Beacon expansion puts the spotlight on STEM

Today we continue our sponsored series reporting on BAE Systems Australia’s Partnering for success defence industry supplier event with a look at the Beacon STEM program for primary schools.

BAE Systems Australia is expanding its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) outreach program with immersive technology company, Lumination, to young people in Victoria.

This means more than 600 students in years 4-6 across Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales will benefit from the Beacon program this year, which involves in-school learning and intensive STEM focused camps.

Beacon focuses on young people aged between 8-11, helping them understand more about technology early in their education and to encourage more children from diverse backgrounds consider STEM subjects.

Last year, almost half of all participating students were female and 6% were indigenous children. Around 80% of those who took part said they would choose a future STEM career.

South Australian Minister for Education, Training and Skills, Blair Boyer said:

“Encouraging STEM is incredibly important, particularly to students who are sometimes under-represented in the field.

“This program makes STEM interesting and accessible for students and exposes them to career paths in which there will be significant demand, now and well into the future.

“It opens the door to a number of incredible careers and it’s critical we provide students with access to these opportunities.”

BAE Systems Australia Chief People Officer, Angela Wiggins, said:

“I am really pleased to see solid interest from Indigenous students and the high number of girls participating in the program.

“STEM studies encourage problem solving and innovation and these are the skills that Australian industry needs today and in the future and will underpin the nation’s future prosperity.

“With Beacon, we aim to inspire early interest and enthusiasm for STEM subjects so that later those students might pursue highly skilled, well paid careers in engineering and ICT.”

Lumination Head of Education, Rebecca Bendikov, said:

“Last year, 400 students — who may not have otherwise had access to emerging technology — gained new skills to propel them into the future. By showing these students their own potential, what future careers are available to them and bringing in role models from BAE Systems, they can now aspire to be what they can see.”

Lumination Chief Executive Officer, Edward Carlson, added:

“We are proud of the impact this program has had in its inaugural year. Not only does it work to increase equitable access to emerging technology, it ensures a strong local supply of students pursuing STEM career opportunities, which is required to compete and engage in the global economy.

“With the recent AUKUS announcement, we have an opportunity to work with schools to equip them with the technology necessary for their students to build skills for the future. By inviting students to create solutions that impact air, land, and sea here in Australia, we are setting them up for success.”

Picture: BAE Systems Australia

@AuManufacturing’s series Defence industry partnering for success is sponsored by defence sector prime contractor BAE Systems Australia.

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