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.

2019 WinnersPhoto: 2019 STEMIE winners Whyalla High School. 

2020 theme: Carnival Capers

STEMIE is off to the show in 2020 with Carnival Capers. Students will complete STEM challenges based around the science of show rides, incorporate Arduino technology to create a prototype device that improves attendance tracking, engineer their own side show style game within set parameters and work 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.

2020 Carnival Capers – State Final will held at the Samsung SMARTSchool, University of South Australia, Magill Campus on 5 November 2020.

Carnival Capers Log


The STEMIE 2021 theme will be released in November 2020.

If you would like more information about STEMIE or would like your school to be considered for STEMIE 2021 contact us at UniSAConnect@unisa.edu.au.

Past themes and participants

  • Past themes minus-thick plus-thick

    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

    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

    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

    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

  • Past STEMIE Winners minus-thick plus-thick

    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

    Craigmore High School
    Edward John Eyre High School
    Gawler and Districts B-12 (formerly Gawler High School)
    Golden Grove High School
    Grant High 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)
    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
    Whyalla High School
    Woodville High School