Thursday, 27 September 2018 05:43

Govt to provide toolkit to encourage girls to take up STEM careers

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Govt to provide toolkit to encourage girls to take up STEM careers Pixabay

An educational toolkit, to help girls of school age understand the range of careers open to them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, will be developed and delivered by Education Services Australia next year.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said in a statement that the toolkit would be created by ESA using $580,000 in funding allocated in the May Federal Budget.

The statement said this initiative was aimed at addressing the gender bias and stereotyping in science and mathematics, which begin in primary school and continue through high school to university and research.

The government announced $4.5 million in new funding in the Budget to encourage more women to pursue STEM education and careers. Previous investments, made through the National Innovation and Science Agenda, total $13 million.

Education Services Australia is a national not-for-profit company owned by the state, territory and Australian Government education ministers. It won the grant process to develop the Girls in STEM Toolkit.

“The Girls in STEM Toolkit will feature articles and case studies to motivate students on a new digital platform to be launched next year,” Andrews said.

“Increasing female participation in STEM will make Australia’s research, scientific and business capability stronger.

“We need all our young people to understand the importance of STEM skills to jobs of the future and the Coalition’s toolkit will help young women further engage with STEM subjects."

She said the toolkit would include practical resources for educators, career counsellors and families, so that girls would receive support at school and at home.

“Australia’s future success depends on us developing and encouraging the next generation of scientists, problem solvers and leaders – regardless of their gender, background or any other factor," Andrews added.

“By providing our girls studying STEM with information and encouragement to stick with it, we will help them achieve their full potential as scientists, innovators or entrepreneurs.”

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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