STEM future bright with funding boost

27 March 2023

CQUniversity’s Gladstone Marina STEM Central has been given a $200,000 funding boost, thanks to Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) operated downstream by ConocoPhillips Australia.

The company, which has been the sole funder of the facility, this week announced the continuation of its partnership for a further two years.

CQUniversity Associate Vice-President of the Gladstone Campus, Luke Sinclair said he was thrilled to have APLNG on board again as principal partner of STEM Central.

“Since opening five years ago, APLNG STEM Central has fostered and enabled the growth of STEM capacity and has seen thousands of local students and members of our community come together to engage in STEM,” Mr Sinclair said.

“The state-of-the-art hub has also delivered an academically rigorous education program aimed at upskilling teachers in STEM subjects and has proactively addressed the growing need for STEM education and skills in the region.

“None of this would have been possible without the shared commitment of APLNG, for which we are incredibly thankful.”

ConocoPhillips Australia Manager Communities and Sustainable Development, Rob Gibb said they were delighted to extend the partnership for a further two years.

“We’re proud to extend this partnership with CQUniversity to continue improving STEM education and training in regional Australia and ensuring the workforce of tomorrow is equipped with essential skills and knowledge,” Mr Gibb said.

“STEM Central presents an education solution that addresses the causes of STEM knowledge gaps while creating interest and building capacity for teachers and students,” he said.

“APLNG’s continued investment in STEM Central will allow for ongoing education support to the community in an increasingly technology-focused future."

APLNG has a rich legacy of supporting STEM education in the region.

STEM Central Lead Associate Professor Linda Pfeiffer said she was proud to see how far the hub had come since its inception.

“STEM Central’s signature Innovation Challenge event for Years 5 – 8 students, delivered through BOP Industries, has evolved from Future Cities to Future Foods and this year we will be able to deliver Future Energy,” Associate Professor Pfeiffer said.

“The Buraligim Weiber program for Year 4 Indigenous students is being expanded and includes lessons around the land and the sea.

“We are so grateful for the partnership and continued support from Australia Pacific LNG and look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”