Na­tional praise for STEM ef­forts

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page -

When you know you’re onto some­thing good that you do for the love, to see the min­is­ter recog­nise it as coura­geous and in­no­va­tive is pretty cool.

- MA­REE TIMMS

A CON­VER­SA­TION be­tween Galen Catholic Col­lege teach­ers Ma­ree Timms and Ber­nadette Al­bert­son sparked an ini­tia­tive that has been praised by Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion and the Dig­i­tal Econ­omy, Philip Dal­i­dakis.

The Dig­i­tal Tech­nolo­gies Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (DTAC), cre­ated by sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths (STEM) teach­ers and fa­cil­i­ta­tors, was short­listed at the TechDiver­sity Awards last month.

Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion and the Dig­i­tal Econ­omy, Philip Dal­i­dakis, gave the group the High Com­men­da­tion Award for their in­no­va­tion, courage and col­lab­o­ra­tion in help­ing in­crease aware­ness and in­ter­est in STEM.

DTAC was es­tab­lished to fos­ter an un­der­stand­ing of STEM stud­ies and ig­nite pas­sion for the sub­jects among stu­dents in lo­cal pri­mary and se­condary schools.

Ini­tia­tives or­gan­ised by the group grew from the STEM Ca­reers Expo to var­i­ous work­shops and hol­i­day learn­ing events to help stu­dents de­velop their love for learn­ing.

Ms Timms said al­though DTAC and the Galen VEX Ro­bot­ics Team were the only school-based ini­tia­tives in­volved in the awards, she hoped this would en­cour­age other pri­mary and se­condary schools to ex­plore ways to teach STEM.

“The TechDiver­sity Awards is re­ally a cor­po­rate event - we were the out­liers but hope­fully we could pos­si­bly pave the way for oth­ers in this area,” she said.

“When you know you’re onto some­thing good that you do for the love, to see the min­is­ter recog­nise it as coura­geous and in­no­va­tive is pretty cool.”

Charles Sturt Univer­sity Wan­garatta com­mu­nity out­reach co­or­di­na­tor and DTAC mem­ber, Anne Ged­dis, said the com­mit­tee was al­ready be­gin­ning to or­gan­ise the cal­en­dar of pro­grams for next year.

“We be­lieve in what we’re do­ing and to have Mr Dal­i­dakis say he likes our di­rec­tion and our courage was in­cred­i­ble,” she said.

“DTAC started from the one event and that de­vel­oped into a full year’s pro­gram pretty well - some things we have done in the past need to be changed but it’s part of the con­stant evo­lu­tion you see with tech­nol­ogy.

“We’re do­ing pro­grams for pri­mary school stu­dents now, be­cause that’s where the chil­dren can switch on or off and the pas­sion starts there.”

PHOTO: Freyja Postleth­waite

HIGHLY COM­MENDED: Dig­i­tal Tech­nolo­gies Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­bers (from left) Ber­nadette Al­bert­son, Anne Ged­dis and Ma­ree Timms were ex­cited to re­ceive recog­ni­tion for their work ig­nit­ing love for sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and maths stud­ies.

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