A unique application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), developed here in Australia, is being exported to the UK and beyond.
Dr Michael Myers OAM, the founder of Re-Engineering Australia Foundation (REA), has announced a partnership with Engineering in Motion (UK) which will see the introduction of the SUBS in Schools Technology Challenge into British schools.
When Sydney engineer Dr Myers founded the REA almost 20 years ago he realised that the take-up of STEM subjects was dropping and he went about creating ways to make STEM “cool” again.
REA’s programs which include F1 in Schools, 4x4 in Schools, SUBS in Schools, Entrepreneurs in Schools and Jaguar Primary Schools Challenge, all feature complex challenges involving the use of industry-standard technologies, a focus on team building, project management, marketing, multi-media technology, and most importantly collaboration with industry.
The revolutionary approaches to applied STEM learning within REA’s programs create self-motivated, collaborative problem solving environments which produce innovation by default. They embrace a wide range of disciplines including and beyond STEM and are producing students who are more employable with the skills that industry is looking for.
Speaking from London at the signing of the new collaboration, Dr Myers said: “All around the world industry is looking to work more closely with education to influence an increase in the capability and capacity of students coming out of school. They seek increased development of the employability skills of communication, collaboration, presentation, team work, innovation and entrepreneurship”.
REA’s success in being able to effectively increase these critical employability skills in Australian students is recognised around the world. As a result, doors have now opened for more of its programs and methodologies to be adopted in international markets.
“This announcement does not come because governments are looking for traditional education solutions: solutions based on packaged scalability to deliver ‘the science of things’. Instead, it comes from a need for students to have much greater interaction with industry and for students to gain skills that are needed at the interface between people and problems.”
Dr Myers said it was part of our national psyche that we downplay what we do and often don’t realise how good we are on the world stage.
“This is an example of a highly-developed nation realising that unconventional Australian STEM teaching methods are exactly what are needed.”
He expects SUBS in Schools to expand beyond the UK.
“The linkages that are developing between Australia, France and the United States around the development of the Future Submarine Program will provide an opportunity for Subs in Schools to be launched in France and the US in the near future. Discussions have already begun”.