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5 reasons why STEM Education is CRUCIAL for Australian children

STEM activity with 2 students building a model electric car with batteries to create a circuit

STEM is not just an acronym or buzz word, it is an all-encompassing body of knowledge and set of skills that tells us about the world and allows us to continue to learn more!

It is a cross-disciplinary approach to solving problems and highlights the intrinsic links between science, technology, engineering and maths.

So, why is it crucial for our young people to engage in STEM education?

1.Australia is not keeping up with the global need for STEM

There are many reasons to be concerned about Australia’s STEM activity and what this means for our future. School students’ science and maths results are declining or stagnating and Australia is slipping down the international ranking tables as other countries improve. This is a major concern for industry and their future workforce as skill shortages and recruitment of staff becomes challenging. In 2020, less than 10% of students were studying a higher level of maths. 

Educators are encouraged to increase STEM in their planning and implementation of the curriculum to increase Australian students' understanding of the importance of STEM, or STEM career opportunities, as they often find out too late in their career planning.

2. The gap between the knowledge generated in the education system and the skills demanded by employers and individuals is widening. 

Overcoming these limitations requires a priority focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including the development of workplace skills in STEM. Future careers will also rely heavily on ‘21st century skills’ — for example, critical thinking, creativity, cultural awareness, collaboration and problem-solving. When done well, STEM education complements the development of 21st century skills. It’s predicted that future workers will spend more than twice as much time on job tasks requiring science, maths and critical thinking than today.

3. A collective effort is needed to change Australia’s future in STEM

Industry and education both play a key role in changing Australia’s future by supporting students to understand the realities and needs of the STEM workforce and preparing students for the big career challenges and opportunities ahead.

There are lots of others who can make important contributions, too. Many not-for-profit groups and community organisations support STEM education, or would like to. Parents and guardians also play a critical role in shaping the attitudes of young people and helping them succeed.

4. Automation and globalisation are changing the way we think about, and define, careers. 

Employment is becoming fluid, and people will go from having one profession to several in their working life. These may be entirely different roles, across entirely different sectors. Entire job sectors are emerging or disappearing, and workforces are rushing to keep up with change.

It’s vital that Australia keeps pace with technological change. Without adequate STEM skills and understanding in Australia, there is a risk that companies searching for these skills will be forced to set up elsewhere. But if we prepare Australians for the jobs of the future, we will enjoy a thriving cycle of jobs and opportunities.

5. STEM learning is important for students in their everyday life

In our contemporary world, with the rise of new technologies in biomedicine, microfabrication, robotics and artificial intelligence. The ability to understand and apply data, evaluate information and develop solutions to complex problems, will be important life skills.

Science experiment with chemistry apparatus for students including bunsen burner, test tubes and glassware

STEM Zone offer a diverse range of services so that we can reach a diverse range of young people and families. We work with schools and teachers to enhance their STEM education curriculum and VCE programs, we work with community groups and attend events. We also offer School Holiday Programs, STEM Birthday Parties, Get Messy (for the littlest scientists) and free resources, so that we can provide access to the awesome world of STEM.

Get in touch to see how we can provide the access, exposure and expertise in STEM experiences for your students or children!

Yours in STEM education,


NB: Information in the post was edited from the Australian Government, Department of Education, STEM Tool kit :



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