Home Strategy NBN Co launches STEM initiative for some schools

NBN Co launches STEM initiative for some schools

NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, has launched what it calls a STEM+X initiative to help educate students so they can achieve skills that will enable them to compete in the workforce.

A statement from NBN Co said eight schools would take part in the nation-wide pilot that aims to get students to apply their personal interests to learning science and technology.

The initiative has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Business Community Network "in order to get students excited about the possibilities of learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills by combining it with their hobbies and passions".

The first phase began on Wednesday, with a hands-on workshop at a Ballarat school which showed how technology could be applied to solve real-life problems. Other participating schools will hold similar workshops this month and in March.

The participating schools are:

  • Para Hills Primary School, Adelaide, South Australia;
  • Canadian Lead Primary School, Ballarat, Victoria;
  • Islington Public School, Newcastle, NSW;
  • Glenorchy Primary School, Hobart, Tasmania;
  • Leanyer Primary, Darwin, Northern Territory;
  • Invermay Primary School, Launceston, Tasmania;
  • Townsville Central State School, Townsville, Queensland; and
  • Beaconsfield Primary School, Perth, Western Australia.

After the workshops are held, the students will have to develop a STEM idea that will improve the future of their community or Australia and present it at the NBN Co's "Futurists’ Fair", a virtual competition that will be streamed live to the NBN Co headquarters in Sydney.

Experts, including Allegra Spender, chief executive at ABCN, Kathrine Dyer, chief network deployment officer at NBN Co, and Scott Gaunson and Brett Stanford from the STEM YouTube channel How Ridiculous will judge the entries.

Personnel from How Ridiculous will visit the winner's school and organise a day of science fun and present a tech prize pack to the school.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.