Wright (SLQ Asia Pacific Design Library/QUT Creative Industries), Dr Kim Nichols (UQ), Dr Adam Palmer (GU), and Michael Doneman (QUT), the Gold Coast City Gallery, Queensland Museum, The Edge at State Library Queensland, and James Cook University.