'Upskilling' Queensland's teenagers and teachers in STEM areas (science, technology, education and maths) is crucial for the state's future success, according to Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones who visited QUT today for the annual Vice-Chancellor's STEM Camp.
The STEM Camp has attracted 160 of the state's smartest Year 11 students from schools across regional and coastal Queensland, as well as Brisbane.
They share a love of all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and are spending the week working with QUT researchers and undergraduate students on real-world projects.
Ms Jones visited QUT to meet with the school students and see some of the university's world-class STEM facilities, including The Cube and the Science and Engineering Centre's biofabrication lab.
She also announced that an extra 1100 school teachers would receive STEM upskilling from next week through a second round of an online professional development program offered through Griffith University and QUT.
"We have been overwhelmed by interest from teachers who to upskill in these key areas," she said.
“By the end of term four, more than 2500 Queensland teachers will have benefited from this program.”
The online short courses cover curriculum areas such as coding and robotics, physics and mathematics.
Ms Jones said the QUT camp was upskilling high school students too and would "open their eyes to what we know will be the new jobs of the future".
"Their eyes light up at the technology and the hands-on experience they are getting," she said.
“We know that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations in our state require STEM knowledge.
“That’s why we are supporting our students and teachers keep pace with the latest STEM skills.
“This week students are working with leading scientists on programs including ‘robot butlers’, ‘ambulance drones’ and projects to tackle global challenges.
“It’s great to see Queensland students taking time over their holidays to study solutions to issues like sustainable agriculture, robotic surgery, nanotechnology, bio-fabrication and next generation virtual reality.
“This camp showcases all the opportunities available to young Queenslanders who want to pursue an education and career in STEM subjects.”
Ms Jones is a QUT alumnus who studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in journalism, and said she was pleased to be "with her peeps" back on campus.
QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake said QUT was pleased to be helping the state's school teachers upskill in STEM areas, and was also keen to see the younger generation excel in science, technology, engineering and maths.
"We want to encourage every youngster, primary school student and secondary school student to see the opportunities they will have in the future," he said.
Release date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake and Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones at The Cube on QUT's Gardens Point campus.
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