Science, Technology
& Global Problems

First year, first semester unit for high achieving students – Majors span agricultural science, environmental science, physics, chemistry, maths and computing.

Located within the Bachelor of Innovation Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Lays the foundational skills for entrepreneurship. The capabilities from this unit are further developed in 2nd and 3rd year units.

Innovative WIL Features

  • Global issues
  • STEM focussed
  • Design thinking
  • Multi-disciplinary teams
  • Student led (autonomy)
  • First year, first semester students
  • Based on preliminary pitches to student cohort
    Self-forming teams


  • High level of student engagement
  • Student capability and confidence to be innovative and self-driven
  • Willingness of staff to present and support student development
  • 2nd year students mentoring 1st year students

Unit Impacts & Outcome

For students: Advanced problem-solving using enterprise skills to pivot around ideas. Students adjust solutions according to context and identified needs. Through research and foundational work, students identify multiple solutions for solving problems using an evidence-based perspective to highlight the most appropriate solution. Students gain proficiency in accessing information, crucially reviewing peers’ work, and an awareness of global problems, social, environmental, and scientific.

For industry: Networking and relationship building with university staff, gaining a sense of future innovations and challenges. Building capacity through critiquing of students’ solutions and providing feedback.

For teaching: Awareness that open problem-solving is achievable. Gaining confidence in allowing and facilitating students to direct their own learning enabling a shift in traditional practice. Caters to a diverse student cohort, a more inclusive approach that allows personalised learning outcomes.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the nature of problems and develop approaches to their solutions based on current and emerging science and technology.
  2. Perform high level research to scope the nature of global problems and discriminate among ideas based on validity and reliability.
  3. Understand the nature of knowledge and how it applies to the scientific process and the development of new ideas.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to articulate a shared goal and work collaboratively to maximise outcomes in an interdisciplinary team.  
  5. Communicate scientific information to an academic audience in a manner that is upheld and practiced but the scientific community.
  6. Demonstrate academic integrity and referencing conventions to acknowledge the original source of information required to construct scientific arguments for tertiary study.

Evidencing & Assessment Strategies

  1. Portfolio (25%): Students maintain a portfolio of their work including the text for a 90 second pitch, a brief weekly reflection of activities and what they learned about the role of STEM in society, links to contemporary research on topics of interest, and links to news articles on STEM topics.
  2. Group work (25%): Students examine their personal reflections on strengths and weaknesses as a group member and provide feedback to other group members on their performance. Students consider personal reflections and feedback of peers to evaluate their own development and identify how they might address weaknesses.
  3. Final reflection (15%): With a focus on the process of thinking, constructing knowledge and working in teams, this assessment task is designed to encourage students to reflect on their achievement of the learning outcomes through these processes and consider what they have learnt about themselves through the activities completed. Students respond to a series of questions about their own learning through the unit. The questions are designed in a quiz format. There are 4 questions each requiring about 350 to 500 word responses.
  4. Final proposal (35%): students work as a team on a proposal for a research or entrepreneurial activity that will help address a global problem. The proposal is presented to a panel of industry and research experts who provide feedback to students. Students are expected to work professionally and respectfully as an integral member of a team. Students self-select teams through shared interest in a global problem. A literature research is undertaken to source contemporary information on the global issue. The group is required to identify a gap in the literature or the next stage in solving the problem. Working collaboratively, students design an experiment, product, program or venture that will help address the global problem. A proposal is developed that outlines the research or entrepreneurial activity with the intention of convincing others that the ideas is well-researched, has merit, and should be funded.




Dr Louis Geneste

Lecturer, School of Management