Around 8500 students at secondary colleges across Bendigo will soon have access to the latest technology in the classroom, with construction due to begin on the city’s new Tech School from Friday.
Education Minister James Merlino and Bendigo MPs Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards will unveil the facility’s design, which includes an audio-visual green screen room, Friday morning.
Based at La Trobe University’s new engineering building in Flora Hill, the Bendigo Tech School is one of 10 to be built throughout the state.
The schools will provide students with access to new technology, including 3D printers, audio visual platforms, robotics and virtual reality, to deliver advanced education and training in science, engineering and maths.
Students from Bendigo’s 14 government, Catholic and independent secondary schools will be able to access the Tech School’s learning programs free of charge.
Scheduled to open in mid-2018, the school will have a local industry focus on medical technology and pharmaceuticals, new energy technologies, food and fibre, transport, defence and construction technologies.
Students will work on real-world problems provided by industry and use the latest technologies to come up with solutions.
The schools are part of a state government push to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of year 9 students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science.
Mr Merlino said the Bendigo facility would allow students across the region “to get the skills and experiences they need to thrive in the emerging jobs of the future”.
“We want students in the region to have the best STEM education resources available in their own community,” he said.
Ms Allan said the tech school program would “support student decisions about future study and open up a world of opportunities”, while Ms Edwards said Bendigo students “now have on their doorstep a learning centre that will help them be ready for the jobs of the 21st Century”.
Students from the Bendigo Kangan Institute, Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Bendigo South East 7-10 Secondary College, Bendigo Special Developmental School, Catholic College Bendigo, Creek Street Christian College, Crusoe 7-10 Secondary College, DOXA School Bendigo, Eaglehawk Secondary College, Girton Grammar School, Kalianna Special School, Marist College Bendigo, Victory Christian College and Weeroona College Bendigo will all have access to the Tech School.