Lead­ing the STEM rev­o­lu­tion

The Australian Education Reporter - - NEWS -

OUR world is chang­ing fast. Cur­rently, 60 per cent of new jobs re­quire skills held by just 20 per cent of the work­force. It is es­ti­mated that 75 per cent of the fastest grow­ing oc­cu­pa­tions re­quire STEM re­lated skills and knowl­edge, while 40 per cent of Aus­tralian jobs face the risk of be­com­ing fully au­to­mated in the next 10 to 15 years.

Ed­u­ca­tors un­der­stand that the world is con­stantly evolv­ing, which means schools must im­ple­ment rel­e­vant STEM learn­ing with a ba­sis in real world ac­tiv­i­ties.

This has led Di­rect Na­tional to in­tro­duce STEM starter packs to schools. The starter packs are just that! An ex­cel­lent means of get­ting your STEM precinct un­der­way.

Manly State School prin­ci­pal Clay­ton Carnes is just start­ing the school on their STEM jour­ney. A new STEM precinct is un­der­way us­ing the STEM starter packs as the ba­sic foun­da­tion.

With more than 21 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence sup­ply­ing prod­ucts to the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor, Di­rect Na­tional man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Phil Macphail knows that ev­ery school de­liv­ers the cur­ricu­lum to stu­dents in dif­fer­ent ways.

“We take the time to un­der­stand re­quire­ments, school ethos and de­sired out­comes,” Mr Macphail said.

“For us it’s not about prod­uct dis­tri­bu­tion, we have a firm be­lief at Di­rect Na­tional that ev­ery child, teacher and em­ployee de­serve the best re­sources.

“This is the driv­ing force be­hind our busi­ness and why we have had sub­stan­tial growth and are now Aus­tralia-wide sup­pli­ers.”

Di­rect Na­tional also con­ducts con­fer­ences across Queens­land to help teach­ers in­tro­duce STEM precincts into their schools. These con­fer­ences aim to leave teach­ers in­spired with a plan to en­gage their stu­dents.

The thrill of dis­cov­ery, work­ing along­side schools that are dis­cov­er­ing and adding tools to their STEM precinct, out­lin­ing the most suit­able op­tions and of­fer­ing on­go­ing sup­port and ex­per­tise ad­vice with all sup­plied prod­ucts, is at the heart of Di­rect Na­tional’s ap­proach.

Many schools have al­ready be­gun the STEM jour­ney. Goodna State School is a prime ex­am­ple and with the help of Di­rect Na­tional uses hands-on, prac­ti­cal tools and flex­i­ble spa­ces to in­spire, en­cour­age, and sup­port stu­dents to play, dis­cover, ex­plore, prob­lem solve and cre­ate real world ap­pli­ca­tions for STEM.

Goodna State School has even re­ceived praise from Sir David At­ten­bor­ough for their STEM projects and ef­forts en­gag­ing with academia and in­dus­try to pro­vide stu­dents with a real world ex­pe­ri­ence.

As a ma­jor part­ner with Queens­land As­so­ci­a­tion of State School Prin­ci­pals, and a key li­ai­son with Ed­u­ca­tion Queens­land, Di­rect Na­tional un­der­stands STEM is high on the agenda, and is ac­tive in STEM de­vel­op­ments, work­ing along­side in­dus­try part­ners Mi­crosoft, Dell and Cisco.

Part­ner­ships with in­dus­try will not only pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for teach­ers to in­crease their skills, but will al­low stu­dents to see the link be­tween cod­ing robotics and their fu­ture work and study.

The Queens­land State Gov­ern­ment has made a firm com­mit­ment to STEM; by 2020, 100 per cent of State Schools stu­dents will be taught cod­ing and robotics and 100 per cent of schools will have ac­tive part­ner­ships with in­dus­try and uni­ver­si­ties; the over­all aim to cre­ate stu­dents who think, ex­plore and ques­tion with­out reser­va­tion.

More in­for­ma­tion about rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing STEM at your school can be found at www.di­rect­na­tional.com.au.

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing is strength­en­ing STEM ed­u­ca­tion in Queens­land state schools.

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