RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Development Manager, Mr Rick Evans joined The Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence, and other distinguished guests on November 30 when he addressed the STEM in Defence Summit held in Canberra.
The STEM in Defence Summit focused on the need for Defence to encourage, harness and progress its relationship with the Education sector. Specifically, the emergence of STEM education as an essential industry in the future is of utmost importance.
Rick presented information about RDA Hunter’s STEM initiatives including the ME Program and STEMship which provide students with essential STEM and enterprise skills to prepare them for defence and defence industry careers of the future. The Hunter is one of only three locations in Australia that delivers the Dept of Defence funded Industry Schools Pathway Program, known in the region as the ME Program.
Mr Dave Bonzo also spoke on behalf of the ME Program. As STEM Education Team Leader at ME Program partner school, St Philips Christian College, Mr Bonzo provided the audience with a case study of the highly successful STEM work he is undertaking with students in years nine to twelve in collaboration with RDA Hunter. St Philips students have embraced the immersive STEM program and are excelling in applying their STEM knowledge to innovate and prepare for the ‘real life’ opportunities that exist with Hunter industry.
Since 2010, RDA Hunter’s ME Program has designed, created and implemented initiatives that STEM skill Hunter students in preparedness for the jobs of the future. Designed in direct response to local industry’s urgent need for STEM skilled employees and to boost the growth capacity of the Hunter’s innovative defence and manufacturing sectors, the ME Program has impacted more than 50,000 school students with its innovative, hands-on and fun educational experiences and immersive industry activities that teach the skills they will need in the future.
MORE ABOUT ADM’S STEM IN DEFENCE SUMMIT
The overlap between STEM and Defence is obvious. From the development of vehicles and weaponry to the construction and maintenance of key defence infrastructure, STEM is a natural fit for Defence; it is imperative that the industry identifies this and supports the potential of young people within education.
For this reason, ADM collated key thought-leaders and practitioners from the DoD, industry and Education to understand the need for a national STEM policy in Defence, the current pathways from education into both the department of Defence and Defence industry, how industry are utilising their connections and cultivating new relationships with Australia’s most prevalent educational institutions and how proactive attitudes now will elevate Australia’s standing as a global player in both Education and Defence.