STEM at Shelford

Principal's news Wednesday, 07 Sept 2022

By 2030, the most sought-after jobs will be in technology, engineering and manufacturing. The tech sector is already facing a severe skills shortage. Highly paid work, with job security, is available in these fields and growth is expected. Yet, a national study showed that there is a substantial gap in girls continuing to pursue STEM related study beyond high school. In the science and tech industry, women make up only 13% of its total workforce.

Science and technology underpin Australia’s capacity to handle the challenges of a complex and ever-changing world. Our students may, in the future, be involved in research and projects that will eradicate diseases, or provide sanitation and water to impoverished communities, build much needed infrastructure and literally lead to us saving the planet, through innovative ways of reducing the use of resources, recycling and generating renewable resources.

Creative students may design technology that changes people’s lives and improves access to their community; or generate digital content and special effects for games, educational applications, film and television. 

To build a strong culture of science and innovation, it is essential to put STEM front and centre with students. 

Shelford partnership with Swinburne University of Technology

We are excited to be building upon our partnership with Swinburne University of Technology, which will enhance the opportunities for our students. It will enable our students to access the facilities and resources of this innovative, technical learning hub. 

Swinburne’s design labs, incubator spaces, space technology and industry unit, Australian-first Aerostructures Innovation Research Hub (AIR Hub) and edTechVic (which brings people living with disabilities together with world-leading technology and expertise to create life-changing new medical and enabling technologies) and its strong links with industry, will enable our students to see and use the tools, spaces and resources of the future.

Science Week

Science Week at Shelford involved our Prep–Year 12 students in a range of activities and workshops, which showcased the diversity of areas in which science plays a major part. Female role models visited during the week to talk to students about their experiences in STEM and to make this area ‘Alive’ for our students. Our Senior School Assembly guest speaker was a research scientist involved in world-renowned work on the COVID virus.

Melbourne University women in engineering holiday program

Two Year 10 students spoke at a Senior School Assembly at the beginning of term, about their opportunity to spend a week of the holidays attending an engineering immersion experience at Melbourne University. The opportunity to have hands on learning and experiences opened up for them, the variety of opportunities that are available in the future.

STEM Challenge

All of our Year 9 students have been involved in the STEM challenge this term; completing a range of tasks from design thinking to coding and engineering, in a chance to be away from traditional classroom settings and to be immersed in this exciting area for the week.

Robotics and coding

Our Year 9 and 10 Coding Club students came first and second at the Robotics RCJ Australia Challenge in July. We commend them for the work they did in this area and for the just reward for their hard work and commitment. This club is open to all of our Year 9 and 10 students and we also have a club in Makerspace for Junior School students.

In the review of our Year 9 and 10 curricula, we will be enhancing the options for cross curricula electives and technology, engineering and other STEAM options.

We encourage parents in the community who are involved in these fields and are willing to contribute to our programs, to be in touch, as we believe that the more opportunities our students have to see, view and do in this space, the more likely our students are to envisage a future in these important areas.

Katrina Brennan

This article was originally published in our Shelly Newsletter.