Lockheed Martin Australia and STEM Punks are set to launch a flagship, space-focused educational program.
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The new STEM learning initiative is designed to deliver school curricula aimed at educating, upskilling and inspiring Australia's future space workforce.
Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) and STEM Punks launched the new program at Armidale Secondary College in NSW, marking a key milestone of their ongoing relationship. Located near LMA’s Tracking, Telemetry and Command ground station at Uralla, Armidale Secondary College is positioned where the company has been supporting satellites in orbit for over 20 years.
The continued partnership with STEM Punks, according to David Ball, regional director for Space at Lockheed Martin Australia, is aimed at engaging young people to pursue a future career in the Australian space industry.
“By bringing space to life for young Australians, we can engage and equip them with critical skills needed to support our nation’s burgeoning industry long into the future.
“Lockheed Martin Australia’s partnership with STEM Punks represents part of our broader commitment to building a more robust and resilient Australian space industry,” Ball said.
Designed as a two-day intensive education experience, the program will host 150 students across years 7 to 10 to learn new STEM skills in radio frequency communications and coding through a mix of online and face-to-face modules.
According to Tobie White, head teacher of science at Armidale Secondary College, the STEM Punks team were exceptional in their delivery of the course and ensured “total engagement” of the students.
“They demonstrated the real-world application of design, experimenting and coding, which captured the imagination of the students and allowed them to practice these skills through problem solving-scenarios,” White said.
STEM Punks CEO and co-founder Michael Holmstrom added that there are future programs planned for a national rollout beyond Armidale Secondary College.
“Over the life of this partnership, STEM Punks will engage a diverse array of students in 80 primary and secondary schools across Australia.
“By working closely with Lockheed Martin Australia, we can provide these students unparalleled opportunities to connect with industry and learn from some of our nation’s leading experts in space,” Holmstrom said.
In addition to working with students in class and engaging students with speakers like LMA’s principal researchers about career pathways, LMA and STEM Punks are aiming to implement a national program to help enable secondary students to advance into areas of need across the Australian space industry.
At a vocational level, the LMA and STEM Punks partnership will deliver a program for industry mentorship and skills development for individuals and groups within Australia’s space sector and adjacent industries.
In November 2021, the partnership between LMA and STEM Punks began to help with bolstering the workforce in support of LMA’s proposed JP 9102 solution — a next-generation, sovereign military satellite communication capability to the Australian Defence Force.
To complement its work with STEM Punks, LMA has also engaged an extensive Australian industry network to deliver solutions and supply chain opportunities for JP 9102 and beyond, including Inovor Technologies, Av-Comm, Calytrix Technologies, Clearbox Systems, Conscia, DXC, EM Solutions, Linfox, Ronson Gears and Shoal Group.