Brain STEM Innovation

WHAT IS THE BRAINSTEM INNOVATION CHALLENGE?

The BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge is a program for Year 9 / 10 high school students. Working in teams of 4-5 students (you will team-up with your school/classmates), you will have the chance to work with and be mentored by scientists, academics or industry professional in the STEM field to design, research and develop a real-world application.

The Innovation Challenges are held twice a year (Mar-Jun and Aug-Nov).

Register now as a student or as a mentor!


HOW THE BRAINSTEM INNOVATION CHALLENGE WORKS

Read more about who can participate, what you’ll get out of the program, cost involved, the program schedule, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

1. WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? 

The BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge is open to students from Year 9 to 10. If you’d like to participate, have a conversation with your school and/or teacher about participating in the program and get in touch with us via [email protected].

Teachers are also welcomed to sign your students up via the same registration link above, or feel free to e-mail us directly at [email protected] if you need assistance.

2. WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF THE PROGRAM?

  • Valuable teamwork, critical thinking and presentation skills as you work with your peers and STEM professionals.
  • Access to mentors from universities and/or research institutes in Victoria in the STEM and design fields.
  • The opportunity to visit a university campus/research lab and potentially work on your STEM innovation (subject to availability and selected project).
  • A certificate of participation.
  • Bragging rights!

3. DOES THE PROGRAM HAVE ANY COST?

There is no cost for students to participate.

Travelling costs may include visiting venues (typically your mentors place of work) for a mandatory initial and final presentation evening, as well as mentoring/collaboration sessions depending on arrangements with your mentor.

4. HAS THIS PROGRAM BEEN RUN BEFORE?

Yes! Since 2016, we have run 11 BrainSTEM Innovation Challenges, and have had over 600 students participate with mentors from education and research institutes including Swinburne University of Technology, University of Melbourne, Monash University, and many others.

We have also had a similar program rolled out to students in Regional Victoria (see FAQ 5 – Who is BrainSTEM and what do you do?).

5. PROGRAM SCHEDULE

You will be expected to attend:

  • An initial ‘kickstarter’ meeting to first meet your mentor with your team members.
  • Mentoring sessions over a 12-week period (up to you and your team to decide with your mentor – typically face-to-face sessions, but you will also interact via e-mail).
  • A presentation event at the end of the 12 weeks.

6. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. When and where are the mentoring sessions held? 
Mentoring sessions are held during school hours either online or at your mentors place of work. You will be accompanied by your teacher during each session.2. Is it safe to participate in the Innovation Challenge? 
Each mentoring session will be during school hours and accompanied by your teacher. A BrainSTEM staff (all of which have gone through a Working with Children check which is a mandatory requirement of the Child Safe Standards set by the Australian government) may also be there to supervise during the mentoring sessions, and are always available throughout the challenge.

If you have any concerns, feel free to get in touch with us via our contact form or e-mailing us directly at [email protected].

3. Can I choose my own team and/or mentor? 
Generally no – BrainSTEM’s allocation is generally up to our discretion, however we will aim to match you with a mentor that aligns to your areas of interest as best as possible (your areas of interest forms part of your application). We will also work closely with your teachers and our mentors to determine the best fit.

4. How do I sign up? 
Please fill in our registration form here and a member from the BrainSTEM will be in touch shortly to confirm your registration and provide additional details.

5. Who is BrainSTEM and what do you do?
BrainSTEM (Bringing Research and Innovation to STEM) is a Not for Profit organisation that started back in 2016. Recognizing that over 75% of the jobs of the future are going to be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics based), we run programs that provide a supportive learning environment for students to explore innovative ideas, apply their academic learning with experimental science, while connecting them with a network of industry mentors, academic leaders and partner organisations. Read more about us and our impact here.

We currently run three main programs:

    • BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge (i.e. this challenge): A 12-week mentoring program for students in Year 9-11 offered to schools around Australia.
  • Regional Innovation Challenge: A 12-week mentoring program modelled from the BrainSTEM Innovation Challenge for students in Year 9-10 from Regional Australia delivered digitally.to schools around Australia.Resilient Minds (Design Thinking) Workshops: Specialised and bespoke workshops in Design Thinking for high-school students and teachers on critical thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship.

​6. I have more questions – who do I ask?
Fill in our contact form or e-mail us directly at [email protected].

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