Science boost at Hills schools

Avon Valley Gazette - - NEWS -

HILLS schools are ex­pected to gain from a State Govern­ment fo­cus on chil­dren learn­ing to love science from an early age.

In line with an elec­tion prom­ise, the McGowan govern­ment will pro­vide $ 12 mil­lion to con­vert 200 pri­mary class­rooms in pub­lic schools into science lab­o­ra­to­ries, with an ad­di­tional $ 5 mil­lion for grants to re­source the con­verted fa­cil­i­ties.

Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est are open for the first 100 schools to be se­lected across the 2018 and 2019 school years, with each school al­lo­cated $ 25,000 for equip­ment and re­sources.

Swan Hills MLA Jes­sica Shaw said the fo­cus on science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics ( STEM) skills was vi­tal to equip pri­mary school stu­dents for the jobs of to­mor­row.

She said while some stu­dents would be­come prac­ti­tion­ers of STEM, many more would use the generic skill set of team­work, prob­lem solv­ing, cre­ativ­ity, in­de­pen­dent think­ing, crit­i­cal anal­y­sis, ini­tia­tive and com­mu­ni­ca­tion brought about through the Science in Schools pro­gram.

“Some 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest grow­ing in­dus­tries will re­quire STEM skills and 90 per cent of jobs will need peo­ple with dig­i­tal skills in the next two to five years,” she said.

Ms Shaw said pri­mary schools with more than 100 stu­dents were el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply and up to 50 places would be re­served for schools in low so­cio- eco­nomic ar­eas.

“Hav­ing worked in the energy sec­tor, I also un­der­stand how im­por­tant it is that we equip our kids for the jobs of the fu­ture,” she said.

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