Sci­ence labs to pre­pare stu­dents for the fu­ture

Canning Times - - NEWS -

CLASS­ROOMS in 100 schools will be turned into sci­ence labs in a bid to get stu­dents ready for the jobs of the fu­ture.

Can­ning­ton MLA Bill John­ston said 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest grow­ing in­dus­tries would re­quire sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, eco­nom­ics and maths (STEM) skills and 90 per cent of jobs would need peo­ple with dig­i­tal skills in the next two to five years.

The sci­ence lab ini­tia­tive, which was an­nounced last week, was an elec­tion com­mit­ment and the con­ver­sions are ex­pected to start next year.

A fur­ther 100 schools will be iden­ti­fied in 2019 to be con­verted over the next two years.

Up to 50 places will be re­served for schools in low so­cio-eco­nomic ar­eas and each of the 200 schools se­lected will be al­lo­cated $25,000 to pur­chase equip­ment and re­sources for their stu­dents.

Curtin Univer­sity head of school for ed­u­ca­tion Karen Mur­cia said grad­u­ates from sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths cour­ses at univer­sity were de­clin­ing.

“Chil­dren are choos­ing to not take maths or tak­ing lower maths classes and are opt­ing out of harder sciences like physics and chem­istry,” Dr Mur­cia said.

She said the top five jobs least likely to be au­to­mated were some health work­ers, school teach­ers and engi­neers and those in ICT.

Brook­man Pri­mary School stu­dents Ti­ahna Web­s­dale, Emma Qua and Braedi Hay­den with sci­ence teacher Taneal Thomp­son and Can­ning­ton MLA Bill John­ston.

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