Full of enthusiasm with brainstorming ideas, excited Year 7 students of Mulwaree High School and Years 5 and 6 students of Wollondilly and Bradfordville Public Schools were seen completing challenges as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program was officially launched in Goulburn.
The program links local schools with industries to engage students in STEM learning.
"Around 75% of all careers in the next 5-10 years will have some requirement for some STEM skills and knowledge. So, the kids need STEM to be able to find themselves a career in the future. The kids need to see how important STEM is and how there are opportunities to get excited about," said Annette Evans, a chemical engineer and guest speaker on the day.
Ingrid Clements, SISP Stem Officer for school, said that 'Hook Day' is meant to 'hook' the students.
"The students will now come up with a problem they want to solve in terms of renewable energy and will set about solving it. As we develop the project, they can see that STEM is a very real and necessary part of their lives.
There are gaps in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths fields. So, we are trying to tell the students that future jobs are going to be in these fields and the there are plenty of opportunities in rural regions," she said.
Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDA Southern Inland) is facilitating the relationship between local schools and local industry to provide students with age appropriate STEM skills and real-life STEM applications.
RDASI Project Officer Camilla Staff said that students have completed a set of STEM challenges.
"They have built mini models of swing and catapult. They were also introduced to the engineering process as to how to solve a problem and come up with ideas and solutions," she said.
"We are engaging with the wind farms and local renewable energy industry and on some occasion to help teach students about renewable energy and opportunities available there," she added.
Ken McKenzie, Science Teacher, said that the mini challenges help students to communicate, think critically and coming up with a creative project.
"In the next few months, we will be going to wind farms and solar farms," he said.
The SISP program is being funded by the New South Wales Department of Education.
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