SMEC operates within the School of Science in the Faculty of Science & Engineering. It also has a close relationship with the School of Education. The Centre offers postgraduate studies in science, mathematics and technology education and has a national and international reputation for excellence in research and development.
With over 400 students, including approximately 300 studying at the doctoral level, the Centre has the largest group of postgraduate students specifically in science, mathematics and technology education in the world. Students come from all Australian states and territories and approximately 20 overseas countries. Currently, groups of overseas students meet together on a regular basis in Miami and New York in the USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and Thailand.
The Science and Mathematics Education Centre (SMEC) began approximately 25 years ago within the Division of Engineering, Science and Computing as Curtin’s only exclusively postgraduate teaching area. Its mission is to undertake excellent research and to offer world-leading postgraduate programs that provide continuing professional development for science and mathematics educators at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels (including educators in informal settings such as science museums). SMEC’s growth was accelerated by the award of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Key Centre for School Science and Mathematics (Especially for Women), which was funded during 1988-96 and whose title continues today. Currently SMEC enjoys the status of one of Curtin’s elite University Research Institutes. With over 400 current postgraduate students (mainly part-time), including 300 doctoral students, SMEC now has the largest postgraduate program in the world in science and mathematics education.