ASSETS has shown an increase in student aspirations to pursue STEM studies at a university level.
ASSETS Destination Interviews Data Report
ASSETS targets high-achieving Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Year 10 students, bringing them together for a residential summer school, as well as providing a leadership program through Years 11, 12 and beyond.
To better understand how ASSETS has impacted participants five to six years after participating in the program, semi-structured interviews with 10 ASSETS alumni (seven female and three male) were conducted in mid-2020.
All 10 alumni were currently engaged in higher education studies, including eight in STEM-related fields.
- 74% intend to have a STEM career (up 23%)
- 93% have a good understanding of STEM careers (up 46%)
- 79% want to study STEM at University (up 21%)
Case study: Grace Kalinin
Grace Kalinin attended the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science in 2015. After attending the summer school, she became more interested in science and changed her Year 11 and 12 subjects to include Physics. She also used the mentors she connected with at ASSETS to assist her in applying for internships and work placements. She is currently studying Food and Agribusiness at the University of Sydney and is a research technician with the CSIRO Agriculture and Food team.
Case study: Wayne Cawthorne
Wayne Cawthorne attended the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) in 2016 while he was a student at Townsville State High School. This experience allowed him to explore his love of science and the variety of study and career options he could pursue outside of school. He participated in the ASSETS work placement program in Years 11 and 12, working with a post-doctoral research fellow at James Cook University on chytridiomycosis in frogs, a medical practitioner in Townsville and GHD Australia. It was these experiences that spurred him on to pursue medical research as a career path. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Advanced Science, cell and molecular biology and chemistry at James Cook University and doing an internship with The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research.