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The Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) is for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students with an interest and aspiration in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

What is ASSETS?

Year 10 students from across Australia come together for a nine-day residential summer school and have continued contact and connection with a leadership program through Years 11, 12 and beyond. Students have their interests and abilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, energised by working with mentors, traditional science knowledge holders, other STEM professionals and researchers. Students connect with local community leaders and spend time in leading research facilities being exposed to contemporary science and research.

Following the summer school, students join the ASSETS alumni network where they can participate in work placements, get connected with STEM opportunities and continue to network with the growing ASSETS community.

Learn more

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[Animation image appears of a high school building and then symbols of cogs, a network, an atom, and Pi appear surrounding the school building and linked to the building by wavy lines]

Narrator: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander high school students have in their interests and abilities and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, energised by ASSETS,

[Image changes to show a circular blue dot pattern and the word “ASSETS” and then “STEM” appear above and then the image changes to show the CSIRO and the BHP Foundation logos]

the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science programme part of the indigenous STEM education project delivered by CSIRO and funded by BHP Foundation.

[Animation image shows the blue circular dot pattern moving down the screen and linked by a line to numbers counting up to 9 and then linked to the high school building and the camera zooms in]

ASSETS starts with an intensive nine day residential summer school for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students completing Year 10, followed by a leadership and support programme through their senior schooling and beyond.

[Animation image changes to show a classroom of students looking at a whiteboard and then wavy lines appear linking symbols of dancing, speaking, music notes and a book to the classroom]

During the programme, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander leaders mentor students to engage with local communities through stories, dance, song and knowledge systems.

[Image shows more symbols appearing showing a professor, a hand holding a pen, and a person next to a robotic arm, surrounding the classroom and then the image changes to show a microscope]

Students work with academic and industry groups including faculties from the local universities allowing them to explore a particular area of STEM and learn more about opportunities in the field.

[Animation image shows a female appearing next to the microscope looking into it]

Independent scientific enquiry projects provide students with an experience of conducting their own scientific investigation.

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Interwoven throughout the programme is a strong focus on personal development.

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By working in groups and getting hands on experience students gain new confidence and build valuable new networks.

[Animation image changes to show students looking at a whiteboard in a classroom and then laptops appearing in front of the students]

Engaging local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander scientific knowledge practitioners and community leaders creates an environment

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where students know, value and develop their cultural voices and perspectives.

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For many students this can be a life changing experience

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helping to focus their future academic and career pathways.

[Animation image shows clapping sticks appearing next to the blue circular dot pattern and then the image moves to the right and a satellite dish can be seen on the left of the screen]

An evaluation of the programme has shown that ASSET students gain a deeper understanding of cultural identity, scientific enquiry and the various STEM education and career opportunities available.

[Animation image shows waves appearing above the satellite dish and then the image shows a hand pointing to a bird pattern appearing in the star constellation above the satellite dish]

The programme has also been shown to have achieved a substantial impact on students’ aspirations, understanding and confidence in pursuing a career in STEM.

[Animation image changes to show tessellating hexagons and text appears inside one of the hexagons: 79%]

Surveys of ASSETS participants showed that after attending summer schools the proportion of students that intended to study in a STEM field at university increased by 18% from 61% to 79%.

[Animation image changes to show liquid being poured into a measuring jug and numbers appear in the liquid in the measuring jug, counting through from 51% to 76%]

The proportion that intended to have a career in STEM increased from 51% to 76%.

[Animation image changes to show hands raised in the air and the image shows numbers counting through from 59% to 97%]

And the proportion that had a good understanding of STEM careers increased from 59% to 97%.

[Animation image changes to show the circular blue dot pattern again and text appears beneath: CSIRO.au/indigenous-education]

If you want to learn more about the evaluation findings of this project, visit CSIRO.au/indigenous-education.

[Music plays and the image changes to show the CSIRO and the BHP Foundation logos on a white screen]

Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science

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Important statistics

499

students have participated

15

summer schools

71%

of ASSETS alumni progress to university

79%

of participants intend to study in a STEM field at university

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