The key findings in the Third Monitoring and Evaluation Report:
- Indications of increased student engagement and academic results were found across all programs. Other indicators, such as increased teacher capacity and student attendance, and choosing STEM pathways, varied across programs.
- The impact of the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) on students has been significant, often life-changing, in terms of supporting study and career directions and creating peer networks. The unique combination of components that make up the ASSETS model are critical to the success of the program.
- Students participating in the Bachelor of Science (Extended) program have had positive experiences and have felt supported in a culturally responsive environment. There was a high retention rate of 95 per cent in 2018. Overall, encouraging progress has been made towards supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to complete a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne and then go on to STEM careers. A detailed case study on the program was published in 2019.
- The PRIME Futures program has demonstrated gradual positive change at both a teacher and a whole of school level. Evidence highlights teacher perceptions of improvements in student engagement and achievement in mathematics.
- Program staff report strong engagement in the Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities program by teachers and students, among schools and their communities. The program has assisted in the development of effective partnerships, increased community and parental involvement, and improved teacher capacity.
- The reach of the Indigenous STEM Awards increased by over 160 per cent from 2016 to 2017, indicating strong engagement with the Awards program across Australia.
- Following participation in the Inquiry for Indigenous Science Students (I2S2) program, many students had increased levels of engagement and academic achievement, particularly low-achieving students. Specifically, 40 per cent of all, and 51 per cent of low-achieving, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students had increased engagement after an inquiry. Similarly, 27 per cent of all, and 44 per cent of low-achieving, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students increased their academic achievement. An even larger increase was observed among low-achieving non-Indigenous students, with 59 per cent improving their academic achievement after an inquiry.