iSTEM Core Module 1 & 2 – STEM Fundamentals 1 & 2 Overview


The STEM Fundamentals modules 1 and 2 form 50% of the core units which represent 25 hours of indicative study. STEM Fundamentals is designed for students to develop a deep understanding of the basic principles associated with iSTEM. To satisfy the requirements of these modules, students must undertake a range of experimental, group work and inquiry-based learning activities that occupy the majority of the time. These activities should be used to develop a deep knowledge and understanding of the integration of STEM.


To complete STEM Fundamentals 1 and 2 you need to complete the following areas of study;

STEM Fundamentals 1

STEM Fundamentals 2

What is STEM?

The workforce of the future requires high levels of skills, responsible thinkers and creative thinkers.

STEM education:

  • is an approach to teaching science and technology, and mathematics
  • fosters inquiry learning in our complex world
  • helps teachers guide students to apply their knowledge and understandings, inquire into their world, and solve complex, authentic problems involving contextually rich projects.

Through quality STEM programs, students from pre-school to Year 12 engage with their curriculum, acquiring skills that lay strong foundations for their career aspirations.

From the NSW Department of Education Website

The iSTEM Process

The iSTEM Process 8 Cog

The iSTEM process  was developed by the Cessnock Academy of STEM Excellence (CASE) as part of the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program. It provides consistent language across K-12 schools based on an industry-recognised engineering design process and scaffolds the understanding and application of design thinking.

The SISP program is developing teaching and learning units to embed the iSTEM process into the curriculum. There are different versions of the iSTEM process that vary in the number of cogs. The purpose of the different versions is to allow for the process to be adapted to different stages and different types of problem-solving activities. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the iSTEM process to various aspects of their teaching of STEM.

A series of poster designs are available for display and can be found by clicking on the button below.

Activity cards and resources are also available to embed design thinking in your classroom. The iSTEM process has been designed to assist in the learning and teaching of STEM from K – 12. It is recommended that the iSTEM process be taught as part of the STEM Fundamentals Unit. Embedding the iSTEM process within teaching pedagogy and learning opportunities allows for student engagement and positive culture for consistent, ongoing learning and improvement, at a variety of levels from Early Stage 1 through to the Secondary stages.

STEM Learning Activities

The Jiggler Challenge

The Jiggler Challenge

The Jiggler Challenge has been developed by the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program in collaboration with Design Nutstm. The Challenge is a great way to demonstrate the different aspects of the iSTEM process, leading to the development of an innovative solution.

A five video series has been produced to help step students through the iSTEM process whilst designing a solution to a quirky problem ~ an automatic tea bag jiggling device.

Click on the resource button below to find resources to support the jiggler challenge




Dr Scott Sleap, developer of the iSTEM course, introduces Core Modules 1 and 2, STEM Fundamentals of the iSTEM Stage 5 subject.
This short animation explores Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the essential skills behind it all and why it is so important to Australia.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. If you want a great job that is lots of fun, pays well and has the potential for travel, you may have found what you're looking for.
We can't afford any more accidental engineers, explains Stephanie Hill, who has been recognized for her career achievements and community outreach, especially in the advancement of STEM education. Diversity drives innovation, and we need more voices at the table to make the impossible possible. Stephanie C. Hill is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Lockheed Martin.