The Australian Government regards high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as critically important for our current and future productivity, as well as for informed personal decision making and effective community, national and global citizenship.
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The Australian Government is committed to improving the STEM skills of young Australians to ensure that they have the skills they need to live and work in a globalised world. In support of this, the Government is providing significant funding for initiatives to improve the teaching and learning of STEM in early learning and schools announced in the 2020-21 Budget, over 2020-21 to 2024-25:
- $9.6 million to extend and evaluate the Primary Connections, Science by Doing and reSolve: Mathematics by Inquiry science programs to support student learning, including resources for teachers.
- $5.7 million to support the Foundation to Year Two expansion of the Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) program to improve STEM literacy and numeracy in Australian schools.
- $4.8 million to extend and evaluate the STEM Professionals in Schools program by partnering teachers with STEM professionals to enhance STEM teaching practices and deliver engaging STEM education in Australian schools.
- $4.4 million to extend and evaluate the Let’s Count program to help develop the early numeracy skills of disadvantaged children.
- $2.8 million to extend and evaluate the Little Scientists program to help early learning educators to build their skills and confidence in STEM, so that they can lead fun and inquiry-based learning.
The Government is also providing:
- $10.5 million to strengthen the capacity of teachers across Australia to teach mathematics and numeracy through online professional development courses for teachers of Foundation to Year 10 students, supported by face-to-face professional learning, and a repository of teaching and learning resources through an online Mathematics Hub, over 2019-20 to 2022-23.
- $2.35 million for the extension and expansion of Curious Minds (STEM Summer Schools for Girls) under the Women’s Economic Security Package over 2020-21 to 2023-24.
- $1.5 million to support the delivery of Artificial Intelligence in Schools, under the Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan, as part of the $29.9 million Artificial Intelligence Capability Fund measure, over 2018-19 to 2021-22. This funding provided further support to the Digital Technologies Hub and the National Lending Library, which continue to operate in 2023 through the National Schools Reform Fund.
More information on these measures is at School and Early Learning STEM initiatives.
Program evaluations have occurred on several early learning and schooling programs. To find out more, visit STEM program evaluations in the early years and schooling.