More than 60 school girls will be supported in their passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as part of the Curious Minds program beginning this week.
Curious Minds is a six-month program for young women that provides specialist coaching programs, industry expert lectures, interactive sessions and field trips in the STEM field.
A group of 64 students from Years 9 and 10 from across Australia finished a week-long study course in Canberra today as part of the program.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said Curious Minds had a focus on students from regional and rural communities.
"The Morrison Government will provide $1.65 million to continue and expand Curious Minds, as part of its $109 million Women’s Economic Security Package," Mr Tehan said.
"Our Government’s additional funding will double the number of places in the program and enable 120 girls to participate each year.
"The Morrison Government is focussed on keeping the economy strong and supporting young women to pursue opportunities in STEM."
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said previous Curious Minds participants reported an increased interest, success and confidence in STEM subjects, with 70 per cent saying it helped them decide to pursue future studies in these fields.
"I am thrilled to see this program expand to reach more students. Four out of five participants said it boosted their confidence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and most of them agreed it increased their enjoyment of these subjects," Ms Andrews said.
"The Coalition is opening up more pathways for women and girls striving to study and work in the sciences because we know gender diversity and inclusion mean better performing teams, and better ideas and innovations."
Curious Minds is an invitational event for girls in Years 9 and 10 and is jointly delivered by the Australian Mathematics Trust and Australian Science Innovations. More information on Curious Minds is available at https://www.asi.edu.au/programs/curious-minds/