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The power of engagement - CSIRO STEM Professionals in Schools


[Teachers and STEM professionals on slides on screen smiling, and sharing skills]


[The CSIRO logo swirls into the centre of the screen]


[Text on screen: STEM Professionals in School]


[A student is soldering a circuit board under supervision]


[A close-up of the soldering iron]


Caroline McCarthy: To any schools thinking about getting involved I couldn't endorse it highly enough.


[The student and STEM professional smile as they work on the circuit]


[A group of students work on various science and robotics projects around a table]


Teacher: There've been a group of students who have setup their own science club as a result of the excitement that was generated.


[Text on centre of the screen reads The power of engagement]


[Shot of an outside of the school]


[Rob sitting in his classroom being interviewer, text beside him reads Rob Knight Principal Playford International College]


Rob Knight: When someone like Philip comes in and works, and supports our students he's a direct conduit between what happens in the classroom and what happens in the real world.


[Phillip explains a point about robotics with hand gestures to a group of students sitting beside him]


And he likewise is able to come in and talk to them about how to connect the skills that they're learning here with where they potentially want to go in the future.


[Phillip points out something important on a drone chassis in a close-up]


[The students investigate a drone, smiling]


We've seen a significant increase in the number of students choosing mathematics, sciences, technologies.


[A long shot of a valley, then a shot of two teachers standing outside of a school]


[Heather sitting in her office to be interviewed, the text beside her reading Heather Wood Deputy Principal St Andrew's School]


Heather Wood: I would certainly encourage other schools to consider doing something like this. It's been highly engaging for the students.


[A student drops his submersible into a large aquarium and then observes how it navigates the water]


It's been fun for the teachers to work with professionals beyond the classroom. And I think if something can be chosen by a school


[A list stapled to a bulletin board reads: Problems we faced with a list of bullet points mostly out of focus]


where students see the connection to what's happening beyond the classroom then I think it provides another level of understanding.


[A student presents his project, and then in another scene he's soldering the circuit boards together]


[Fellow students applaud the presentation]


And how they might actually benefit their future career choices.


[A far away shot of a city]


[Caroline stands in her classroom being interviewed. The text beside her reads Caroline McCarthy Deputy Principal Santa Maria College]


[Bridget looks over the shoulder of several girls working on a calculator]


Caroline McCarthy: We had an issue where we felt there was a decline in Maths and physical sciences particularly Physics in the VCE numbers. We wanted to start re-engaging them in that area.


[Bridget walks a group of female students through a simulated flight pattern by having them walk around a room]


[Bridget directs the students with hand gestures]


So what we have seen is even in small time we have had full classes at Year 10.


[The students smile at Bridget]


We've had an upswing in the number of VCE students taking on the Physics classes. We had a very strong connection between the students who took the Physics in Year 10 and the number of students taking Physics in both Year 11 and Year 12.


[A room full of female students watches Bridget explain flight patterns on a TV screen]


[A shot of a far off city followed by a chalkboard]


[Mark sits in his classroom being interviewed, the text beside him reading Mark Rathjen Principal St Peter's Lutheran School]


Mark Rathjen: Getting any professionals into your school is a fantastic opportunity.


[A shot of a globe and atlas in the foreground]


[A full room of students watches Dr. David explain something]


Dr. David is so passionate about what he does. And I think that makes an impact on the student learning.


[Two leads are connected to a pair of pencils suspended in a glass of water as children watch]


I think one of the great things about partnerships is you have that ongoing relationship.


[Justine Mackey sits in her office being interviewed, the text beside her reads Principal Ivanhoe East PS]


Justine Mackey: Maurice works really closely with our teachers to plan a program that engages the students, and also connects back to some of


[A student looks in a microscope as a STEM professional encourages them]


the learning that they're doing in the classroom.


[Maurice points out a sample in a collection of dishes for a student]


He consults with the teachers to explore the program that they're working on, and then identifies where he can add something special, and something that will really peak the curiosity of the students.


[A group of students construct a desert island on a plate on their table]


[Most of the students in the class raise their hand a they watch Maurice]


There's great support that comes from the CSIRO in setting up the partnerships.


