The Australian Government will provide $4 million over four years to help Australian school students put their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning into action. The Maker Projects element will support schools to set up dedicated maker spaces where students can apply their STEM knowledge, develop entrepreneurial skills and gain experience working with technology. It will also support community groups and other organisations to hold maker workshops and activities for children and youth.
75 per cent of jobs in the future will require qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It has never been more important to equip primary and secondary school classrooms so students are familiar with emerging technologies. Maker spaces allow students to put theory into practice by applying their knowledge of STEM to design and make new products.
The element will offer grants of between $2 000 and $5 000 to cover the costs of tools, equipment, specialised furniture and consumables needed to establish maker spaces that encourage experimentation and tinkering in a supervised and accessible environment.
Community Capability Building
The future of Australian science and industry rests in the hands of today’s students and the Maker Projects element will ensure that they are supported in the pursuit of their scientific interests. Maker spaces are about equipping today’s students with skills they need to do the jobs of the 21st Century by giving students practical experience in design, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Maker Projects will support community organisations with experience in running maker-related activities and events with grants between $5 000 and $20 000. The grants will fund up to 50 per cent of the project costs for events aimed at linking young people with local experts, inventors, entrepreneurs and industries, and providing practical demonstrations and workshops. Examples include the Questacon Smart Skills Initiative, Coderdojos and Maker Faires.
Who can apply and how
Grants are now available for eligible schools and organisations. Grants will be allocated on a ‘first in’ basis until the annual allocation is exhausted.
To apply and for more information visit http://www.business.gov.au/mp