Supporting teaching and learning

The STEAM Foundation NPC is a Non-Profit Company and registered NPO and PBO which improves the quality of science education by supporting  practical science teaching and learning through the professional development of educators in under-resourced South African schools.

Established in 2017 with seed funding from the Siemens Stiftung, the latest project was also supported by WP Schmitz Stiftungen and the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, Germany.

STEAM knows that confident, knowledgeable educators are key to success. Since many South African educators did not themselves experience effective science teaching when they were learners, it is critical that we provide educators with a safe space to experience an inquiry-based and co-operative learning approach to science teaching which they can then implement in their own classrooms.

The STEAM Foundation creates and adapts CAPS-aligned materials to enable educators to teach key scientific concepts and inspires them to be passionate and confident in their teaching abilities. All materials are licensed with Creative Commons licenses and are Open Education Resources.

STEAM focuses on developing educators’ resilience, empowering them to handle big classes and create positive learning environments.

Educators who participate in STEAM training can earn professional development points from the South African Council for Educators (SACE) as STEAM is a registered SACE Provider and these materials are also accredited.

Continuous Learning

Unlike other science offerings, which focus strongly on the product or science kit itself,  STEAM programme believes emphatically in educator education. It trains educators not only on how to teach scientific concepts through hands-on experimentation, but it also embeds specific training as to how to implement cooperative learning within even very large classes.

Currently, STEAM has not only produced CAPS-aligned materials but is offering online teaching and video resources enabling blended learning. While the aims remain consistent, the methodologies have evolved, using Human-Centred Design Thinking principles to ensure that we meet the needs of our educators particularly in these pandemic circumstances.


STEAM works closely with South African partners.

  • Deep collaboration and ongoing partnership with the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), an accredited non-profit education development organisation which has delivered school maths and science programmes since 1985. CASME focuses on professional development and support for educators.
  • The manufacture and packaging of science teaching materials is done by Lasec Education Pty (Ltd) in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • STEAM and CASME work closely with the Provincial and National Departments of Basic Education.
  • Data from Statistics SA is combined with insights from the Department of Basic Education to identify and prioritise schools.
  • Research has been provided by the Schools Development Unit at the University of Cape Town, and the School of Science and Mathematics Education at the University of the Western Cape.
  • STEAM management is active in the SA Chapter of Creative Commons. 
  • STEAM Foundation NPC is a member of the National Association of Social Change Agents in Education (NASCEE). Download our Certificate of Membership.