About the program

The STEM Innovation Experience (STEMIE) is designed to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement in schools and enhance awareness of STEM in the wider community. This is achieved through students participating in a series of STEM-based tasks linked to curriculum and showcasing their learning.

Every year, new STEM challenges are developed around a central theme. They will engineer and prototype designs to complete a set action, justify their mathematical considerations, use Arduino coding to create a device within set parameters for their technology component and complete scientific investigations and research around the central theme.

Representatives from each school present their learning at regional showcases, where they are judged against other schools from their regional cluster. Winning schools from each region progress to the STEMIE State Final to compete in unseen STEM challenges.

The program is supported by The University of South Australia with the Teacher Professional Learning workshop and a student workshop early in the program, covering skills required to complete the tasks, and resources and ongoing support through the UniSA STEMIE Moodle.

UniSA 2021 STEMIE winners photo
Photo: 2021 STEMIE Winners Salisbury East High School

2022 theme: Revolutionary Resources

STEMIE is focusing on the STEM skills involved when managing resources and balancing environmental impacts. Students will complete STEM based tasks including investigating the chemistry of getting raw materials into everyday items, using Arduino coding to create environmental detection devices, engineering a payload transport prototype and mathematically modelling energy consumption and distribution using dynamic spreadsheets.

The STEMIE 2023 theme will be released in November 2022.

If you would like more information about STEMIE or would like your school to participate in STEMIE contact us at STEMIE@unisa.edu.au

Past themes and participants

  • Past themes minus-thick plus-thick

    Flood! Fire! Famine! - Students completed STEM based tasks around the management of natural disasters. Their challenges included investigating the science behind bushfire management, using Arduino coding to develop a flood mitigation device, engineering a famine busting chicken egg collection device, and exploring mathematical modelling of livestock and crop yields through the use of dynamic spreadsheets.

    Multiple trophies sitting on a shelf

    Carnival Capers – Students completed STEM challenges based around the science of show rides, incorporated Arduino technology to create a prototype device that improves attendance tracking, engineered their own side show style game within set parameters and worked out how their carnival activity can create a profit using mathematical justifications, including statistics and probability of winning side show games, and proceeds from show bag and ticket sales.


    Movie Magic – This theme was based around the STEM skills in the movie industry with each school developing a 3D printed company logo, dynamic spreadsheet model to demonstrate flexibility within movie budgets, engineering and prototyping a camera rigging device to navigate a set track within a specified time limit and creating an Arduino coded display for the launch of their fictional film company at the Regional Showcase.

    2019 Movie Magic Regional Showcase

    Mars Mission – This task was based around a proposal for a mission to Mars. Students costed the catering for the mission and justified nutritional requirements, they created astronaut selection criteria based on their investigations and research, engineered a Mars rover to navigate a set terrain track and coded an environmental control system to demonstrate how living conditions could be regulated.

    Mars mission

    Project Dolores – Students developed and costed a fictional town plan for the development of a suburb in regional South Australia. They researched possible impact on local flora and fauna in the region and developed technology-based animal detection devices and investigated plant growth factors. They also engineered and strength tested bridge designs for access to the town.

    2017 State Final

    Metro Expo – Technology and engineering were used to improve an aspect of transport, either a new initiative or an improvement on an existing structure or system. The maths and science tasks were linked to event planning with the development of a mathematically justified sponsorship proposal to run a major event and science investigations into flame colours and research into fireworks.  

    Metro Expo

  • Past STEMIE Winners minus-thick plus-thick

    Flood! Fire! Famine! – Salisbury East High School

    STEMIE 2021 winners

    2020 Carnival Capers – Grant High School


    2019 Movie Magic – Whyalla High School

    Winners 2019 - Whyalla High School

    2018 Mars Mission – Marryatville High School

    2018 Winners Marryatville High School

    2017 Project Dolores – Edward John Eyre High School

    2017 Winner EJEHS

    2016 Metro Expo – Mt Gambier High School     

    2016 STEM Innovation Experience Winners

  • Past participants minus-thick plus-thick
    • Allendale East Area School
    • Craigmore High School
    • Edward John Eyre High School
    • Gawler and Districts B-12 (formerly Gawler High School)
    • Golden Grove High School
    • Grant High School
    • The Heights School
    • John Pirie Secondary School
    • Kingston Community School
    • Marryatville High School
    • Millicent High School
    • Mount Carmel College
    • Mount Gambier High School
    • Norwood Morialta High School
    • Ocean View College
    • Para Hills High School
    • Paralowie R-12
    • Penola High School
    • Playford International College (formerly Fremont Elizabeth High School)
    • Port Augusta Secondary School
    • Roma Mitchell Secondary College
    • Salisbury East High School
    • Salisbury High School
    • Samaritan College
    • St Martins Lutheran College
    • Stuart High School
    • Tenison Woods College
    • Valley View Secondary School
    • Westminster
    • Whyalla High School
    • Woodville High School