STEM Central to 'illuminate' on international stage

15 August 2022

CQUniversity's STEM Central will take centre stage at the International Science and Eco Fest's Illuminate FNQ event in Cairns this week when its Buraligim Weiber program is showcased.

Australia Pacific LNG STEM Lead and CQUniversity academic Dr Linda Pfeiffer said it was a privilege to talk about the Gladstone centre and program at this unique event organised by First Nations Peoples.

"Our main focus for the presentation will be our Buraligim Weiber program which has been developed for Years 3 and 4 Indigenous students'" explained Dr Pfeiffer.

"Buraligim Weiber means place of learning and is an Indigenous numeracy and literacy program through STEM Central. The program runs over 20 weeks in school terms 3 and 4.

"The Illuminate event is organised by First Nations Peoples and will feature astronauts' geoscience Australia' traditional organisations' the Queensland Chief Scientist and many more guest speakers.

"In the future this will be an annual event' with a smaller version to be held every second year in Gladstone."

Dr Pfeiffer said STEM Central has had an impact on tens of thousands of people by having a presence' not only on campus in Gladstone' but through greater outreach through STEM clusters' the Advanced Technology and Innovation Centre in Rockhampton and Maker Space in Bundaberg.

"We've also been involved in events such as the World Science Festival and through organisations such as Questacon."

In her role as Lead of STEM Central' Dr Pfeiffer has also published books' book chapters' journal articles and presented at many conferences which has provided greater impact and outreach for the centre.

"I have been involved in STEM really my whole life. I went from school to uni to teaching and then academia all in science education.

"I believe science skills' knowledge and understanding' values and attitudes are critical to understanding the world around us and contributing to society.

"Future skills are needed to keep up with changing technologies and careers including sustainability."