Queensland students prepared for future jobs through STEM program

Image Credit: Queensland Government

The Palaszczuk Government has announced a new initiative aimed at addressing future skills shortages in crucial manufacturing jobs.

The Additive Manufacturing and Stem 3D Printing Primary Schools Project is a joint effort between the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing, and Water, the Department of Education, the Queensland Manufacturing Institute, and Makers Empire.

Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said the program is essential to the ongoing success of the State’s thriving manufacturing industry. 

“Jobs shortages are top of mind for a lot of Queenslanders at the moment, and we know a lot of these journeys start with education. Finding creative ways to teach STEM to children will ensure we capture the next generation of problem solvers and will prevent a skills shortage that could affect important industries such as manufacturing,” Minister Butcher stated

The Minister added that for Queensland to cement its position as a world leader in advanced manufacturing, creating jobs and better services, the State must foster the next generation. 

Teachers from the participating schools visited Wagner Composite Fibre Technologies, a premier manufacturing facility based in Toowoomba, as part of the program.

Recently, problem-solving activities were held in an “expo-style” with teachers and students. Presentations on fascinating trends and career opportunities in Queensland’s manufacturing industry were among the events.

Minister for Education Grace Grace said the initiative aims to provide educators with professional development opportunities, which are crucial for assisting them in teaching essential STEM subjects.

“On top of that, this project will also help students engage in that STEM curriculum and develop design-led thinking and problem-solving skills. Vale View State School, which is taking part in the program, received an Outstanding School STEM award at the 2022 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, so I’m sure there are some budding industry experts there!” Minister Grace stated. 

According to Makers Emire co-founder Lap Leung, the State Government and Queensland manufacturing industry are at the forefront of partnered collaborations with government departments, industry, State, and private schools collaborating in addressing future skills shortages in advanced manufacturing.

“More and more Queensland students will now have developed STEM, design thinking and problem-solving skills and potentially also have developed an interest in a career in Queensland advanced manufacturing, thanks to this program,” Leung said.

Shay Chalmers, executive director of the Queensland Manufacturing Institute, congratulated the participating schools.

“With a combination of amazing teachers and industry-supported STEM education programs thriving in the region already, being able to supplement this with the Makers Empire program is going to take STEM education to the next level,” Chalmers stated.

The Darling Downs and southwest Queensland schools participating in 2022 are Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Concordia Lutheran College, Dalby South State School, Haden State School, Vale View State School, and the Meringandan State School.