When we talk with successful people working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths, we often hear a similar story: that one special moment, program or person that inspired them along the way. These are the kind of moments that stir curiosity, feed a long-held thirst for knowledge, or ignite some unknown passion.
For students, it could be a classroom visit from a software engineer, an after-school program on robotics, or an excursion to laboratory or science museum that opens up young minds to the diverse career opportunities offered by science and tech.
We think these moments are too important to be left to chance.
Australia is not keeping up with demand when it comes to graduates in fields like computer science, and when we look at girls, Indigenous Australians, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, that picture is even worse.
That’s why we will work with three Australian not-for-profits to introduce and inspire 10,000 underrepresented students to careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. These landmark partnerships will put to use $1 million in cash grants from Google.org to deliver hands-on training and career programs that will reach these underrepresented groups.
(Talia Rose, science and engineering student at the University of Queensland and Engineers Without Borders Australia volunteer)
Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience will develop STEM content into their Year 7 and 8 curriculum for Indigenous students, making the subjects relevant through experience-based learning. The program will increase the digital skillset of 4,000 Indigenous students by 2018.
FIRST Robotics Australia will take its FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Robotics program into 150 new schools, providing a robotics set, teacher mentoring and support to student groups across Australia. FIRST will reach more than 1500 students in low-SES areas and regional schools, building teamwork and inspiring young Australians in the fields of engineering and computer science. To sign up, visit firstaustralia.org/new-grant
Engineers Without Borders Australia will expand its “Regioneering Roadshow”, which will give hands-on, STEM and computer science focused training to 5,000 young people, with a particular focus on young women. The Google grant will double the existing program’s geographic reach and connect young professional engineers to community, youth and school groups across regional Australia.
Australia’s jobs of the future will require new skills, and it’s critical that students from all walks of life are introduced to this field and have the opportunity to shape it and benefit from it. We hope that these three organisations will create more moments that will inspire our kids.
For more STEM resources visit www.google.com.au/startwithcode
Posted by Maile Carnegie, Managing Director, and Alan Noble, Engineering Director of Google Australia.