Profile image for Sarika Kewalramani

Dr Sarika Kewalramani

Senior Lecturer in Education
PhD, Monash University, Australia

Biography

Sarika Kewalramani is a Senior Lecturer in STEM Education at Swinburne University of Technology and the Course Director of Bachelor of Education Primary course. She has been a primary/secondary science, chemistry and mathematics teacher for 10+ years in Australia. Her versatile experiences in PreK-12 contexts, affiliation with primary and secondary public and independent schools/preschools in Victoria, including being a secondary school’s Head of Science Domain (2010-2014) guides her research to enhance STEM education opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Her PhD research contributed to the understanding of Australian immigrant families cultural beliefs and values, and experiences in shaping students’ STEM career choices.

STEM is being prioritised as an education reform agenda. In line with this, Sarika leads a strategic program of research exploring inclusive STEM and Robotics teaching and learning strategies codesigned by teachers, parents, and communities for children’s STEM engagement. Sarika is the founder of the evidence-based program ‘Improving Child Social and Emotional Development with Robotics Play’ funded by Vic DET, School readiness funding early years unit - https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/providers/funding/Pages/program.aspx?queryid=190    accessible for Victorian early childhood professionals, parents and allied health professionals for building children’s literacy and numeracy skills through STEM-based play. The program’s website (ongoing development of age-appropriate resources) https://www.inclusive-robotics.com/   provides educators and families (currently involving 8 kindergarten services, one primary school in the Northern Territory and 12 families from low SES Victorian communities) with the tools and resources to engage children in STEM and robotics play. 


Within her repertoire of funded research, Sarika works very closely with community stakeholders such as STEM Incubators, STEM Sisters and policymakers (such as OECD, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia MOE, Vietnam MOET) to implement research-based curricula programs for STEM education.


She has also been involved in projects funded by Digital Learning & Teaching Victoria looking at improving participation in STEM, one of which she worked with primary Catholic schools in disadvantaged areas of Melbourne to codesign and evaluate a STEM and technologies integrated unit of work. Through 5+ years of research, a key outcome has been the development of an all-inclusive STEM and Technology integration pedagogical framework (see publications list below) currently being employed for teachers’ professional development within international contexts.   


To translate research into impactful outcomes in Robotics and STEM teaching and learning, Sarika regularly gets invited by education and industry stakeholders (e.g., Australian Journal of Early Childhood Symposium, Early Childhood Australia Resource Hub, STEM Sisters, Monash Robogals, Inspiring Girls Australia) to deliver panel webinars, media interviews and keynote/conference presentations  Sarika’s recent research investigates how teachers and parents can support children with additional diverse needs (e.g. EAL, language delays, ADHD) with social-emotional development using inclusive STEM and robotics-play practices. 
    

Sarika is the Co-convenor of European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) SIG 'Digital Childhoods, STEM and Multimodality' where she established and leads the STEM workstream. She has built a strong international presence through her international collaborations by being an active member of EECERA, European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Australian Science Education Research Association (ASERA).

In 2023, Sarika was awarded the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) - Early Career Researcher Award for the project investigating the integration of Indigenous Science content and pedagogical knowledge into teacher education science curricula programs. Most recently, Sarika was nominated for ATEA's Victoria State Leader where she mentors early career teacher educator academics and builds a community of practice in improving teacher education research initiatives. 

Sarika has also received prestigious and competitive awards such as 2023 Vice Chancellors Future Focused Research award for her project - Robotics Play for STEM teaching-learning in ECE, as well as 2023 Deans Nomination Award for excellence in Teaching, Research and Service in Teacher Education. 




Research interests

teacher professional learning; STEM education; child wellbeing and development; digital technologies integration and practice

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

Honours

Available to supervise honours students.

Teaching areas

Education;teacher inclusive practice;STEM teaching and learning;early childhood and primary teacher education

Awards

  • 2024, National, Nominated member of the Australian Technologies Teacher Educators Network, GROK Academy
  • 2023, Swinburne, Vice Chancellors Future Focused Research award, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2023, National, Early Career Researcher Award, Australian Teacher Education Association
  • 2023, Swinburne, Deans Nomination Award for excellence in Teaching, Research and Service in Teacher Education, Swinburne University of Technology
  • 2019, International, European Science Education Research Association Travel Award for early career researcher, European Science Education Research Association

Professional memberships

  • 2023 - 2025: Board Member, Australian Teacher Education AssociationAust, Australia
  • 2019 (current): Committee Member, European Early Childhood Education Research Association, United Kingdom
  • 2023 - 2025: Committee Member, Science Teacher Association Victoria, Australia
  • 2023 - 2023: Select, 7th INTER-CONVERSATIONS international online forum in EC education, Hong Kong
  • 2022 (current): Reviewer, European Early Childhood Education Research Association conference, United Kingdom
  • 2020 (current): Reviewer, Australian Academy of Science - Onliine version of Primary Connections curriculum framework, Australia
  • 2021 (current): Expert Witness, improving child social and emotional development with therapy robot play - Department of Training, Victoria, School Readiness funding program teacher PD , Australia
  • 2023 - 2023: Honorary Member, STEM Sisters, Australia
  • 2023 - 2023: Expert Witness, STEM Sisters Soapbox invited speaker, National Science Week, Australia

Publications

Also published as: Kewalramani, Sarika; Kewalramani, S.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2024: Improving child social and emotional development with robotics play *; Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • 2023: Improving child social and emotional development with robotics play *; Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • 2023: Improving child social and emotional development with robotics play *; Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • 2023: Improving child social and emotional development with robotics play *; Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • 2023: STEM and robotics play *; Collier Charitable Trust
  • 2022: (Victorian DET) Improving child social and emotional development with robotics play *; Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • 2022: Improving child social and emotional development with robotics play *; Victorian Department of Education and Training
  • 2022: STEM Hub *; Invergowrie Foundation

* Chief Investigator