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Early secondary schooling in most states and territories includes Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 (apart from South Australia). These years represent a key transition point in a student’s school journey.
Reasons to target this age group
- It’s a critical time for identity and aspiration formation. Positive lower secondary experiences strongly influence future STEM participation.
- Many students start to lose interest in STEM during these years, so it’s a good opportunity to engage them in STEM.
- Informed career advice is critical to subject choice in senior secondary years.
- Students are developing core STEM theories and subject matter knowledge e.g. algebraic reasoning.
Challenges in supporting this age group
- The transition between primary and secondary school is busy and students are dealing with many new experiences and subjects at once.
- Parents as major influencers of student subject choice, may lack knowledge about the importance of STEM education and STEM career opportunities.
Want to know more?
- STEM Education: A Review of the Contribution of the Disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, 2016 report.
Case study: Tech Schools
Tech Schools are local learning hubs that deliver STEM learning experiences to students in Victoria. They are located at a TAFE or university campus and have partnerships with local and global business partners.
Tech Schools aim to excite and inspire secondary school students in STEM. In particular, they focus on keeping students on the ‘STEM track’. They aim to keep students engaged in STEM education while in early secondary. This will help increase the chances of students choosing STEM education and careers in later secondary and after school.
Tech Schools run a range of programs that get students actively solving local problems, programming technologies, learning about the STEM workforce and growing 21st century skills.