CSIRO’s publishing business and education experts, Stile Education, signed a commercial contract yesterday to develop digital resources for school teachers focused on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
STEM education and careers are critical to building innovation for Australia’s future and about 75 per cent of the fastest-growing industries now require STEM skills.
Stile Education was founded in 2012 by Dr Alan Finkel who has a passion for ensuring schools have the resources and skills required to teach STEM in classrooms.
CSIRO Publishing Director Andrew Stammer said that just as children are using smartphones, social media and video games more regularly so teachers are embracing technology to ensure they are communicating on the same level.
“Making sure that kids actually engage in school work is an ongoing challenge for schools as more technology is used in our everyday lives,” Mr Stammer said.
In mid-2015, Dr Finkel and CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall came up with the idea of connecting CSIRO’s world-renowned science expertise and children’s publishing experience with Stile’s innovative digital education programs, with the aim of better engaging Australian students in STEM.
“We’ve been communicating about science to kids for the past 30 years through CSIRO’s Double Helix publications which explain science in a fun and engaging way,” Mr Stammer said.
“Through this new deal the Double Helix material will be incorporated into sophisticated digital lessons for kids.” These interactive, classroom-ready lessons will be accessible online and be readily modifiable by teachers, allowing customisation on a per class, or even per student level.
Students complete online activities that look like games but are actually educational science lessons. The results are then saved for teachers to review and mark.
The Double Helix Lessons will be linked to the Australian Curriculum and available on a subscription basis later this year.
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