STEM HUB Science Fair Working Group Meeting 12 debrief


Wednesday 7th November 2018
Opened 4:30pm


  • Anja van Hooydonk – Teacher of Mathematics & Science St Mary’s Catholic College; Mathematics B Panel Chair Cairns; QAMT President Cairns
  • Tiffany Turnour – Laboratory Technician St Mary’s Catholic College
  • Kurt Shoenhoff – Treasurer of The Makers; Business Innovation Development Consultant for TAFE
  • Matthew Ritchie – President of The Makers; Business Innovation Development Consultant for TAFE
  • Dianne Tahuaroa-Watson – Teacher & STEM projects Peace Lutheran College
  • Celia Berrell – Science Rhymes; Admin Cairns Neurophysiology

STEM Fair Feedback

Anja advised that really positive feedback had been received: excellent event, good selection of stalls and that Rena Singh from Inspiring Australia attended and responded positively about the event.

Tiffany said some teachers would have liked it to be on a Saturday (non-school day) to cut down on their paperwork; some teachers found the two separate locations a bit confusing; some suggested more stalls next time; a brief description of stalls beforehand would have been helpful.

Celia said descriptions had been requested, but most stalls were unable to respond at short notice. Anja pointed out that Saturdays would be unsuitable for businesses with stalls (eg DAF).

Tiffany highlighted Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (DAF), the Robotic Football Field & She Flies as really popular stalls.

She Flies didn’t manage to operate drones within the time-constrained rotation of students.

This would need to be changed as we definitely want them back next time.

  • HOB zone A: CQU; Department of Environment & Science; Aviation Australia
  • HOB zone B: School exhibits, JCU & CSIRO exhibit
  • HOB zone C: The Makers (Room off the HOB); Questacon (a 2nd Room off the HOB) PRECINCT A: St Mary’s College exhibits
  • PRECINCT B: Gordonvale SHS; Department of Agriculture & Fisheries
  • PRECINCT C: She Flies

STEM Fair & STEM HUB next year

Some items raised for consideration:

  • By holding the STEM Fair at St Mary’s Catholic College, the event was essentially provided by the school rent-free, with insurance cover, plus teaching and other staff provided foc.
  • St Mary’s Catholic College is having renovations to the HOB building next year, probably in or after August. If we choose this location and similar set-up, a date change may be required
  • St Mary’s Catholic College facilities could probably accommodate a further 6 stalls max
  • 90-160 students per session seemed optimal for this year’s layout and traffic. The smaller groups worked better than the larger 3rd session of over 200 students.
  • Should students be guided through the fair in a time constrained fashion (as done this year) or allowed to choose a more free-for-all approach and focus attention on chosen stalls?
  • the STEM Fair is only a component of our overall STEM HUB mission as a way of integrating Industry / Schools / Government
  • Stall holders really appreciated having food and refreshments provided for them
  • Marcus & Michael from Innisfail propose to select a group of 30 students from their region to bring next year (similar to an athletics event). Students invited would also be involved with having a stall at events such as the Innisfail Show. This raised the question of should our STEM Fair be “preaching/grooming the converted” or encouraging newcomers through discovery?
  • Longer lead-up time to next event will be helpful: broader media coverage – include ABC Far North Radio & Cairns FM 89.1 Community Radio; YouTube presence and social media
  • Expanding presence into other areas: should the STEM HUB have a presence at the Cairns Show or Careers Fair or Eco Fiesta? Dianna said she would ask at Peace Lutheran about their involvement and costs in some of these events
  • Anja asked if it was possible for us to get an advisor from the Expo Board onto our STEM HUB committee
  • There may be some funding available for progressing to next year, but not much
  • The STEM HUB website ( is our next priority, along with workshops in Professional Development


Thanks to Triple M and Win News for promoting the event.

There was no TV presence on the day. Jason is putting together some visuals of the event for Facebook and others have a few photos, but not many were taken due to privacy concerns.


Celia’s Quiz was enjoyed by those that gave it a go. 22 students responded.

Although not all schools were represented, it was decided all participating schools should receive some form of prize.

A variety of prizes will be awarded to St Mary’s Catholic College; Woree SHS; Peace Lutheran College; Gordonvale SHS; St Augustine’s College; Holy Spirit College.

Tiffany will arrange the distribution of school prizes, which include science items, vouchers from The Makers and Science Rhymes books from Celia.

Finalising Expenses

Tiffany supplied Kurt with receipts etc. for expense payments she has made of $686.79.
Action: Kurt to reimburse Tiffany and provide a final figure for the STEM Fair costs for the STEM HUB meeting next week.

Certificates of Appreciation

STEM Champion Lorena Goodall provided colourful laminated certificates for participating stall exhibitors. Dianne Tahuaroa-Watson showed us one received by Peace Lutheran College.
This event would not have been possible without the generous support of St Mary’s Catholic College and the clear direction and dedication provided by:

  • Anja van Hooydonk – Teacher of Mathematics & Science St Mary’s Catholic College; Mathematics B Panel Chair Cairns; QAMT President Cairns
  • Tiffany Turnour – Laboratory Technician St Mary’s Catholic College
  • Stephen Ung – Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships


Matt Richie & Jason Holdsworth will be attending the STEM HUB Forum in Brisbane 20-21/11 with Anja attending the first part.

Funding for their attendance has been granted through Inspiring Australia.

Kurt may be able to attend independently.

Lorena will be unable to go.

Next STEM HUB Meeting

No further STEM Fair Working Group meetings have been arranged at this stage. Prioritising goals for 2019 and establishing a working committee for the overall STEM HUB project needs to be our next focus.

The next STEM HUB meeting is next

Wednesday 14th November 5pm at S Block, TAFE.

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