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As we move into an era of fast-paced technological disruption, an innovative STEM-skilled workforce will be essential for the growth of our nation and economic prosperity.

There is a clear current and future need for STEM-skilled talent. STEM skills are already in high demand, growing 1.5 times faster than demand for other jobs. The New South Wales Government has made a ten-year $25 million endowment to the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) to establish the Generation STEM initiative to attract, support, retain and train NSW students in STEM and school, into further education and into employment.

Generation STEM will deliver programs that attract more diverse, high‐potential high school students into NSW‐based STEM educational pathways (higher education and vocational education and training) and retain top performers in NSW‐based STEM employment and/or further education.

CSIRO is working closely with industry and the education sector to develop and deliver programs that have proven impact, with a clear focus on achieving measurable results.

CSIRO - Community Partnership Program - STORY - Sarah Redfern v2 

[Music plays and images flash through of different CSIRO activities featured inside a split circle which eventually morphs into the CSIRO logo]

[Image changes to show a view of the Sarah Redfern High School]

[Image changes to show Cr Margaret Chivers talking to the camera outside the school and text appears: Cr Margaret Chivers, Councillor, Campbelltown City Council]

Margaret Chivers: So, today we are here with the students who have just taken part in the STEM Community Partnership Programme. 

[Image changes to show Margaret and four students in conversation behind a model of a city and then the image changes to show a model bus moving along a road in the model city]

They’ve led me through their project by showing me what their vision for their future is. 

[Image changes to show a model aeroplane moving along a runway and then the image changes to show a model aeroplane sitting on a runway outside of a model airport]

We are about to have an aerotropolis built we call it down the road although it’s 30 minutes away. 

[Images move through of the model’s Campbelltown Aerotropolis and Western Sydney International Airport signs, a model bus passing the airport, then Margaret and students standing behind the model]

And they have incorporated that aerotropolis and shown us the impact of how that’s going to impact on our city. 

[Image changes to show each of the four students showing Margaret different parts of the model city]

Not only have they talked about transport, infrastructure, they’re also talking to me about people and that’s one of the most important things about this project.

[Image changes to show Nikie Tran standing next to Shafeeya Khan while talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a bus travelling around the model city and text appears: Nikie Tran, Year 10 student, Sarah Redfern High School, Shafeeya Khan, Year 10 student, Sarah Redfern High School]

Nikie Tran: The project was about addressing the current issues of society and putting it all together in one big model.

[Image changes to show Shafeeya Khan standing next to Nikie Tran while talking to the camera]

Shafeeya Khan: Basically we’ve integrated solutions from each of these issues. 

[Images move through to show a close up view of the paper trees on the model city, the lights in the buildings, a bus travelling on the road, and then the four students in discussion with Margaret]

Problems such as aging, technology, and renewable energy, things like that, and created it as a diorama of the future of Campbelltown. 

[Image changes to show another view of the four students in discussion with Margaret and then the image changes to show Shafeeya standing next to Nikie while talking to the camera]

It’s so important that we think of innovative and sustainable and economically friendly solutions to our modern day problems. 

[Image changes to show five students and a male teacher each engaging in discussion while sitting around a laptop in a library couch area]

Nikie Tran: See I think the most exciting thing about the project over all is that we were able to collaborate with not only our classmates but also talk to many of the people outside our usual social circle.

[Image changes to show Nikie standing next to Shafeeya while talking to the camera]

You know it was great gathering all perspectives and also incorporating our own to create a very innovative and accommodating solution for everybody.

[Image changes to show Stephan Wagner talking to the camera and text appears: Stephan Wagner, Regional Manager, Western Sydney, AusIndustry]

Stephan Wagner: The CSIRO and I had this discussion about how myself as a STEM professional, where I could potentially motivate young students at the local high schools. 

[Image changes to show a model bus travelling around the model city and making a U turn] 

What I really found exciting was how the students integrated the language that they use in the classroom around the circular economy. 

[Images move through of Stephan talking to the camera and then the camera pans over different buildings and parts of the model city]

And then seeing what the children brought to life; there’s solar energy, hydrogen energy, waste, recycling, thermal recycling, a great way of connecting industry to schools, to science. 

[Camera zooms in on the model city’s WSU School of Medicine sign next to the Children’s Hospital and then the image changes to show Stephan talking to the camera]

It was very inspiring and it can give us lots of confidence that our future is in good hands.

[Image changes to show Nikie standing next to Shafeeya while talking to the camera and then the camera pans over the trees in the model city’s Koala Habitat]

Nikie Tran: So, I thought the project was an amazing opportunity to think outside the box for once and you know think about what we, as young people, are capable of and how we can change the world and the future of Campbelltown. 

[Images move through of a male student working at his laptop, a rear view of a male student moving through a 3D computer model of the city, Nikie talking to the camera, and the 3D model on a screen]

It’s so exciting to live in a STEM and a technological driven world especially as young people today where we interact with it every day but we don’t really know the real mechanics behind it and how it works. So, it was really exciting to have that opportunity and it was thrilling to experience that.

[Image changes to show Shafeeya standing next to Nikie while talking to the camera and then image changes to show a rear view of a male student looking at a 3D model of the city on a computer screen]

Shafeeya Khan: Well, STEM is everywhere considering that we’re advancing into a technologically based society. In everything STEM is integrated. 

[Image changes to show Nikie standing next to Shafeeya while talking to the camera]

Nikie Tran: I think after completing this project this has really helped me ease into the world of STEM so it’s definitely something that I’ll consider in the future.

[Image changes to show a rear view of a male student looking at a 3D model of the city on a computer screen and then the image changes to show Margaret talking to the camera]

Margaret Chivers: The STEM Community Partnership Programme is exciting. 

[Image changes to show a model bus moving along the road of the model city with Margaret and four students in discussion behind and then the image changes to show three students laughing]

It embodies hope, that is hope for our future. 

[Images move through of Margaret in discussion with four students, a model bus travelling along a road on the model city, students listening to Margaret, and then a close view of the model airport]

And when you talk to the students who have taken part in this STEM project they are truly excited about the future and so that, that really excites me. 

[Image changes to show Margaret talking to the camera]

What I loved about it were there were, it wasn’t, it wasn’t gender heavy. 

[Image changes to show four students in discussion while walking along a path]

There were boys and there were girls and there was no difference to their passion. They were concerned about their home.

[Image changes to show Margaret talking to the camera]

 I just think our future is in very, very, safe, and capable hands.

[Music plays and the CSIRO logo and text appears on a white screen: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]

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How will students benefit?

  • Exposure to real-world applications of STEM.
  • Development of problem-solving skills.
  • Heightened awareness of local STEM career pathways and opportunities.

How will communities benefit?

  • Higher levels of youth engagement in solving community challenges by engaging with industry and local government.
  • Engaging STEM-based activities for students, which may increase transferable skills and encourage interest in continuing STEM-based study.
  • Enhanced connections between local schools, local industry and the broader STEM networks.
  • Increased number of 'work-ready' students transitioning into the local STEM workforce.

Governance arrangements

To assist with the strategic direction of the program, SIEF has appointed a panel of highly regarded STEM professionals to the Generation STEM Consultative Council to provide advice and recommendations. CSIRO Education and Outreach manages and delivers Generation STEM, consulting bi-annually with the council regarding the direction and programs of the initiative.


Learn more about Generation STEM

To learn more about Generation STEM or to register your interest in the STEM Community Partnerships Program, contact the team.

Contact the Generation STEM team

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