This guide aims to help teachers and students access over 250 science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes.
It takes fourteen years, or thereabouts, for young people to progress from pre-school to Year 12 in Australia. What happens to them in that time ought to concern us all.
We don’t want them to leave confident they know all there is to know. On the contrary, they ought to know that there is much they don’t know, because the knowledge is yet to be discovered, and they will have to seek it out for themselves.
We do want them to leave with the passion to be a seeker, the skills to do it effectively, and the imagination to make a wonderful life and career. And so we want them to be provided with a thorough grounding in the disciplines we group together as STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is the only way to build a competitive modern economy, and the best way to spread its opportunities throughout the community.
There is a powerful incentive here for Australian businesses, universities, state governments and science agencies, and many of them are rising to it. This document is a guide to the increasing number of programmes seeking to connect school students to the resources that these sectors can offer.
The initiatives in this booklet are putting STEM mentors into classrooms inspiring curiosity, harnessing digital technologies and bringing new ideas into education. At their best, they back the most important resource of all – our teachers – with the tools to make our students excited to learn.
We encourage schools, teachers, parents, students and employers to look to the opportunities these programmes might provide; and we hope their example will persuade many more organisations and STEM professionals to get involved. We all have a stake in great education.