The project provides supported pathways that aim to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in STEM-related professions. Recognising the fundamental importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity in student achievement, a strong cultural, as well as a rigorous academic focus, is guiding the development, implementation and evaluation of the program.

This five-year project is funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation. The six integrated program elements are aimed at increasing participation and achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The project builds on already successful education programs and will use hands-on, inquiry-based learning approaches as well as recognising and rewarding student achievement.

The six program elements together target: primary and middle school students in remote Indigenous communities; mainstream Indigenous students in upper primary and junior secondary schools across Australia; a select cohort of Year 10, 11 and 12 students from across Australia who have demonstrated aptitude in the sciences and mathematics; and tertiary students who otherwise might not have access to a university STEM education.

The diagram below shows how the various elements are interlinked and reinforce one another. Strategies will be implemented to encourage schools to become involved in multiple elements. For example, they might participate in both I2S2 and PRIME Futures, nominate students for ASSETS and Indigenous STEM Awards, and support students to apply for the BSc (Extended)

For more information, download our project overview brochure [pdf · 1mb].

Customised STEM Pathway diagram showing a flow chart spread across columns for lower primary, upper primary, junior secondary, senior secondary and tertiary school; and display the the various elements that make up the education program, how they are interlinked and reinforce one another.

Customised STEM Pathway diagram illustrating

  • target audience [students] - Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Junior Secondary, Senior Secondary, Tertiary
  • flow chart of components [inputs] -
  • SCIENCE PATHWAYS FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES 

     Target: Primary and middle school students in remote Indigenous communities 

     Method: On-country projects as the context for learning western science linked to language and traditional ecological knowledge
  • INQUIRY FOR INDIGENOUS SCIENCE STUDENTS

    Target: Primary and middle school students in mainstream metropolitan and regional schools 

    Method: Hands-on, inquiry-based projects using contexts relevant to Indigenous students
  • PRIME FUTURES

    Target: Primary and middle school students in mainstream metropolitan and regional schools 

    Method: Authentic, school-developed approaches that change the culture of the teaching and learning of mathematics for Indigenous students
  • ABORIGINAL SUMMER SCHOOL FOR EXCELLENCE IN TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE 

    Target: High-achieving Year 10 students 

    Method: Cultural and academic residential camp followed by a leadership mentoring program through Years 11 and 12
  • INDIGENOUS STEM AWARDS 

    Target: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student and STEM professionals as well as schools and teachers delivering excellence in STEM Education

    Method: High profile awards program rewarding excellence in STEM achievement
  • BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (EXTENDED) 

    Target: Indigenous students who show potential, but who might otherwise not have access to a BSc 

    Method: Extend the BSc by an extra year to provide academic skill development focussing on science and mathematics, and including explicit support for students 

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