STEM Together is a new national 5-year program delivered by CSIRO in partnership with the BHP Foundation, which aims to increase inclusion and participation of under-represented, high-potential students in STEM. The program will focus on students in Years 5 to 10, and the people and communities who support them.
STEM Together will work in collaboration with students, educators, family, carers and local industry to build interest, confidence and capability in STEM. Pathways and programs will be co-designed within communities to unlock local opportunities and build supportive networks for student STEM engagement.
Using a participant-centred, strength-based approach, the program will provide support to students, particularly those who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, students who identify as female, are from regional and remote areas, and/or students from low socio-educational advantage areas.
It will recognise and celebrate a STEM supportive community and collaboratively develop pathways for student growth.
Embedding a "try, test, learn" methodology at every level, STEM Together will celebrate curiosity, creativity and innovation, problem solving, perseverance, resourcefulness, connectedness, learning and growth. Programs, resources and recognition criteria will reflect these values, ensuring students are supported to reach their potential.
In 2022, the program will be delivered in the following stages.
Support (September - October 2022)
Educators, students and those supporting STEM learning can access a range of STEM Together events and resources. These include, but are not limited to, guest speakers, Q&A sessions with CSIRO scientists, interactive workshops and educator professional learning events.
Focus areas include:
- strength-based approaches to confidence building, inclusion and engagement
- inquiry science
- Responsible Innovation/design thinking
- STEM-spiration annual theme: 2022 - Ending Plastic Waste.
Recognition (November 2022)
Participants will be able to nominate people or projects that have demonstrated the STEM Together values in action, for recognition and rewards. Selected nominations will receive tailored support and personalised experiences based on their STEM aspirations.
Experiences (December 2022 - February 2023)
Experiences may take the form of mentoring, placement opportunities, equipment, networking/development camps, or local celebration events to highlight and showcase achievements.
All experience recipients will be invited to become Alumni, for ongoing networking and capability building, and to advise CSIRO on ongoing program improvement.
Local connection between students, family/carers and educators is vital to support student success.
STEM Together will collaborate to build and strengthen connection opportunities between participants, STEM mentors, alumni, experience and industry partners.
Collaborators will be invited to support continual improvement of the program.