A new online hub will aim to inspire primary students to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and take them into a future career.
Launching across Australia, the Future You online platform is designed to inspire upper primary school students to see themselves working with STEM skills in their future - from carpentry to chemistry.
The arts world has collided with science to bring young audiences two initial projects through the hub. Five interlinked short stories make up the Imagining the Future series which will uncover the exciting world of future STEM careers, while the Pathfinders series of short films will highlight real-life women working in STEM.
An initiative of the Australian government's women in STEM ambassador Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, Future You will aim to prepare a more diverse, inclusive, and skilled workforce, ready to tackle the technological, environmental, and economic challenges Australia will face in the future.
Professor Harvey-Smith is an astrophysicist, author of acclaimed popular science books, and a regular commentator on television and radio on science matters, and she champions systemic and attitudinal change around STEM.
"Future You aims to break down stereotypes and help all children, their parents, and teachers, to understand that STEM is for everyone," she said.
"By engaging children early in Future You, we hope to help future-proof our younger generations for the jobs of tomorrow, where it's predicted that half of workers will need to know how to use, build and configure digital systems - a critical skill embedded in STEM studies.
"I pursued a STEM career because I fell in love with the beauty of the night sky.
"And that's what we want younger generations to do, be inspired by the world around them and the understanding that STEM is everywhere."
Prof Harvey-Smith said there are many ways to get involved in the STEM world and the program will encourage young people to pursue these exciting fields.
"Engaging early in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics creates so many possibilities and means our children can contribute to a better world," she said.
"STEM is for everyone, and there are so many pathways to get there."
The website brings together teaching resources, activities, and career advice packs to help teachers, schools and families engage with children in discussion and exploration of STEM careers.
Resources are being rolled out online to primary schools across Australia, with a particular focus on engaging children in remote, regional and Indigenous communities.
The free resources are available to view and download on the Future You website at futureyouaustralia.com/
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