House debates

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Statements by Members

Bennelong STEM Challenge

1:42 pm

Photo of John AlexanderJohn Alexander (Bennelong, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to inform the House about the Bennelong STEM Challenge happening tomorrow. It's a particularly important local initiative I started several years ago. As many members of this House are aware, science, technology, engineering and maths are four of the critical skills needed by our workforce to propel our economy into the future. Australia must increasingly rely on higher order technical skills, so nurturing talent in STEM is essential.

Our education system provides students with excellent formal training in the technical STEM skills but often students lack an opportunity to apply those skills, creatively, independently and critically in a project of their own. This is why I began the Bennelong STEM challenge in 2017, I wanted to provide students in Bennelong with an opportunity to engage with STEM problems and think creatively about how to overcome them.

Last year we were fortunate to partner with Re-Engineering Australia, led by Dr Michael Myers, to run the competition. This year Dr Myers and Re-engineering will once again be hosting the Bennelong STEM challenge for dozens of students across the electorate to participate this Friday. Each team will submit a design for a medical hub on the surface of Mars, which will be rendered into a 3D virtual reality. Every year I am astounded by the quality and ingenuity of our students. I greatly look forward to seeing what they create again this year.