In its inaugural year, the 2016 Indigenous STEM Awards ran as a pilot program. Nominations were invited from students, teachers, schools, scientists and STEM champions who had been participating in the Indigenous STEM Education Project. Nominations for the Indigenous STEM Professional Award were sought nationally. In future years, all awards will target a national audience.

Applications for the 2016 Indigenous STEM Awards opened on Monday 12 September and closed on Sunday 16 October 2016, and the award winners were announced nationally in early December 2016. All winners were invited to act as Indigenous STEM ambassadors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth during 2017.

In promoting high aspiration and the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the Indigenous STEM Awards recognised the critical role of inquiry based learning. Effective inquiry increases student ability to apply the critical thinking skills of planning, conducting, processing and evaluating. The awards also recognised the immense value of connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with inspirational STEM role models, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

The seven 2016 awards fell into three categories as follows:

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student STEM Achievement

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student STEM Achievement category included three student awards which recognised improvement and increased engagement in STEM and ability in applying inquiry skills. The awards targeted students participating in the Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2), PRIME FuturesASSETS or the Bachelor of Science (Extended) programs.

School, Teacher and STEM Champion

The School, Teacher and STEM Champion category included three awards which recognised leadership and commitment in inspiring and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in their STEM studies. The awards targeted schools, teachers and those who have played a key role in one or more of the programs including Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2), PRIME FuturesASSETS or the Bachelor of Science (Extended).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional

This national award recognised and celebrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM professionals who are making significant contributions to their field by establishing, managing or undertaking key STEM initiatives, programs and/or research.

Our 2016 Indigenous STEM Awards co-ordinator helped us look for an outstanding Indigenous science, technology, engineering or maths professional to inspire the next generation of young innovators - read more in our blog article Indigenous STEM Awards: discovering our stars.

The flowchart below illustrates the 2016 Awards eligibility pathways.

Flowchart illustrating the eligibility pathways for the Indigenous STEM Awards.

Indigenous STEM Awards eligibity pathways

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