In March, Erin Prince and Shivani Shah, NYSF alumni in Sydney, participated in a workshop hosted by Inspiring Australia’s NSW office. The workshop aimed to inform NSW-based stakeholders in science outreach about the support available through Inspiring Australia for activities that could be held as part of National Science Week (15-23 August).
Erin says that the first part of the meeting discussed the most recent report from the Australian Industry Group, Progressing STEM Skills. This report has identified that Australia’s performance in STEM disciplines is not “keeping pace with the needs of the economy”. However, the need for these skills in our workforce continues to grow. There was much discussion about the challenges of encouraging students to continue science education all through their schooling and on to a tertiary level. Erin says that as an NYSF student, this was quite confronting as science had been one of her passions at school.
The importance of improving communication and collaboration among all of the science education outreach organisations as well as increasing collaboration between research providers and industry was also discussed, so that there are pathways for STEM students into careers. “Investing in the NYSF is one way companies could do this, as NYSF students are already interested in STEM careers. I remember learning about the possible jobs available in the various companies that are partners in the NYSF during my session.”
As a result of attending the workshop, Erin and Shivani are both keen to look at how the NSW NYSF alumni could get involved in National Science Week, perhaps through organising a meet up of past students. Anyone interested in helping out can contact them via the NYSF at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check the Inspiring Australia NSW website for information about accessing funding for Science Week activities.