The STEM Community Partnerships Program

The STEM Community Partnerships Program (STEM CPP) invites year 9 and 10 students to participate in STEM inquiry-based projects to address challenges faced by their local communities. Students are given privileged access to a variety of local businesses and role models, providing valuable insight into local STEM pathways.

The program is facilitated by teachers and schools, with mentors available through CSIRO's STEM Professionals in Schools program. Implementation is flexible, allowing student and school requirements to be met. A minimum commitment of two years is recommended for schools to ensure the program has the desired impact.

Activities available to students include:

  • Inquiry projects to address challenges faced by local communities. These are based on CSIRO's Creativity in Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) Awards program.
  • Visits to workplaces.
  • STEM-related work experience opportunities.
  • Attendance at local industry STEM careers events.
  • Masterclasses to assist with projects and work experiences.
  • Annual showcase of student projects.

[Image of high school students walking into Generation STEM showcase event at Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney]
[Image changes to shot of Generation STEM banner at showcase event]
[Image changes to a small robotic vehicle moving around a track]
[Image changes to students smiling with certificates]
[Image changes to Mary Mulcahy, Director, CSIRO Education and Outreach, speaking to camera]

The STEM Community Partnerships Program allows students to come up with an idea or a challenge that they've either identified themselves or that industry or local government has identified as a challenge for the future.

[Image changes to students talking about their projects while Mary continues to speak]

They then get an opportunity to investigate that and follow their own enquiry process to come up with a solution for it.

[Image changes to Mary as she continues to speak]

They also build resilience, they learn about teamwork, they learn about communication.

They learn about getting on with each other and coming up with an answer to a problem and having a product at the end.

[Image changes to a close-up of a project about water security]
[Image changes to photographer taking image of smiling students as Maice Hashem, a student from James Busby High School, starts her voiceover]
[Image changes to Maice Hashem speaking to camera]

Our project is an aeroponic desalinator, which works to challenge the water crisis and also we're thinking of combining it with our hydroelectric machine that was created by our other classmates to generate a system that was both sustainable with water and energy.

[Image changes to reverse osmosis demonstration and students looking at their projects as Maice continues speaking]
[Image changes back to Maice talking to camera]

Before we started this project, we thought of science as a pretty one-way path but we found out there were a lot of different branches and a lot of different people and a lot of different types of sciences worked together to make a lot of different types of projects.

[Image changes to people walking around the showcase event]
[Image changes to students posing for a photo]
[Image changes to students shining a torch on a solar panel project]
[Image changes to sun project and desalination project displays]
[Image changes back to Maice talking to camera]

I'm definitely considering something to do with science in the future, in my career path.

[Image changes to crowd of people watching speech by Mayor Wendy Waller from Liverpool City Council, as Wendy starts her voiceover]
[Image changes to Wendy speaking to camera]

What it means for Liverpool Council having this particular STEM project in the area is we're giving kids an opportunity to experiment with science and maths.

The future jobs that are out there - we don't know what they are, some of them - and so these sort of skills will be needed.

[Image changes to people watching a presentation as Ron Moore, General Manager, Camden Council, starts his voiceover]
[Image changes to STEM project close-ups]
[Image changes to Ron Moore, General Manager, Camden Council, speaking to camera]

Broadly, the thing that has impressed me most amongst the students is the practical nature of the challenge and the innovative way they've approached the solutions.

[Image changes to close-ups of projects about agriculture]

Both water cleanliness and food security and food production are critical things for the Camden local government area, which is one of the fastest growing local government areas in Australia.

[Image changes to Adriana Care, Chair, Camden Region Economic Taskforce on stage as her voiceover begins]
[Image changes to Adriana Care speaking to camera]

There were actually two projects that I looked at tonight from local students in Camden, where they actually looked at the problem in a very different way and what impressed me was that they basically looked outside the limits and what they can do to resolve the water and drought issue in Australia.

[Image changes to close-ups of STEM projects]
[Image changes to people walking into the Generation STEM showcase event]
[Image of students explaining their projects to people as Katherine Hannaford, Teacher and School Learning Innovator from Macquarie Fields High School begins her voiceover]
[Image changes to Katherine Hannaford speaking to camera]

I've been really enjoying seeing all the schools' projects today. I really am so impressed by the diversity of projects from all the different schools. Also, of course, I love what my students were able to create.
[Image of students explaining their projects to people]

They were so excited when they were being asked by councillors deeper questions and they would say: "Oh, I really like that. You explain more about it - I want to take it and show it to my council."

[Image changes to students describing their projects]

Because all of a sudden, what they had created in classroom had become a real thing that could actually benefit our community.

[Image changes to Kritika Kharel, Student, Macquarie Fields High School, speaking to camera]

We had a scenario and we really wanted to do something about energy, so we decided to use grey water in the house and create hydro-electricity for the entire household. It's very efficient and cheap and good for the environment as well.

[Image changes to Kritika and her classmates talking about their project]

I really like doing group work and collaborating with my team members and I also like learning new things about hydro-electricity and all these different scenarios and things to improve in Campbelltown.

[Image changes to Kritika to finish her voiceover]
[Image changes to close-ups of STEM projects]

[Image changes to Margaret Chivers, Campbelltown City Council, speaking to students as her voiceover begins]

What excited me about tonight was talking to the students and they were talking about STEM from their heart and not just their brains.

[Image changes to Margaret Chivers speaking to camera]

[Image changes back to Margaret talking to students]

The fact that when I asked them questions they gave me an answer that was STEM-based but then, when I probed, they talked about passion, they talked about vision and they talked about opportunity.

[Image changes to people enjoying the Generation STEM showcase]
[Image changes to a group of students and leaders posing for a photo]
[Image changes to wording on screen. “Generation STEM is managed by CSIRO and made possible by an endowment from the NSW Government to the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF).” SIEF and NSW Government logso appear. Final image displays web address www.csiro.au/generationstem]
 

Generation STEM Community Partnership Program Showcase

Western Sydney STEM CPP 

Western Sydney was chosen as the first location for the STEM Community Partnerships Program. Major industry developments in this region will generate 200,000 new STEM jobs over the next 20 years.

Generation STEM empowers local young people with an interest in STEM, enabling them to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to pursue a highly rewarding career in Western Sydney. Our ambition is to build a strong community of citizens who live, learn, work and play locally.

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