Sunday, 06 May 2018 22:21

Questacon and Samsung shine spotlight on STEM education

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Questacon and Samsung have renewed their technology partnership for two more years to continue inspiring and engaging teachers and young Australians in science, technology, engineering and maths through Questacon Smart Skills workshops across the country.

Over the past three years of this partnership, the Smart Skills program has engaged more than 23,000 students and more than 2000 teachers from 290 schools across the country. Today’s announcement build on that success and allows the Smart Skills program to inspire thousands more students, teachers and communities in STEM with a practical context.

“This partnership between Questacon and Samsung has been a significant part of the success of the Questacon Smart Skills workshops and we are delighted to continue our work together to engage and inspire young Australians,” Questacon director, Professor Graham Durant, said.

“By working in partnership with industry leaders, Questacon ensures our programs involve industry insight and real world experiences to excite and engage students in STEM and innovation. These partnerships enhance the work of Questacon and mean our programs have the best possible impact across the country."

The Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre, Questacon and Samsung celebrated on Friday their "continuing partnership by hosting a roundtable discussion on the role of creativity in STEM and the importance of STEM education for all young Australians.

"The panel discussed the need to engage and excite students in STEM, the way students can overcome their fear of failure and use it in the innovation process, and how the Questacon Smart Skills program works by integrating creative thinking with STEM concepts."

The panel included Professor Durant and Tess Ariotti, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Samsung, who said: “We cannot predict what the jobs of the future will be, but what we do know for certain is that educators, government, business and the wider Australian community all have a role to play in preparing the thinkers, innovators and community leaders of tomorrow with a range of adaptable skills that can be applied to a variety of future career paths.

“We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Questacon to help future generations from all corners of Australia access the opportunities and resources they need to reach their full potential.”

Speaking from their own first-hand experience as part of the panel discussion were students who have previously participated in Smart Skills workshops: Thomas Italiano from Perth and Carla Sanfrancesco from Canberra.

Both reflected on the impact the program made on them and their choices about future STEM studies and careers.

The final panellist was Tanya Riach from Condobolin, a teacher who has "experience with the Smart Skills program. Tanya gave a unique insight from an educator’s perspective about the ongoing pathways into STEM that this program provides".

The Questacon Smart Skills workshops are delivered by Questacon across the country throughout the year. They "invite students to challenge perceptions they have about their own abilities, foster an ongoing interest in STEM and develop the confidence to explore, create and try new ideas".

"Questacon and Samsung have been working together since 2014 to engage young people in design thinking. This continued technology partnership will enable Questacon to continue to deliver STEM programs to students and teachers in remote and regional areas across Australia.

"Together, Questacon and Samsung will continue to deliver the Smart Skills program and equip thousands of young Australians and their teachers with the technology, engineering and design skills necessary for the 21st century."

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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