5.2.1 Online Workshops

AutoSTEM online workshops for teachers and children


The purpose of the workshop is to prepare teachers to be able to conduct AutoSTEM online or remote learning with their children, even very young children. Certain adaptations need to be completed for the youngest children but they can still learn and benefit. The workshop will show you how to prepare yourself and your students so that the aims can be accomplished and the children learn.

As already mentioned AutoSTEM is designed to introduce STEM subjects to young children in a motivating an engaging way, that enables them to retain ideas and complete the activity in a playful way.

There are two versions of the workshop:

  1. For teachers – to prepare them to conduct the workshops themselves with children. This is designed for general or STEM teachers, curriculum specialists or subject heads.
  2. For children – to use the AutoSTEM approach to introduce STEM subjects in a motivating and enjoyable way.

Both versions are designed to be run remotely to the attendee’s personal computer. No special software or hardware needs to be installed but:

  1. Knowledge of using Zoom or other webinar apps will be needed
  2. A microphone and speakers or a headset
  3. A webcam

It is also very helpful if the attendees (students and teachers) have access to cameras/smartphones that they can use to take photos and videos of the automata they make. They should also be helped or know how to upload their images/videos to the workshop tutor. We have included a link to WikiHow that details 7 different ways to share images/videos on the Internet, there are others as well, including directly by email for small file sizes, If there are problems sharing files then the Internet and YouTube is full of information that can help you.

As a rule with all webinar use, it is best to use a headset as this reduces feedback from your speakers to your mike, better to light the person well, and to sit in a position so that the head and shoulders can easily be seen. As the workshop will be active and ask attendees to make automata, it is best if there is a clear space in front of the person where the construction will take place.

Be sure to share the web link address for your webinar app before the first workshop and the second, and it is advisable to share your email as well so you have open communications with your attendees.

This guide is based on international online workshops for teachers undertaken by the AutoSTEM team for Scientix (the EU platform for STEM) and the feedback and results from those events.

Learning goals

The goal of the workshop is to enable you to gain an understanding of how to use AutoSTEM automata in your teaching practice. The workshop is designed as a ‘Learning by doing’ experience to prepare you to be able to use automata in general, and AutoSTEM automata specifically, in your teaching practice to introduce STEM subjects at an appropriate level in a motivating, engaging, joyful and most importantly retainable level.

It will ask you to make automata, use automata and reflect on ideas to use them, improve them and further the scope and effectiveness.