2019 saw STEM continuing to be an important part of life both here in Australia and around the world. We recognised STEM careers in the
STEM in Schools event with CSIRO in Western Australia, we celebrated STEM Day Out, in Adelaide and the national government decided to continue with ELSA for a second year. We also commemorated inspiring South Australian STEM award winners from 2011-2019 in the STEM Awards. The Coalition Government also launched the Advancing Women in STEM strategy this year to encourage the participation of women in the STEM industry. STEM in 2019 definitely saw some exciting events happening around the country.
STEM for the future
Looking forward to 2020, STEM, the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is definitely on the up! We need to make sure that our youth are prepared for the things that are to come in this rapidly evolving economy. Considering many of today’s parents started our lives without the internet, we can only imagine what the next 30 years will bring.
How then are we able to make sure that the next generation of Australians is future-ready?
Science and technology classes are therefore essential in helping equip our youth with the necessary skills for their future. It also exposes learners to what is commonly referred to as “soft skills” – such as communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving and independent learning through project-based , hands-on activities.
Rather than teaching young learners through rote learning, STEM allows students the ability to learn on their own, under the watchful eyes of teachers. This allows them to absorb their newly learned information and retain that information for a longer period of time. Students are also given the responsibility, autonomy and pride in the work that they do. Working together in groups to solve problems, teaches them teamwork, leadership and social skills.
Our specially designed courses and workshops at STEMmates are aimed at preparing our Australian youth for the futures that we cannot yet imagine.
Our courses are aimed for learners as young as 7 years old and we hope that they will be inspired to continue learning long after their time with us at STEMmates is finished. We hope to add value to the education system of the country and make sure that our future workforce will be ready for anything.
To all the young learners (and their parents) who have worked with us this year: thank you for your support in 2019 and we look forward to
further cultivating curiosity, imagination and passion for STEM in 2020. Season’s Greetings and a very Happy New Year!
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM – is an acronym that cannot be ignored anymore. As the world advances and technological improvements continue, the need for new skills is increasing. Australia’s mining sector is also slowly taking a back seat while STEM industries emerge to take on the challenges posed by an ever-evolving and dynamic global economy.
Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC), if we changed just 1% of the current workforce’s roles into STEM-related positions, it could add AUD$57.3 billion back to Australia’s gross domestic product or GDP. They also mention that if Australia fails to take this leap, we could drop out of the world’s top 20 best economies by the year 2050.
Preparing Tomorrow’s Innovators
In order for Australia to be competitive in this relatively new STEM game, our workforce needs to be skilled enough to play. In 2015, the government launched the National Education STEM Strategy as part of a National Innovation and Science Agenda. AUD$65 million has been put aside for both the development of teachers and for specialized STEM programs in classrooms. The public library system also now offers programs and services to encourage more interest in STEM subjects. It is also our responsibility as adults to educate our young about the demand and necessity to be in tune with these subjects. We also need to continue upgrading ourselves in order to be able to pass the knowledge on to our country’s future innovators, researchers and leaders.
Teach STEM as a career
Many educational institutions and universities around the country now offer various courses, scholarships and internships for people aspiring to improve their STEM abilities and gain the credentials to teach. For example,
Monash offers a graduate certification in STEM education. The government has also introduced the Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarship Program for up to AUD$18,000 per individual to study at a vocational education institution or university.
There is also the Goldsmith Family Women in STEM scholarship which is aimed at Australian residents with an ATAR in the 90
th percentile. It offers individuals AUD$7,500 a year for each of their years of study and aims to entice more females to take on careers in STEM industries.
At STEMmates, our highly qualified teachers have gone through rigorous educational programs and constantly interact with parents of our students in hopes of building our STEMmates community. We look forward to more expressions of interest to grow this community of parents, friends and educators, who share in the vision of cultivating curiosity, imagination and passion for STEM. Find out how to get your children involved in our STEM-related courses through our
Facebook and website pages.
In 2008, the Women Who Tech non-profit organization was formed with hopes of supporting women involved with technology and to inspire other females to do the same. They also exist to try and get more funding for women-based start-ups.
Through their organization, they launched the Women Start-up Challenge, that is now held around USA and Europe. The challenge is a platform for female entrepreneurs in technology fields and so far, they have managed to raise over US$25 million. At the moment, only about
7% of investor funding goes to start-ups run by women and only 11% of the executives in Silicon Valley are women. Today, there are many other organizations like Women Who Tech run by empowered women all over the world.
In another example, Chiara Condi from France, who works with the organization Led By Her, is working with others to ensure that women affected by violence have a safe space to become entrepreneurs. She is currently working with top French business schools to provide a nine-month-long entrepreneurship program for women and is also giving away the courses for free to many. She is currently writing a manual to help entrepreneurs along the process from start to launch.
Women in tech and management
The Australian federal government is also backing women in technology. Recently they launched a 10-year plan to usher more women into STEM fields, which refers to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They also allocated AUD$3.4 million to improve the status of STEM equity in Australia.
many other people and entrepreneurs in STEM industries that agree that more women should be in management positions and should be encouraged to succeed. A study by Deloitte showed that women should play a bigger part in creating the products and services that will help drive the economy of the future.
The myth about women in tech
There has been a
widespread myth that women are not inclined to STEM subjects because they are too math and science related, where women are more creative-minded. This is a fallacy, simply because programming, coding, experimenting and problem-solving are all related to creativity.
STEMmates and tech
STEMmates promotes our STEM-related courses to both males and females from a young age. We hope to encourage all children to build their knowledge not only of STEM subjects but of soft skills too.
Analytical mindsets, critical thinking, communication skills and self-confidence are other values that our students emerge from our courses with. Thus, making sure that all the boys and girls that pass through our classes are ready to take on this technology-obsessed world.
Find out how to get your child involved through our
Facebook and website pages.
Nine years ago, Elizabeth Broderick, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the time, rang up 21 of Australia’s most powerful and influential men who held senior roles in organizations of various sizes, to ask them to use their power and influence to make a stand and create change for women in Australia. She did this after realizing through all of her travels in working for human rights, that gender discrimination is not something that can treated as just a women’s issue.
What is STEM?
STEM, or the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has started to take on a more important role in today’s world due to the rapid increase in technology in modern day society. STEM is also changing mindsets around the world in various industries, breaking boundaries, removing stereotypes and finding innovative solutions to problems that were not possible before.