Earlier this month, Australia’s chief scientist Professor Ian Chubb released his recommendations for a strategic approach to science and its related fields. In the report entitled Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future Prof Chubb outlines his vision for a stronger and more competitive Australia.
“Science is infrastructure and it is critical to our future,” he said. “We must align our scientific effort to the national interest; focus on areas of particular importance or need; and do it on a scale that will make a difference to Australia and a changing world.”
Part of Prof Chubb’s report focuses on supporting high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and training.
“We are the only OECD country without a science or technology strategy,” he said. “Other countries have realised that such an approach is essential to remaining competitive in a world reliant on science and science-trained people.”
Education Matters magazine spoke with President of the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA), Robyn Aitken, about how science education in Australian schools is faring and how Prof Chubb’s plan to ‘give every Australian child an outstanding science education’ can best be achieved.
ASTA welcomes Prof Chubb’s strategic approach to STEM education and sees that this report and the national focus on STEM, opens new opportunities for collaboration, partnerships and investment in supporting existing and new teachers of science in building their confidence, capacity and expertise to inspire and encourage students to seriously consider the opportunities STEM can offer in the short term and in the longer career scenarios.