STEM Examples and People

‘Real World’ STEM Examples

Bike made out of recycled cardboard 

Biodegradable Plastic Water Bottle

3-D-Printed Prosthetic Hands

Plastic Bottle Lamps 

Biodegradable Plates Are Edible

3D Printed House
Sea Bin: Ocean cleaning machine:

Fish Life Jacket

Refish: Low cost air filter inspired by nature

Seed-filled balls are helping save the Earth’s forests

Streets are being painted white

Vertical Farms 

Shampoo bottle “ventilators” helping children survive pneumonia.

Buildings made from paper by Shigeru Ban


Young people using STEM skills to solve problems:

Ann Hollow: torch powered by the heat from your hand.

Richard Turere: invention to protect farms from predators in Kenya

Molly Steer: Straws No More

Inspiring STEM Professionals

Dr Fiona Wood: Australian plastic surgeon and ‘Spray-on Skin’ Pioneer. Fiona Wood and Marie Stoner used tissue engineering technology to treat burns using ‘spray-on skin’. Dr Wood was the 2005 Australian of the Year. More information:


Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim: Biomedical scientist treating spinal cord injuries, 2017 Australian of the Year. More information:


Professor Rose Amal: Australian chemical engineer currently researching how to use  sunlight to transform carbon dioxide into a sustainable and renewable source of fuel. 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. More information:


Monique Hollick: South Australian Space Systems Engineer. Monique was recognised as an Emerging Space Leader in 2018, she has published a paper Space Weather (she was the lead author) and presented at the Lunar and Small Bodies Graduate Conference at NASA Ames in 2014. More information:


Roma Agrawal: structural engineer, who has designed bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures. She worked with a team to design the tallest tower in western Europe. More information:


Dr Chris Matthews: from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Maths Alliance, explains how maths is everywhere and how we can change mindsets about maths to better respond to children’s natural curiosity


Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: astronomer who discovered that stars are made mainly of hydrogen and helium and established that stars could be classified according to their temperatures. Her achievements include being a full professor at Harvard, chairman of the astronomy department, she wrote a thesis which was described as “undoubtedly the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy”, and she was also an author of a number of books.

STEM Websites/Resources

How to get started with STEM…Click here for resources

More free STEM resources and ideas… Click here for examples of STEM units using the Engineering Design Process 


Unit examples and engineering design process:

Examples and inspiration:

Technology lending library (Australia):

Live animal hire and biology science kits in Adelaide: