28 November 2017: $198,205 Grant received from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research

On 28 November 2017 the New Zealand government issued a media release about the recipients of the Teaching Learning Research Initiative grants administered by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. STEM-TEC was one of 8 successful recipients around the country with a $198,205 grant awarded for the 2-year project "Investigating the Impact of Non-routine Problem Solving on Creativity, Engagement and Intuition of STEM Tertiary Students". The project team comprises 10 lecturers from 4 tertiary institutions: AUT (4), the University of Auckland (4), Manukau Institute of Technology (1) and Whitireia Polytechnics (1) with AUT being the leading organisation. Nine of the 10 team members are either members or associate members of STEM-TEC. The project principal investigators are Associate Professor Sergiy Klymchuk and Professor Emeritus Mike Thomas from the University of Auckland. A brief description of the project is below.

This project aims to investigate the creative thinking skills and engagement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students as a result of solving non-routine problems during their learning. The participants comprise five groups of students from four diverse tertiary institutions who are studying different STEM subjects. Their learning will be enhanced by the addition of non-routine problem solving activities. Learners’ creativity, engagement and intuition will be analysed to evaluate the effect of this innovative practice. We anticipate that wide implementation of this learning enhancement would improve the employability of STEM students since innovative and creative thinking is a workplace requirement.

Six team members (from the left): Dr William Liu, Professor Mike Thomas, Dr Tanya Evans, Associate Professor Sergiy Klymchuk, Priscilla Murphy, Associate Professor Jason Stephens.