RDA Hunter’s ME Program was recently featured on ABC’s national news Bulletin.
Bucking the national trend of falling science enrolments, RDA Hunter’s ME program is making a difference to Hunter school students and industry. Selection of physics for example has risen 5% to above the NSW average at schools participating in the program.
David Bonzo of ME partner school St Philips Christian College said, “The Program has given students a reason to study harder subjects like maths, sciences for their HSC.”
“We have worked hard to build the ME Program into a workforce development initiative that makes a difference to students and industry and we’re seeing tangible results,” said RDA Hunter CEO Todd Williams.
As one of only three school student focused programs funded by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in Australia, RDA Hunter’s ME Program links Hunter defence and manufacturing companies and Hunter high schools to build a skilled and tailored workforce for the future.
Ashley Cox, Manager of the ME Program says “This is such a unique opportunity for our region to lead the way in terms of ensuring our young people are fully prepared for the future, a future in which technological change and skills in Science and Mathematics will be vital.”
Highlights of the program to date include,
- Secondary school participation in the ME Program has increased from 4 schools to 26 schools (which is a majority of secondary schools in the Hunter).
- So far, over 7,500 students have been involved in the program
- Industry participation has increased from 4 to 32. These companies range from small to medium sized technology companies to multi-nationals.
- The uptake by year 11 students in Physics has grown to now put the Hunter above the NSW average
- Students attending as ME Program School are now twice as likely to undertake engineering studies are significantly more likely to complete higher education as a result.
- One of the ME Partner schools in 2012 for the first time ever has put on an extension maths class (3 unit)
“We need more of this type of focus to increase the enrolments (in STEM subjects)” said Prof Denis Goodrum from the Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.
For the ABC news story visit http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-22/schools-shake-up-science-projects/5472038?section=nsw