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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13993


Mrs ANDREWS (McPhersonMinister for Industry, Science and Technology) (16:46): I rise today to highlight the incredible work of teachers on the Gold Coast who are actively promoting students to engage in science, technology, engineering and maths—commonly known as STEM. Megan Hayes, the STEM coordinator teacher at Mudgeeraba Creek State School, recently wrote to me to let me know about her participation in the STEM X Academy. This five-day residential professional learning program is open to Australian teachers across all sectors and levels of experience. The STEM X Academy is run by a partnership of the Australian Science Teachers Association, Questacon and CSIRO.

Megan highlighted to me that her participation in this program was, without doubt, the most enriching and inspiring personal development opportunity she's been involved in during her teaching career. The program focuses on developing the skills of teachers so that they in turn can futureproof their students in a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world. Furthermore, through the week-long program the professional networks that were established between the teachers from across Australia provide an invaluable resource for idea sharing and support. It's a testament to the passion of Megan and the other attendees that they sacrificed their personal holidays to attend, with many paying for the program themselves.

I too am passionate about STEM education and, as an engineer, I can personally attest to the benefits of studying these subjects. My studies have been central to my career outside politics and also allowed me to bring this experience to my role as the member for McPherson and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. I know that to secure the jobs of the future for our children we need to educate them, to train them and to give them the skills that they need. This will allow Australia to continue to compete as a global economy. Those who have participated in this STEM X program know this too. I commend all the wonderful science educators on the Gold Coast, in particular Megan Hayes, who are inspiring and teaching our children. I wish Megan all the very best in her endeavours and efforts to make a positive impact in our community.