The Andrews Labor Government is giving children the chance to engage with the world of science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) before their first birthday, as part of a new experience at Scienceworks.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today joined leading scientists and Museums Victoria staff to announce a range of new STEM-focused experiences at Scienceworks designed to prepare young Victorians for a science and technology-led future.
Two new permanent exhibitions and a number of parallel programs are being developed with a specific focus on children under five years old, as well as teenagers and young adults.
The new experiences include:
- A $2.5 million STEM exhibition for babies to 5-year-olds focused on construction to introduce small children to real world skills in an unreal space
- A $3.75 million immersive permanent exhibition for secondary school age and beyond, to engage young adults in science through revealing the invisible world of wave forms
- Workshops, outreach programs and professional development resources to support formal and informal STEM education across Victoria.
In addition, Museums Victoria has appointed 11 Scienceworks ambassadors – 10 of whom are women – to inspire the next generation, particularly young girls. They include a biological scientist, a construction engineer, a cognitive neuroscientist and a toxicologist.
The new initiatives have been developed to help young Victorians meet the challenge of a future in which an increasing number of jobs will depend on STEM skills but enrolment in science and technology subjects at schools and universities is decreasing.
With the inclusion of strong female role models and activities suited to girls’ learning styles, the new experiences also seek to overcome the gender disparity when it comes to both pursuing study and careers in STEM.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Children and Families Jenny Mikakos
“These inspiring and empowering STEM experiences will help better prepare our children for tomorrow’s world and give them a head start for the jobs and opportunities of the future.”
Quote attributable to Museums Victoria CEO Lynley Marshall
“This is a new era for Scienceworks, enabling us to provide creative, stimulating environments that prepare the next generation for the technology and science challenges of the future.”