• Annemarie Taylor

Hawkesbury high school students to get chance to do virtual CSIRO STEM projects

Hawkesbury high school students are being invited to get hands-on opportunities to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as part of the federal government's Maker Projects program.

The not-for-profit Western Sydney Business Connection has received $97,000 under the program to deliver the Western Sydney STEM Careers Interactive Series project, an interactive CISRO program that will see students create and replicate astrophysics equipment and develop coding for 3D modelling.

PM Scott Morrison with Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne and a group of Enterprising Girls

Schools in the Hawkesbury will be invited to take part in the Term 2 2021 Virtual Expo which will all be online in the classroom.

The Expos include virtual tours of advanced manufacturing sites, for example students will be able to view footage of the Liverpool Innovation Precinct.

Another Expo activity will see students take part in a virtual Q&A session with industry partners who will be based in a studio.

There is no firm date yet for when the expos will be held – but programming details should be finalised by the end of February.

Term 2 for NSW public schools runs from 19 April to 25 June.

Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, the Hon Marise Payne, said the project was an excellent opportunity for young Australians to expand their knowledge and spark their curiosity about STEM fields and careers.

"STEM skills are the future - they're the passport to the jobs of the future in advanced manufacturing, defence, health and medical science and agri-business, that are being developed in Western Sydney, for Western Sydney," Senator Payne said.

"This unique program will bring the opportunities associated with the Western International Airport and the Aerotropolis into the classroom, ensuring students familiarise themselves through practical workshops."

Amanda Brisot, General Manager of the Western Sydney Business Centre, said their Maker Project would help equip students with essential skills.

“We're very excited to be delivering this educational program in schools across Western Sydney because we know that our region will be 'ground zero' for STEM-related careers," Ms Brisot said.

"The generous support of the government will mean we are able to invite over 300 Western Sydney schools, including schools in the Hawkesbury, to participate in the program which is being supported by CSIRO."

The Maker Projects grants are part of the Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Program and support STEM-related organisations and businesses to partner with other businesses, experts, schools and community organisations to deliver STEM initiatives.

Twenty-one projects across Australia were successfully funded in the 2020 grants round.

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