The need to get more students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) was an important focus of an Education Council meeting today.
The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said development of a national STEM in school education strategy, which the Education Council has agreed to, was a key recommendation of a review by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb.
“High quality school STEM education is critically important for Australia’s productivity and economic wellbeing, both now and into the future,” Mr Pyne said.
“Education Council members will work together to develop a national strategy to encourage more students to study STEM subjects, to support school teachers to teach these subjects, and to increase participation in STEM careers.”
Funding of $12 million has been invested in four STEM education initiatives as part of the Industry, Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which are:
• the development of innovative mathematics curriculum resources
• supporting the introduction of computer coding across different year levels
• establishing a P-TECH-style school pilot site
• funding summer schools for STEM students from underrepresented groups.
“We’re making great progress, including the recent release of two new science units under our Science by Doing initiative, as well as professional development workshops for primary school teachers under the Primary Connections programme,” Mr Pyne said.
“We are restoring the focus on STEM subjects in schools and making sure our teachers get more instruction on STEM during initial teacher training
“I’m pleased the Education Council has united to boost STEM study, with members from all levels of government in Australia, as well as New Zealand Ministers responsible for school education, early childhood development and youth affairs.”