The Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Science

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines have never been more important to Australia’s future.

Teachers of these subjects are on the frontline in preparing our young people for the careers of the future, arming them with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to become tomorrow’s scientists, researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

With parents, teachers are often major influencers in encouraging students’ study choices, leading them to the high-wage, high-skilled and high-productivity jobs that will be imperative to Australia’s continued prosperity, productivity and competitiveness in a changing global economy.

Programs such as the STEM X Academy are vital for equipping primary and secondary teachers with the resources, skills and – crucially – the confidence and enthusiasm to engage their students with the wonder and relevance of STEM.

With its partner Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre, the Australian Science Teachers Association is striving to provide the most relevant, practical and connected in-service teacher professional development program in Australia.

The STEM X Academy draws on international best practice in inquiry-based learning and links teachers with scientists and researchers to explore contemporary STEM concepts.

Among the program’s most valuable legacies are the connections that participants forge with their colleagues across Australia.

The STEM X Academy complements the Australian Government’s commitment, through the National Innovation and Science Agenda (the Agenda), to building the country’s future skills base. The Agenda will achieve this goal through an $84 million investment in programs to: boost digital literacy and STEM skills among young Australians; support current and future STEM teachers; increase the number of women in STEM studies, research, industries and start-ups; and increase STEM literacy across the community.

Transforming Australia into a world leader in innovation and science requires government, educators, business leaders, scientists and the public to work together to harness our potential and the power of our ideas.

The STEM X Academy is a very exciting program. I encourage all STEM teachers to take advantage of this opportunity to make a difference to your teaching, your students, your colleagues and Australia’s future.