House debates

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Constituency Statements

National Science Week

10:36 am

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

More than 350 schools recently took part in STEM in Schools events as part of National Science Week. The CSIRO sent their best and brightest all over the country to build excitement about the bright futures of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Australia.

On 10 August, students, teachers and STEM professionals—and I was very privileged to be there—came together at Sandringham College to showcase the opportunities a STEM education and career can provide. I was very proud to talk about my interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—well, my disinterest during high school, although I did do my maths methods and managed to pass—later in life, when I became fascinated by physics, particularly as part of the discussion around climate science, which I'm very privileged to have studied at university. I think I'm probably the only person who studied climate science at university in this parliament, but I'll have to check that.

Nigel Kain has been teaching at Sandringham College for 11 years. He's had a keen interest in the implementation of technology into all areas of education. Nigel has been working with staff to further develop the curriculum to embed STEM into it. We should praise Nigel for his use of 21st century learning tools within his teaching to further engage students. Also involved was Viv McElwee, assistant principal and the head of years 10-12 campus, and Russell Watson, assistant principal and head of years 7-9 campus. He was an integral member of staff for over 12 years.

We were also very fortunate to have CSIRO representative and STEM professional, Dr Fabienne Reisen. Dr Reisen is a senior atmospheric research scientist in the Climate Science Centre of CSIRO. After joining CSIRO in 2004, Dr Reisen is now a team leader in reactive gases at the Oceans and Atmosphere program, which is just near the Goldstein electorate.

Sandringham College has recently opened two new buildings to complement the completion of a year 7 learning and science centre in 2016. These buildings are helping provide the infrastructure for a growing focus on STEM in the classroom. While I was at Sandringham College I visited some of the school students who are engaged in STEM programs. I saw how it is enabling them to do things that are more amazing. I gave them a talk that was at least spirited—no-one would ever accuse me of not giving one of those—about how the future is going to be awesome. I told them the power and potential of the market in science and technology to transform the human experience has never been more incredible than it is now, and how excited they should be about the future and what they can do and what they can achieve. It was fascinating to see the technology they are using, and, frankly, how cheap it is today. I explained the consequences of what it used to be like with an Apple IIe and a Logo turtle to be able to navigate and deal with issues around programming. Congratulations to everybody at Sandringham College, and best wishes for your STEM endeavours.