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2017 News Releases




WIA moves ahead STEM involvement

Date : 02 / 01 / 2017
Author : Fred Swainston - VK3DAC

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is developing a plan for the involvement of radio amateurs in the Federal Government promoted Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) program. This follows the successful WIA STEM symposium in Canberra on November 19, that had 24 people attend to discuss seven presentations and a further 12 papers of suggestions, ideas and concepts. It confirmed that the target audience where contribution would have greatest impact was at the secondary schools level Years 7 to 10, and fit in with the school curriculum.

The WIA believes that through the existing networks, projects and programs can be developed that fit with and enhance schools STEM programs. There are a number of existing projects and activities that should also be supported by the WIA STEM network. A basic thrust of the event was to consider specialised talents through mentoring and coordinating interesting leading-edge activities. The symposium also thought how to promote and market the STEM initiative. Within Amateur Radio there are talented people including many who can develop educational programs and others having vast hands-on technical experience.

The plan being considered is to access a very broad range of skills and knowledge that exist in some radio amateurs, and develop with teachers STEM educational programs for young people. This will need a coordination role across all States and Territories and the setting up of teams of interested radio amateurs to carry out identified projects. Now being considered is having a National STEM program Coordinator who can lead it and State and Territory Coordinators, a STEM Wiki website that explains the resource available and a directory of the volunteers. The Wiki facility for STEM related projects and activities would be made public and promoted, but its content moderated by the coordination team. The outcomes of the WIA symposium and a possible STEM plan for the future will be considered in 2017 after further consultation takes place with interested parties and the broader Amateur Radio community.


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