From coding and robotics to biodiversity and bushfire regeneration, Blue Mountains students are learning new skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The development is thanks to a partnership between Blue Mountains City Council and Australia's national science agency, CSIRO.
Launched in the Blue Mountains in 2022, CSIRO's STEM Community Partnerships Program aims to attract, support, and retain students in STEM careers and study.
The program provides Year 7-10 students with an opportunity to engage in STEM inquiry-based projects to address local real-world STEM challenges.
This year Mountains Christian College in Blackheath has been active participants in the STEM Community Partnerships Program. Students are creating STEM-based solutions for bushfire regeneration and challenges with biodiversity in the Blue Mountains.
Students have had the opportunity to visit local industry sites and connect with industry professionals. They will present their solutions to the wider Blue Mountains community at the annual end-of-year showcase, to be held in November.
"It's important that our local students stay up-to-date with the fast-paced growth of STEM subjects, for their own careers and to make a difference in our community," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.
"The program is providing opportunities for students to develop their STEM skills in a meaningful and engaging way, by giving them the chance to address real-world STEM challenges. I look forward to seeing the work of our local students at the upcoming end-or-year showcase."
Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said "this work is complementary to the Albanese Government's commitment to build a diverse STEM workforce drawing on people from all walks of life".
"We know that an early interest in science and technology can create the pathway to a long-term STEM job that can make a real difference in our country," she said.
The STEM CPP is managed by the CSIRO and made possible by the NSW Government's $25 million endowment to the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).
Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle said: "I am pleased that the NSW Government supports strong partnerships between local schools and industry: that it fosters and encourages students' curiosity, initiative and critical thinking via building the future STEM workforce."
More information about the program can be found at www.csiro.au/en/education/Programs/Generation-STEM
To find out how your school or organisation can be involved, contact generationSTEM@csiro.au.
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