Friday, 10 August 2018 11:42

CSIRO promotes STEM careers to school students

By
Dr Karen Lee-Waddell with students. Dr Karen Lee-Waddell with students. CSIRO

The CSIRO will hold a STEM in Schools event today as part of National Science Week which runs from 11 to 19 August.

In a statement, the organisation said the event would bring real-world science, technology, engineering and maths into the classroom in a bid to increase student engagement and participation in STEM subjects.

As part of STEM in Schools, about 90 STEM professionals from organisations including the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and Defence Science and Technology will visit schools along with more than 50 MPs.

CSIRO astrophysicist Dr Karen Lee-Waddell, who is among the scientists taking part, said: “Research has shown that enrolments in STEM subjects are at a 20 year low, despite projections indicating that 75%of the fastest growing occupations will require STEM skills.

“Today’s event is about inspiring a curiosity that will encourage more students to pursue STEM as a foundation of their future.

“I was primary school-aged when someone first pointed the constellations out to me. All these years later I am still looking up at the night sky, only now I use Australia’s most powerful survey radio telescope. I want to show students how exciting STEM careers can be and, ideally, inspire some to follow that path.”

The CSIRO said students were being encouraged to learn more about different STEM careers by participating in a presentation by a STEM professional and taking part in activities to identify STEM professionals in their own neighbourhoods.

CSIRO Education and Outreach director Mary Mulcahy said: “STEM professionals can make subjects come to life by sharing their work and their excitement about what they do,” Ms Mulcahy said.

“We want teachers to be able to draw on the resources that STEM professionals can offer all year round, so we are calling for more STEM professionals and teachers to join our STEM Professionals in Schools program.

“Real world STEM belongs in our classroom, but we need real-world practitioners to help put it there.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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