Science Works connects year 9 and 10 students from Dunedin with innovative businesses in the science and technology sector to provide inspirational, behind-the-scenes experiences of Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM)-based careers before students make their important year 11 NCEA subject decisions. Science Works aims to create ‘science choosers’ by revealing exciting STEM-based career pathways that are tailored to each student’s existing skills and strengths, and increase students’ engagement with STEM education through a contextualised look at how STEM fits with attainable careers in computing, manufacturing, agriculture, conservation, aviation, electronics, tourism and many more skilled career pathways.
Aims and Outcomes
- There is a shortage of young people pursing STEM-based education and career pathways and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly underrepresented.
- The transition from the compulsory to the post-compulsory school curriculum is a significant drop-off point in STEM education and career pathways, and many students who opt out at this point often don’t re-enter in senior secondary school or tertiary education.
- A critical transition moment is the year 11 NCEA subject decisions that students make at the end of year 10. Students who see science in a real world context and who identify
- STEM-based career options are more likely to pursue STEM subjects in year 11 and beyond.
- Science Works will develop an interest in the practical applications of STEM in exciting local workplaces and inspire students to consider STEM-based education and career pathways.
- Science Works will also create a STEM career resource to provide students from Otago schools with a contextualised guide to the career options that exist within the Otago region.
Science Works will result in:
- Increased enrolments in STEM-based year 11 NCEA subjects.
- Increased understanding of the practical applications for STEM.
- The creation of STEM-related education and career goals.
- Increased engagement with science and technology generally.
Science Works is funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's Unlocking Curious Minds initiative.