STEM professionals and parliamentarians will visit classrooms at over 300 schools across Australia as part of the STEM in Schools program, run by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, which aims to make STEM careers more visible and relatable.
The STEM in Schools initiative will allow students to hear directly from the professionals who tackle national challenges, ranging from climate change to our ageing population and food security, as part of their work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Held annually, STEM in Schools is a national volunteer program that facilitates partnerships between schools and industry.
CSIRO’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley said Australia’s future prosperity will need a workforce with high STEM literacy. “Science creates new industries, new jobs and shapes the minds and aspirations of our future leaders,” she said. “We can’t think about science as something which is locked away in a lab; it connects and drives everything we touch and do.”
Dr Foley added, “It’s also pretty exciting when your work can have an enormous impact and make a difference in people’s lives and around the world, which is what I love about working in science and at CSIRO.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, said studying STEM subjects could lead to a career in anything from astronomy and space science to biology and even politics.
“The skills I have acquired as an engineer have served me well, from the floor of power stations I worked in, to the floor of the House of Representatives,” Minister Andrews said.
“STEM skills can be the launch-pad of many careers and will also be essential in many others, so we need to inspire all students to take up and stick with STEM subjects.”
CSIRO’s Director of Education and Outreach Mary Mulcahy said as the national science agency, CSIRO has a proud history of delivering innovative learning opportunities to inspire the STEM leaders of the future. “Connecting students to real life STEM experiences is an important part of helping students see their path from the classroom to solving national challenges with their work.
“STEM professionals can make subjects come to life by sharing their work and their excitement about what they do.”
Ms Mulcahy also called for more STEM professionals and teachers to join the CSIRO’s STEM in Schools program. For more information, please click here.