Today I joined students and mentors to launch the Science Mentors ACT program at Melrose High School. Science Mentors ACT provides participating students with genuine and professional experience from leading experts in the science and engineering fields.
Science Mentors ACT is an expansion of the Academic Curriculum Extension (ACE) Science Mentors program at Melrose High School that was initiated in 2008 and offers quality projects in fields such as physics, aeronautical engineering, forensics and gene research.
For the first time, this program is available to public school students across Canberra in Years 9 to 12 the opportunity to partner with well-respected science and engineering professionals to design and conduct experiments, collect and analyse data, and report on their findings.
56 students from various schools having recently met their mentors to discuss research topics as diverse as astronomy, pathology and ecology. It is great to see that almost 50 per cent of the students taking part in the Science Mentors ACT program are girls.
It will be great to see how these students will explore their world and potentially tackle the scientific challenges of future generations.
STEM skills are increasingly important for workplace innovation and productivity. Many growing and emerging industries will require people with STEM skills, so it is important that students develop these skills through their schooling. I am confident that Canberra will continue to be a leader in this space.
The ACT Government’s commitment to STEM education includes establishment of the Centre for Innovation and Learning, a purpose-built STEM facility for ACT public school students in Tuggeranong, and the north side hub of the Academy of Future Skills at University of Canberra Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra, opening later this year.
This initiative is a $5.7 million commitment to establish a STEM hub in the north of Canberra and scale successful programs, such as Science Mentors ACT, that connect students with industry and tertiary institutions, and promote STEM pathways for all students.
The ACT Government’s commitment to STEM education also includes the establishment of the Centre for Innovation and Learning, a purpose-built STEM facility for ACT public school students in Tuggeranong, and the recent announcement to implement an Academy of Future Skills.