A national searchable database of both locally available and online science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities is up and running. STARportal is the nation's first dedicated platform connecting students, parents and teachers with STEM events in their local community, as well as online activities.
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In 2013, a meeting of academics specialising in teaching first year undergraduate mathematics (known as the FYiMaths network) identified that the broad removal of mathematics prerequisites for many undergraduate degrees had created the biggest challenge they faced in teaching.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
This weekend, school students from around the country will be competing in the 2016 FIRST Robotics Asia Pacific final -- by besieging a castle with homemade semi–autonomous robots. It's being billed as self–driving cars meets Game of Thrones and is clearly the coolest thing to happen in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Which is kind of the point.
Hopefully your kids are getting a great education in science, technology, engineering and maths at school, but chances are those classes aren't enough to instil a lifelong interest in these fields for most kids. As parents, however, there are a lot of easy ways we foster a greater love of learning and exploration in STEM subjects in our children.
In our vision for innovation we see changes that drive the kind of industry-academia based interaction Australia needs. Tax changes, a restructure of how universities are funded, broader training for post-graduate students to include industry engagement and changes to some anachronistic institutions such as CSIRO. But as a country, we're still not doing enough to push the cultural change necessary for a technically innovative society.