[Maurice and a teacher consult together by a small table]


And you'd be really surprised by the different types of people that might be in your school community. And it's a great way to connect the community back to what's going on in the classroom.


[STEM professional explaining a point about electronics magnified on a screen]


[Bridget and her students smiling together about their flight path project]


[A teacher pours water on the desert island her students constructed and reveal it's a volcano]


[A small student looks into the aquarium at his submarine]


[Students look delighted by their electrified pencils]


[The CSIRO logo pops into the centre of the screen, underneath is written Australia's National Science Agency]


[An equation of logos is on the screen with a graduation cap representing teacher, then a plus sign adding it to a STEM professional symbolized by a molecule logo.]


[The equals symbol then connects to a gear logo representing partnership.]


[A circle graph titled Schools with different colours for different percentages on screen, Catholic being 16.3%, Government being 65.8%, Independent/Private being 16.8% and other being 1.1%]


[A map symbolizing national reach with a circle graph to one side. the text under the graph reads "with 29% in regional and remote areas.]


[On the map going clockwise NT 1.5%, QLS 20.8%, NSW 20.9%, ACT 5.9%, TAS 5.2%, VIC 23.9%, SA 8%, WA 13.8%.]


[A graph titled STEM Professionals, the circle graph showing percentages by gender with female at 43.2%, male at 56.6%, and not specified at 0.2%. The text under the graph reads note Female STEM professional representation is significantly higher than the national female STEM qualified population of 17 percent overall asterisk leading to a footnote "from the 2020 program evaluation.]


[Text on centre screen reads The STEM Professionals in Schools project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. At the bottom of the screen is reads The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.]


[New Screen, test reading STEM Professionals in Schools would like to thank:  Caroline McCarthy, Jacinta Deylen and students from Santa Maria College; Justine Mackey and students from Ivanhoe East Primary School; Rob Knight and students from Playford International College; Heather Wood, Christopher Boden and students from St Andrew's School; Mark Rathjen and students from St Peter's Lutheran School]


[New Screen text reading STEM Professionals in Schools would like to thank: Brenton Binder, Principal Mechanical Engineer, ASC; Phillip Field, Electrical Engineer (Retired); Maurice Pagnin, PhD candidate - Biomedical Science, RMIT; Bridget Hosking, Air Traffic Controller, Melbourne Airport; Dr David Bird, Senior Research scientist, DST]


[Fade to black]

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Are you interested in becoming part of STEM Professionals in Schools? Join the Program!

Through industry-school partnerships, teachers are enabled to connect classroom learning with contemporary STEM knowledge to better engage students in STEM and raise awareness of career pathways. The program is free to join, and partnerships can be adapted to meet the needs of teachers and their school’s priorities, for example different levels of schooling or catering for under-represented groups.

Every partnership is a bespoke arrangement between the teacher and STEM professional based on their combined interests and expertise, local context, curriculum and student needs.

How can the program benefit your school?

The STEM Professionals in Schools program can benefit schools by:

  • increasing the profile of STEM in the school (and broader school community)
  • engaging students in innovative ways
  • supporting teachers to deliver the curriculum
  • providing mentoring for teachers and building confidence in STEM disciplines
  • raising awareness of STEM related career pathways
  • providing a proven industry-school engagement model

The program has been independently evaluated several times since its inception in 2007. These evaluations found that partnerships are effective in delivering benefits for teachers, students and STEM professionals. The most recent evaluation highlighted that the program supports teachers to improve their STEM teaching capability, engage in professional learning and networking opportunities, and improve their students’ STEM learning.

Who can apply?

The program is available free to registered teachers and principals working in Australian government or non-government primary and secondary schools.

Child safe standards

As part of the program’s mandate to keep children safe, all STEM professionals are required to undergo security screening and participants must agree to abide by CSIRO Child Safe Policy.

How to... Guide for Principals and Education Leaders

To find out more about how the program can benefit your school, support best practice and how you can support your teaching staff to be involved download our guide here: How to Guide for Principals and Education Leaders PDF (155 KB).

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