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1. Anyone can nominate a student or a STEM supporter

The student or supporter you’re nominating must fill out one part of the application. And yes, parents can nominate their children.

Students or supporters can nominate themselves. Students will need to include the contact details of an adult.

2. There are key timeframes to note

This year’s nomination period runs from 27 March – 2 May, 2023.

The 30 successful nominees will be advised around May, and prizes arranged between Terms 2 and 4.

3. 21st Century skills go beyond STEM

We celebrate “21st Century skills”: capabilities that develop when learning STEM subjects, that can also apply to other areas of life.

Nominations should tell us how the student demonstrates, or the supporter helps students build, one or more of these skills:

  • curiosity
  • creativity and innovation
  • problem solving
  • learning and growth
  • critical thinking
  • perseverance
  • resourcefulness
  • connectedness

4. Student Future Shapers fall into one of two broad categories

Students don’t need to be the top of the class. They could have a strong passion for a STEM topic, or an inkling of interest in STEM that we could help to bring out. As long as they demonstrate a 21st Century skill, and have an interest in doing more, we’d love to hear about it.

There are two main student prize categories:

  • Problem solving and innovation: This is for the creators or the inventors. They might like to build or make things; or persevere to find solutions; or find different ways of doing things around their home, school or community.
  • Curiosity and research: This is for the investigators: those that like to see how things work; or look deeper into a subject; or share what they’ve found out.

5. We can interpret a Future Shaper’s interest into a prize in a few different ways

Future Shapers’ prizes could be an experience, or a connection with experts or like-minded people, or equipment to help them take their interest further with STEM. Here are some hypothetical examples of how a nominee could work with us to design their prize:

  • The maestro: A creative, musical student could choose to meet industry experts to find out how to make music using artificial intelligence; or get software or other tech to create their own tunes at home; or meet like-minded students at a STEM camp for Future Shapers.
  • The star gazer: A student that is inquisitive about space could choose a tour of the Parkes radio telescope, Murriyang; or to be mentored by one of our amazing researchers; or get their own telescope.
  • The community group supporter: A leader of an indigenous youth program could choose to connect culture with STEM by meeting indigenous science heroes; attend a conference; or get a laptop and wi-fi dongle to keep them up to date.
  • The educator: A teacher could have a CSIRO scientist as a mentor to build their own confidence in teaching science; or attend a professional development course; or choose equipment to further their own or their student’s learning.

6. Nominating is easy

From 27 March, you will be able to fill out an online form through our Future Shapers page. You will be able to submit a video if you’d prefer (up to three minutes.)

There are only two key questions to the nomination. (Aside from some key demographic and consent information.)

7. There are a couple of key things to cover in your nomination

Part 1: Tell us what they’ve done:

  • When nominating a student*: Tell us how this promising young person has demonstrated one or more 21st Century skills. Give one or more specific examples.
  • When nominating a supporter: Tell us how they have helped one or more students* to build capability, confidence or connection with STEM or one or more 21st Century skills. We’d love to hear about the impact this is having.

Part 2: Have the nominee tell us what they're interested in and what they want to do/learn to take it further:

Conversation starters could include: What would you like to do more of? What do you think is the most exciting thing about STEM? What do you want to do or be when you’re older?

Our team will work with Future Shapers to develop individual goals and plan an experience, connection with others or provide resources to boost them on their next steps in STEM.

*The student/s should be in Year 5 to 10 or would be in Year 5 to 10 if they were in the school system this year. The student/s should identify as either Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, female, from schools in regional areas and/or lower opportunity areas.

8. Check the T&Cs

Remember to check the terms and conditions for nominating a student PDF (104 KB) or nominating a supporter PDF (98 KB).

9. Follow us to stay up to date

Keep up to date with STEM Together, Future Shapers and CSIRO Education and Outreach programs by registering for STEM Together or following CSIRO Education on Facebook.

10. Most importantly: You can do this.

You can help shape someone’s future. We want to hear from you.

Start your nomination now!

If you have any queries, contact us at

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