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Spotlight on: EducationFutures

EducationFutures has had a successful year teaching young people and families about new technologies, innovation and STEM subjects. 

The EducationFutures program aligns with Newman Futures’ objective, by ensuring students are work-ready for the existing and emerging economy.  

Developed by technology experts, STEMSmart, the program specifically looks at equipping students to meet local demand to enter career pathways, specifically career pathways based around STEM subjects and digital technologies. From virtual reality goggles to visual coding techniques, the program provides a fun, engaging learning environment for young people and the community to engage with that will ready them for the future of work.  

The program was launched in April 2021, in collaboration with a Working Group comprised of a representative from, Newman Primary School, South Newman Primary School and Newman Senior High School, the BHP Pilbara Education Partnership and  representatives of Newman Futures. 

In that time, the EducationFutures team has engaged with 7,237 attendees, ensuring all members of the Newman community had access to innovative, engaging activities to create a work-ready economy.  

The in-school education program is equally split between the three schools, who have integrated the program into the curriculum. A survey was completed by five teachers, who on average gave the program a 4.25 out 5 rating, giving praise for the constructive resources provided by STEMSmart and the high levels of student engagement.  

One teacher said the program was a game-changer.  

“The resources and unit plans have been an absolutely game changer for teaching technologies,” they said.  

“There are so many rich experiences our students can have with visual coding environments, design thinking and engineering.” 

To ensure students had the widest possible access to the program, students and community members have been able  to attend after school programs and school holiday programs at the schools and community spaces, including the library, youth centre, Parnawarri IGA and Miners Promise Park (Train Park). 

This year has seen EducationFutures deliver five school holiday programs, the provision of professional learning to educators, co-curricular STEM innovation program at all three schools, weekly STEM lessons between July 2021 and July 2022, after school programs, ongoing community engagements, academic extension clubs and the formation of an Education Support Network. 

STEMSmart Managing Director Andrea Conte said working with schools in Newman and the wider community to learn about STEM subjects has been a rewarding experience.  

“There’s a big appetite for learning in Newman,” he said.  

“Seeing young people and their curiosity when introduced to new technologies like virtual reality or coding is really rewarding.  

“The activities and resources we’re using in Newman are really paving a pathway for future workforces who will be responsible for developing the next innovations.” 

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