The Second Monitoring and Evaluation Report provides positive evidence that the goal of increased engagement and achievement of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students is being met across the Indigenous STEM Education Project.
The key findings in the Second Evaluation Report:
- The substantial impact of the Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2) program on increasing Indigenous and non-Indigenous students’ achievement and engagement. Although attendance decreased slightly for all students, likely due to seasonal factors, it did not preclude engagement or achievement increases.
- The benefits of inquiry for Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2) were particularly pronounced for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who were achieving below level prior to the Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2) program. Sixty three per cent of these students improved their grades.
- PRIME Futures is demonstrating sustained student engagement, and improved learning and understanding.
- The Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) is demonstrating increases in student engagement, including aspirations for university and STEM studies, and some students choosing more STEM subjects in Year 11.
- Initial data showing high levels of transition of former ASSETS students to university, including strong representation in STEM or STEM-related degrees.
- The Bachelor of Science (Extended) is experiencing variable recruitment (between 5 and 12 students per year), with retention (between 58 – 100 per cent) and average subject completion rates (67 per cent) broadly comparable to national rates for Indigenous university students and for all science degree students in Australia.
Forthcoming in-depth case study research on Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2), Bachelor of Science (Extended), the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) and Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities will provide further key evidence on the impact and effectiveness of these elements.