The 2016 – 2017 School STEM Grants are funded by an Industry Skilling and Schools Pathways Grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Defence. Regional Development Australia – Hunter is contracted to manage the skilling initiative through its “ME Program”. The “ME Program” is part of Regional Development – Hunter’s new Smarter Workforce Initiative (SWI)
The 2016 – 2017 iteration of the ME Program has an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The ME Programs primary objectives are to:
- Increase the uptake of STEM subjects at secondary institutions;
- Increase student awareness of STEM employment pathways;
- Facilitate student opportunities of hands on experiences with industry;
- Establish student mentoring and networking opportunities with industry.
The long term benefits of the ME Program are;
- To increase the pool of young Hunter people ready to move from school into further education and apprenticeships, internships, scholarships and part-time work/study combinations in STEM;
- To educate the youth of the Hunter about STEM based employment options available in Industry and Defence;
- To improve the Hunter’s competiveness, through an increased pool of future, upskilled employees.
The 2016 – 2017 ME Program will ensure that students are made aware of possible industry career opportunities and have a greater understanding of the role of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in future careers. The ME Program aims to provide practical experiences for students and teachers through collaborative industry interaction. A fundamental element of the ME Program is to contextualise certain topics within the STEM courses so that the content of learning becomes more real, relevant and enjoyable for both the teacher and student. This is achieved through strong collaboration between educators and industry stakeholders.