Students from three local Hills Shire high schools have showcased their innovative ideas that aim to solve real-world problems at the STEM Community Partnerships Program showcase, part of the CSIRO Generation STEM initiative.
Generation STEM, managed by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is a 10-year initiative to support, train, and retain NSW students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program is made possible by the NSW Government.
Students from Baulkham Hills High School, Hills Adventist College and Kellyville High School worked with local businesses and organisations including Western Sydney University, Hearing Connections, and The Hills Shire Council, on real life scenarios which affect local communities and industries. Marian Catholic College and Santa Sophia Catholic College also participated in the program.
Students displayed their work in the end of year showcase, recently held at Council’s Administration Building in Norwest. These projects ranged from the efficiency of hydroponics to housing sustainability, infrastructure, energy and transport.
“These scenarios are multi-faceted, but these students have done an incredible job at finding solutions through science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi said.
“Knowledge in science and technology is so critical, especially in terms of the jobs that will be needed in the future.
“I hope this program has inspired students to keep an interest in these subjects, and maybe one day, I will see them solving even more problems through STEM,” Mayor Gangemi added.
The showcase marks the end of the first year of a three-year partnership between the Council and Generation STEM.
Mayor Gangemi said Council is proud to partner with CSIRO.
“This is a very important initiative that highlights all the different STEM careers and the opportunities available to young people.”
“Whether it is delivering technical solutions in a world with more computers, processors and data; or making the most of the Western Sydney International Airport and Aerotropolis – knowledge-based jobs are the way of the future,” he added.
Lisa Greenlees, a Baulkham Hills High School Science Teacher, participated in the STEM Community Partnerships Program for the first time in 2022. She said that hands-on experiences are essential for students.
“They see these opportunities as a way of integrating their knowledge with what’s happening around them. The STEM Community Partnerships Program has also been crucial in showing schools and students the links between the different subject areas.
“So that science, technology, engineering and maths are brought together as one curriculum unit of work. The future is looking bright for this generation of students,” she said.
Ms Greenlees also said that the link with CSIRO has been phenomenal. It’s given the students and teachers inspiration and the opportunity to visit places like the Western Sydney International Airport.
CSIRO Director of Education and Outreach Ruth Carr said the collaboration between the Council, local schools and industry helps to strengthen the NSW STEM talent pipeline and inspire more students to pursue STEM-related careers.
“The end of year showcase is a fantastic opportunity for the students to share what they’ve learnt through the STEM Community Partnerships Program.”
“Congratulations to the students, teachers, parents and industry partners. They’ve all done an outstanding job,” Ms Carr said.
Generation STEM will continue in 2023.