Closing the gap by sparking Indigenous kids’ love of STEM subjects

Published:20 March 2019

STEM Central - one of the venues for the Monadelphous CQUniversity Indigenous STEM Camp.

Gladstone and Boyne Island have been hosting a unique five-day camp aimed at closing a key education gap by enhancing Indigenous kids’ engagement with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The inaugural  Monadelphous CQUniversity Indigenous STEM Camp, funded by Monadelphous, is providing Year 7 and Year 8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from the Gladstone area the opportunity to engage with STEM opportunities, and to understand related future career pathways.

The camp is being hosted at Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre, and at the Australia Pacific LNG STEM Central facility at CQUniversity Gladstone Marina campus.

“Participants have activities such as technology, environmental science, bush cooking, astronomy, mangrove ecosystem studies, a trip to Facing Island, team building and career sessions,” says CQUniversity Senior Lecturer, Dr Linda Pfeiffer.

Dr Pfeiffer, who is also the Australia Pacific LNG STEM Project Lead, said there was a critical shortage of students studying STEM courses at universities across Australia.

“Over 75 per cent of jobs now require STEM skills,” Dr Pfeiffer says.

“There is a growing need to enhance STEM education in Australia, particularly for Indigenous youth.”

“CQUniversity is excited to partner with Monadelphous and Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre to bring together university academics, teachers, Indigenous school children and community, and industry to enhance the understanding of STEM.”

“The Monadelphous CQUniversity Indigenous STEM Camp is one way that the local Gladstone community can work towards Closing the Gap by providing Indigenous youth with an opportunity to be immersed in real-world STEM experiences.”

Monadelphous Executive General Manager, Zoran Bebic said the business was proud to partner with CQUniversity to offer the STEM camp in Gladstone.

“The initiative is strongly aligned with our Monadelphous values and priorities, supporting education opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander while developing a pipeline of STEM-educated workforce,” said Mr Bebic.

The camp funded by Monadelphous includes meals, transport (while on camp), activities and accommodation at the Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre.

The  Monadelphous CQUniversity Indigenous STEM Camp is being held from 18-22 March.