The Indigenous STEM Awards recognise, reward and celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and scientists who are studying and working in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field, as well as the integral role schools, teachers and mentors have in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in pursuing STEM education and careers.

In its inaugural year, the 2016 Indigenous STEM Awards ran as a pilot program.

Nominations for the 2017 Indigenous STEM Awards are invited from students, teachers, schools, scientists and STEM champions who have been participating in the Indigenous STEM Education Project. Nominations for the Indigenous STEM Professional Awards and the Indigenous Student STEM Achievement Awards will be sought nationally.

The award winners will be announced nationally around March 2018. All Award winners will be invited to act as Indigenous STEM ambassadors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth during 2018.

In promoting high aspiration and the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the Indigenous STEM Awards recognise 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 recognise the immense value of connecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with inspirational STEM role models, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

Applications will open during October/November 2017.

The five award categories are as follows:

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student STEM Achievement Awards

To be eligible for this award the nominee must:

  • identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • be currently enrolled in university or senior high school
  • show passion, engagement and improvement in science, technology, engineering or mathematics
  • be on a STEM tertiary pathway
  • demonstrate effective inquiry competencies i.e. ability to apply the critical thinking skills of planning, conducting, processing and evaluating
  • demonstrate involvement in extra-curricular STEM activities (for example, work experience/placements that build inquiry skills, participation in science-mathematics student networks)
  • demonstrate leadership capabilities (e.g. mentoring other students).

Award winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the USA, as observers. The 2018 Intel ISEF will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 13-18 May, 2018.

School Award

Schools who are actively engaged in either the Inquiry for Indigenous Science StudentsPRIME Futures or Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities programs are encouraged to apply for this award.

Nominations may be submitted by principals and school staff.

The winning school will receive $10,000 to contribute towards progressing inquiry based learning within the school and incorporating local Indigenous knowledge that can be linked to the curriculum. The principal will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to represent their school at the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards held in Melbourne during February 2018.

The winning school will also be selected as the location for the announcement of all of the Indigenous STEM Awards winners, thus providing the school with a national profile for Indigenous STEM excellence.

To be eligible for this award the school must:

  • be participating in the Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2), PRIME Futures or Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities program
  • be effectively undertaking inquiry based learning (within I2S2 or Science Pathways) or RAMR cycle (within PRIME Futures) and be able to describe the impacts this is having on their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, non-Indigenous students and teachers
  • be engaging with local Traditional Owners/Indigenous community in the application of inquiry based learning or the RAMR cycle.

Teacher Award

Teachers who are participating either in the Inquiry for Indigenous Science StudentsPRIME Futures or Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities programs are encouraged to apply for this award.

Nominations for this award may be completed by colleagues, principals or be self-nominated.

The winner will receive an all expenses paid professional development experience to a cash value to be announced prior to applications opening.

To be eligible for this award the teacher must:

  • be a teacher that is participating in the Inquiry for Indigenous Science StudentsPRIME Futures or Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities program
  • have attended the respective Teacher Professional Development sessions
  • be implementing the respective program resource materials and activities
  • describe the impact of using the respective program resource materials and activities
  • demonstrate effective engagement with the local Indigenous community in incorporating Indigenous knowledge into the classroom.

STEM Champion Award

This award celebrates STEM professionals, communities, organisations and individuals who are contributing to the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in achieving their STEM aspirations.

The award targets those who have played a key role in one or more of the programs: Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students, PRIME Futures, Science Pathways for Indigenous CommunitiesASSETS or the Bachelor of Science (Extended).

Nominations for this award may be completed by teachers, principals, students or be self-nominated. The winner will receive a prize to be announced prior to applications opening.

To be eligible for this award the nominee must:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Awards

The winner will serve as an Indigenous STEM Education ambassador and receive opportunities to build their career profile through media and conference speaking opportunities to a significant cash value to be announced prior to applications opening.

Finalists will be chosen and promoted as positive role models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across the country for the duration of the Indigenous STEM Education Project.

Nominations for this award may be completed by members of the community, academics, and other STEM professionals or may be self-nominated.

To be eligible for this award the nominee must:

  • identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
  • hold a tertiary qualification
  • be making significant contributions to key STEM initiatives, programs and/or research
  • demonstrate suitability and capacity to act as a role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • be endorsed by two referees.

For more information or for assistance with the application process, please contact the Indigenous STEM Awards team at indigenous-stem-awards@csiro.au or phone +61 2 4960 6200.

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