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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).

We are not currently taking applications for 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.

ASSETS has a long and vibrant history, starting in Adelaide in 1992. CSIRO has been delivering the ASSETS program since 2014 and now has 499 alumni across the country. ASSETS is part of the Indigenous STEM education project delivered by CSIRO and funded by the BHP Foundation.


[Music plays and a geometric type pattern appears on the right side of the screen and CSIRO, BHP Biliton logos and text appears: CSIRO My Path to ASSETS]

[Images move through of notes on paper, a computer screen, a group of students talking and a student taking a photo]

[Image changes to show Wayne Cawthorne talking to the camera and text appears: Wayne Cawthorne, ASSETS 2016, Newcastle]

Wayne Cawthorne: I would definitely recommend ASSETS to any person that’s eligible to go on the programme.

[Camera zooms in on Wayne Cawthorne and then images move through of students talking and then sitting in an auditorium listening and the camera zooms in on a student writing in a notebook]

Not only has it given me new friendships with people from all across the country but it gave me the experiences so I could reflect on myself and see just where I wanted to go in life.

[Image changes to show Lowanna Paulson talking to the camera and text appears: Lowanna Paulson, ASSETS 2017, Newcastle]

Lowanna Paulson: One of the great things about ASSETS is that it really helps you to build your confidence,

[Images move through of two students talking, students sitting in an auditorium listening and then a group of students making a presentation in the auditorium]

overcome your fears and get you more experience in working as a group and collaboratively with other people. I would definitely recommend it.

[Image changes to show a female looking at notes and then the image changes to show Lowanna Paulson talking to the camera]

It was one of the best experiences and I would definitely do it again.

[Image changes to show Elgina Kaitap talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a side view of Elgina Kaitap talking and text appears: Elgina Kaitap, ASSETS 2017, Newcastle]

Elgina Kaitap: I knew, like I had an idea of what I wanted to do but since going on the trip it’s like narrowed it down to like what I exactly want to do.

[Image changes to show a student reading notes and then the camera zooms up to the student’s face]

So, like I know what I’m looking for in my courses when I look for uni.

[Image changes to show Tiahni Adamson talking to the camera and text appears: Tiahni Adamson, ASSETS 2010, Adelaide]

Tiahni Adamson: When I started ASSETS I didn’t have any connection to my culture through family.

[Image changes to show a side view of Tiahni Adamson talking and then image changes to show students walking along an outside path]

So, ASSETS for me, really prompted me to find my father which was pretty incredible.

[Images move through of a male looking at a measuring device, an implement picking up leaves and the measuring device again]

So, I found him a few months after I finished ASSETS and yeah I’ve got a whole other half of my family now. So, that’s probably the best thing that I took away.

[Image changes to show a side view of Elgina Kaitap talking and then images move through of students working on a computer]

Elgina Kaitap: It helped me get a better understanding of the other student’s culture and like what they’ve been through and stuff like that.

[Image changes to show Elgina Kaitap talking]

So, it gave me like a deeper understanding of what, how like important culture is.

[Image changes to show Female 1 talking to the camera]

Female 1: I’ve had like heaps of fun with all the other students. I’ve got along great with everyone.

[Image changes to show a male holding a painted pole and moving it quickly up and down while another male looks on and then the image shows the male holding the pole talking]

Everyone is like really, really nice.

[Image changes to show Female 1 talking to the camera]

I’m actually learning so much more from all the other students as well and you realise how smart some of the kids actually are.

[Image changes to show Alexander Radoll talking to the camera and text appears: ASSETS 2015, Townsville]

Alexander Radoll: Before ASSETS I really didn’t know what I wanted to do

[Image changes to show students sitting working at computers and then the image changes to show Alexander Radoll talking to the camera]

but after the whole experience I realised that I wanted to help people really.

[Images move through of a female working at a computer, her hand writing in a notebook, students walking along through some trees and a stake being hammered into the ground]

I just realised how I can connect STEM in helping, assisting people, so I decided I wanted to do Biomedical Engineering.

[Image changes to show Zed Hankin talking to the camera and text appears: Zed Hankin, ASSETS 2017, Newcastle]

Zed Hankin: Having gone through ASSETS it’s made me rethink about how I see biology

[Images move through of an experiment, students working on a computer, students working at a table and then a male student looking at something quite small]

‘cause at first I thought of it as like this really you know, just mundane thing, you know biology you know, we’re kind of here with your cells and stuff but going through ASSETS has showed me that we are much more complex than I originally thought.

[Image changes to show a side view of Zed Hankin talking]

So, biology seems a lot cooler and a lot more fun now.

[Images move through of a female working on a computer, her hand writing in a notebook and a group of students working at a desk]

Lowanna Paulson: Because of the ASSETS programme, I definitely know that I definitely want to do something in science now.

[Image changes to show Lowanna Paulson talking to the camera]

It’s really helped me to determine sort of what pathway I want to take. It’s been really helpful to me.

[Image changes to show groups of students laughing and talking]

Alexander Radoll: I made lots of new friends there ‘cause a bunch of people who are like minded.

[Image changes to show Alexander Radoll talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a group of students listening and then a group of students passing along a large shell and looking at it]

I’m almost certain I can message anyone at anytime and see how they’re going because we were so close and connected within that time zone.

[Image changes to show Alexander Radoll talking to the camera]

I feel more open to talking to people now.

[Music plays: and text appears: To apply visit www.csiro.au/Indigenous-assets/apply]

[CSIRO logo and text appears: Australia’s innovation catalyst]

What happens at a summer school

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