Multinational defence company Thales has partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to promote vital Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in Australian schools.
Under a three-year agreement, the company will support two national CSIRO programs that are helping build the technology workforce of tomorrow – the Creativity in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) program and Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS).
Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia CEO said "Australia’s future prosperity is dependent on developing the right skills at a young age. Our country requires a sound base of technical and scientific knowledge, and programs such as these help to build it. As an engineer myself, I know how important it is for kids to get interested in STEM subjects during their school years, and how that translates into exciting and rewarding careers."
Dr Larry Marshall, CSIRO chief executive, said collaboration between research and industry lights the path towards STEM careers for budding young innovators.
"Seeing the importance of science in a successful company like Thales makes STEM real for students and inspires them to tackle tomorrow’s challenges with confidence and enthusiasm, which is vital for Australia to become an innovation leader."
Thales’ participation in the CREST awards program involves their company personnel working with students who are designing and carrying out their own open-ended science investigation or technology projects.
CREST encourages students to learn multiple skills including scientific thinking, planning, problem solving and effective communication.
The SMiS program will see technical specialists from Thales spend time in schools, working with teachers to bring real-world experience to students in the classroom and promote the importance of STEM.
Since its establishment in 2007, SMiS has grown into a successful program with over 1,790 currently active partnerships across Australian schools.
Thales said it supports STEM education in different countries, and is keen to encourage new models of education to ensure that as many young people as possible are inspired by scientific subjects and taught how to look for innovative solutions and think creatively.