The Andrews Labor Government has partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on a new program to teach Victorian secondary school students quantum computing.
Under the agreement, NASA – the US agency responsible for civilian programs as well as aeronautics and aerospace research – will provide advice on a new quantum computing program to be run at the Victorian Space Science Education Centre, in Strathmore.
The program will introduce Victorian school students to the growing field of quantum computing, which harnesses the power of atoms and molecules to perform processing tasks and solve problems beyond the capacity of conventional computers.
Minister for Education, James Merlino, and Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, today joined students at Scienceworks to announce the NASA partnership and launch the new Victorian Maths Challenge.
The Victorian Maths Challenge is open to all pre-school and year 5-8 students, with activities for students and their families that link maths to real-world situations.
This includes games for parents of pre-schoolers to introduce their children to maths in real-life settings like the super market, while Year 5-8 students and their families can take part in eight online challenges, including building and measuring towers, designing paper planes, strategy games and building floatable craft.
The activities are linked to the curriculum and designed to make maths more engaging for younger students.
Mr Merlino and Ms Mikakos also launched the Labor Government’s new STEM in the Education State plan, which outlines programs to boost science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education in Victorian schools, including:
- Training 60 teachers at 30 schools to mentor other teachers in STEM education for Years 7-8 students
- Ten new Tech Schools to deliver applied STEM education, as well as critical employment skills
- Training 200 teachers to drive significant improvements in maths and science participation and outcomes
- Enhancing young children’s cognition, numeracy, communication and creativity with the Taking Small Bytes card deck, with more than 370 ideas for play-based learning experiences using digital technologies
- 500 educators will be trained in the program which will benefit more than 14,000 pre-schoolers (aged three to five years old) and 5,500 families.
Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We are making sure our young people have the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow – and we know about 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations will need science, technology, engineering and maths.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The best way to enhance young children’s awareness of STEM concepts is through everyday experiences, and the Victorian Maths Challenge does this with fun activities in real-life settings – like going to the supermarket.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020