Current themes and projects

The following STEM education projects, grouped by theme, are currently being undertaken by our members. Many our members are engaged in and have completed projects in traditional STEM subjects; these projects are not included here.

Theme 1. Increasing the retention and success rates in tertiary STEM programmes through enhancing flexible learning based on digital technologies

  • Investigating the Impact of Non-routine Problem Solving on Creativity, Engagement and Intuition of STEM Tertiary Students (project leader Associate Professor Sergiy Klymchuk

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.

The full description, research design and methodology, practice value, timeframe and CV’s of the key members are available here.

Team Members

1.       Associate Professor of Mathematics Sergiy Klymchuk, AUT, Principal Investigator, Researcher,   mathematics and engineering education.

2.       Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education Mike Thomas, University of Auckland, Principal Investigator, Researcher, mathematics education.

3.       Associate Professor of Education Jason Stephens, University of Auckland, Associate Investigator, Researcher, education.

4.       Dr Julia Novak, University of Auckland, Associate Investigator, Researcher, science and mathematics education.

5.       Dr Tanya Evans, University of Auckland, Associate Investigator, Researcher, mathematics education.

6.       Professor Sergei Gulyaev, AUT, Practitioner, physics and astronomy education.

7.       Dr William Liu, AUT, Practitioner, computer science education.

8.       Dr Jordan Alexander, AUT, Practitioner, physics and astronomy education.

9.       Dr Andrew Zaliwski, Whitireia New Zealand, Practitioner, computer science education.

10.     Dr Priscilla Murphy, MIT, Practitioner, mathematics and engineering education.


A $198,205 grant from the Teaching-Research Initiative Scheme of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

Contact: Project leader – Associate Professor Sergiy Klymchuk

Theme 2. Enhancing the growth of high achieving tertiary STEM students through targeted innovative pedagogical strategies

Theme 3. Improving entrepreneurial skills of tertiary STEM students through establishing creative environment for informal extracurricular activities

Theme 4. Increasing the awareness of sustainability and ethical responsibility for the environment of tertiary STEM students