With makerspaces popping up everywhere, and a new STEM-heavy curriculum for teachers to wrap their heads around, DATTA Vic has once again stepped in to deliver a conference which promises to make teaching with tech approachable for all.

The 2016 DATTA Vic Makerspace Conference follows last year’s successful theme says executive education officer Laura Murphy, adding that attendees can expect this year’s conference to be full of fun, creativity and, of course, learning.

“The reason we want to talk about makerspaces is we want to encourage teachers … it’s about cross-curricular learning, it’s about project-based learning, it’s about the opportunities provided by new technologies. That’s really at the heart of design and technology and our Makerspace Conference, so it’s really exciting,” Murphy says.

Those attending the conference on December 8 can expect a crash course in low-cost makerspaces, coding for youngsters and a plethora of project ideas for the classroom.

Murphy assures that although the day is busy and packed full with many things to see and do, it’s also a lot of fun.

“It’s a very busy day. We have over 30 workshops running … The day is broken up into six sessions of workshops, and our participants can choose our workshops from each session, so there really is a lot going on. These sessions are a mix of hands-on workshops where you can learn new practical skills, and seminar-style sessions as well. There’s a whole range of topics,  we’re doing sessions on things like how to set up a budget makerspace … [and] how to run a successful STEM project, so it’s a really mixed bag of a day.”

“There’s also a drop-in makerspace happening, which is really good fun, there’s the live finals of our student design competitions – ‘So you think you can design’, we have a very big trade exhibition area as well, where suppliers come and show off their wares.”

Following the “great feedback” from last year’s conference, Murphy says that the decision to reignite the makerspace theme was an easy choice.

“I shouldn’t be biased about the different events I run, but I think the Makerspace Conference we run is absolutely my favourite…” she says with a laugh.

Along with learning and having fun, the opportunity to build a community of like-minded educators from both primary and secondary backgrounds across the country, Murphy says, is something attendees value about the event.

“I think there was a nice sense of support from teachers, that there was help out there with things like the new curriculum, with OHS … Just seeing how makerspace projects can deliver cross-curricular learning and ideas for projects which really tick the boxes for the curriculum and really get kids engaged.”