14 Apr 2022
The future of work is changing. You might have heard the quote “we are preparing students for jobs that don’t exist yet exist – using technologies that haven’t yet been invented – in order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.”
While we might not know what these jobs of the future will be, we can be confident that there are fundamental components of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that will be essential for students in this new world of work.
The Crystallising STEM Careers project, from USC’s MIE Lab, aims to improve students’ perceptions of STEM subjects by providing STEM outreach programs in local primary and secondary schools. The mission is to increase students’ interest in transitioning to higher education and to help them see the many different pathways into STEM careers.
2022 is going to be an exciting year for all things STEM at USC! We have a full calendar of activity for students, teachers, parents, and the community, and we encourage you and your child to get involved in any STEM opportunities that are available. We’ve provided a brief summary of the opportunities below, and you can keep updated with MIE Lab on the website.
Secondary School program
The MIE Lab School Secondary programs use innovative STEM-focused career and technical education (CTE) designed by teachers for teachers. The programs focus on the development of computational thinking, science communication and science inquiry skills in Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students. Here is how we are bringing STEM lessons to schools this year:
- Year 7 -Students will explore the social, ethical and environmental considerations required in the creation of self-driving cars and design and program a self-driving car using an Arduino.
- Year 8 - Students will use critical and creative thinking in relation to current and future management and planning of Australia’s cities and regional urban centres. Students will use serious game technologies to develop their own 20min cities using the four pillars of Sustainable Neighbourhoods.
- Year 9 - Students will investigate how the brain’s structure and function underpin mental well-being and brain health. They will work in groups to design and develop their own artistic interpretation of a specific brain region.
- Year 10 - Students will participate and collaborate in a citizen science project to generate scientific knowledge on a current STEM project at USC.
Teachers of Tomorrow
A large part of increasing students’ interest in STEM subjects is to build teachers’ confidence in teaching STEM in the classroom. By training USC students to present STEM lessons in schools we are providing a great opportunity for students of education or related fields to gain unique hands-on teaching experience. Students can sign-up initially as volunteers but then quickly go onto paid work – no prior training needed! Presenters quickly become proficient in varied subjects across primary or secondary curricula and build confidence and enthusiasm they can pass along to their future students.
Parent and Community Focus
The Crystallising STEM Careers project realises the vital role of parents and community and encourages wider community awareness of the future of work and STEM careers. For the first time we are running a series of parent/carer workshops in 2022 to provide more information about the relevance of STEM. A community consultation was held in December 2021 at USC Sunshine Coast on content development for the workshops. Writers are currently working on finalising content for the workshops which will be held in primary and secondary schools across the regions.
About MIE Lab
The Crystallising STEM Careers project is a continuing initiative of the Make Integrate & Explore (MIE) Lab – a STEM outreach arm of USC. After securing government funding late last year MIE Lab has partnered with industry, schools and local businesses in the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay-Burnett, Moreton Bay and Regional Queensland to help drive the project’s success.
For more information about MIE Lab, visit our website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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