Innovation and STEM in High Schools

Engineers Australia held a Leaders Conference at the Perth Arena on the 6th September 2017.

A cocktail event was held that evening to acknowledge eight Western Australian Engineers who had been awarded “Most Innovative Engineer- 2017” as part of a group of thirty engineers across all states and territories in Australia.

The Master of Ceremonies gave a brief introduction of the innovation and each Engineer gave a speech on what it meant to be selected as one of “Australia’s most innovative Engineers” in 2017.

My speech focussed on using the award to endorse and support two High School Education programs and to inspire year 10 and 11 students to develop their STEM, Business and Innovation Skills.

The Programs are:

  • Just Start It – Owned and implemented by Lainey and Steve Weiser in over 30 high schools in Western Australia. Experienced industry mentors are assigned to each class  and attend on a weekly basis to assist teachers and help students develop their innovation to solve a real world problem. I am a mentor for this program. The transformation of students and the solutions produced have been amazing and resulted in one team winning a merit award at the iAWARDS in Melbourne in August 2017.
  • The second is the P-Tech program being implemented by the Cecil Andrews College lead by Stella Jinman – Principal. The college is the selected pilot school in WA to run the P-Tech program and they have a brand new STEM centre where students experience project based learning using the facilities and equipment. I am working directly with 6 students on a project of their own choosing using 3D printers, Laser Cutters and applicable design and 3D modelling software . The students are amazing and have developed into an integrated research and results focussed team.

In my speech I also issued a challenge to Engineers to get into the classroom and work with teachers and students.

See Video –