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Understanding how Parliament works: Parliamentary Education Office - feature image, used as a supportive image and isn't important to understand article

The NYSF highly regards the content of the PEO program, and the skills and experience of the team who deliver it

No one expects politicians and their advisers to be across all areas and details of a particular field of scientific endeavour when they are making laws and setting policies for how our community should work. They rely on scientists to provide advice and information that can contribute to the discussions when new laws need to be developed.

The Parliamentary Education Office (PEO) at the Australian Parliament House plays a key role in explaining how laws are made and how we as a community can contribute to that process.

As part of our NYSF Year 12 Program in Canberra *, one of the first program elements is delivered by the PEO to introduce our participants to the place and work of the Australian parliament.

All aspects of the visit aim to assist delegates in developing their knowledge and understanding of parliament and to raise awareness about how parliament may influence and impact upon their future careers in science, technology and engineering.

An explanatory tour of the Senate and House of Representatives chambers sets the scene, followed by a workshop that allows the opportunity to participate in committee and chamber debate experiential programs.

Understanding how Parliament works: Parliamentary Education Office - content image

Understanding how Parliament works: Parliamentary Education Office - content image

The committee and chamber activities are specifically focussed on exploring STEM related issues and demonstrate the close relationship between parliament and science.

The program highlights parliament’s committee system and follows an inquiry approach where delegates are encouraged to consider the use and influence of science on human activity, including finding solutions to contemporary issues.

PEO Director Angela Casey says, “Involvement with the National Youth Science Forum provides a tremendous opportunity for the parliament to engage with large numbers of year 12 students from across Australia.”

“PEO staff enjoy welcoming NYSF delegates to Parliament House and working with them to explore STEM related issues and discover the important links between science and parliament.”

NYSF CEO, Dr Damien Pearce, says that being able to include this program in our Year 12 program is very valuable. “It gives our students a practical insight into the multiple dynamics that affect the development of laws and policy - including the need for compromise, and the challenges around communicating the details of scientific research.  We are very lucky to be able to access the PEO program and highly regard its content and the skills and experience of the team who deliver it.”

*A similar program runs in the NYSF Brisbane program, delivered by the Parliamentary Education at the Queensland Parliamentary Service.

Further information about the PEO is here