South Auckland schools, universities, community and iwi groups in New Zealand are encouraged to apply as SouthSci is now accepting funding applications for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related projects in 2020.
About the initiative
According to a recent press release, SouthSci is an initiative of COMET Auckland – Te Hononga Akoranga and Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara.
It aims to show young people the value of science skills and to highlight career pathways through collaborations with local STEM businesses, researchers and engineers.
It particularly funds innovative projects that give young people more opportunities to experience science and technology through hands-on activities and collaborative research.
Interested parties can apply for up to NZ$ 20,000.
Projects should ideally focus on solid data collection and have a plan in place to use that data to drive meaningful change in the world.
The project teams are a collaboration between young people and scientists from universities and research organisations, working to complete their projects which help schools and community groups find expertise, knowledge and resources they may not otherwise have had access to.
There is a set of criteria for applications. These are:
- The project must have community relevance and participation
- The project must be tackling a substantive scientific question in active partnership with a scientist(s)
- The project must be offering enduring educational value and two-way learning for those involved
STEM initiatives across the globe
Governments recognise the significance of STEM, particularly in starting to inculcate it to the young population.
OpenGov Asia reported on Thai Government pushes STEM educational programmes to help meet Thailand 4.0 Vision.
Thailand’s government has merged four separate government departments into a new Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovations.
The new Ministry aims to work closely with the private sector in Thailand and overseas to increase research and human resource development.
South Australia, likewise, views STEM Education as key in its booming space and defence sectors.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall explained that there was nothing more critical in South Australia than building the workforce needed to embrace the opportunities that would flow from living in SA, the Defence and Space state.
The students are not learning about the jobs of the future for these are the jobs right now.
Education will play a vital role in developing the future workforce and the State Government is committed to aligning educational opportunities to emerging industries.
Meanwhile, The Philippines and U.S. sign agreement on STEM education. The agreement covers potential cooperation in areas of STEM education, public health, marine sciences, environmental protection, disaster risk resilience, climate change, and renewable energy.
The agreement will be effective for 10 years and under it, the two countries commit to do the following:
- Promote scientific collaboration
- Build relationships between their respective scientific institutions and communities
- Provide opportunities for capacity building and exchange of ideas and information in order to advance common goals
Malaysia is not far behind as its rural students get STEM education. The “Adopt a Kampung” is a program organised by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
Malaysia’s Education Blueprint highlights the importance and necessity of STEM education. The Malaysian Government aims to prepare students with the skills they need to meet the science and technology challenges and to ensure that Malaysia has a sufficient number of qualified STEM graduates.
Under the STEM initiative, the Government is working to raise student interests through new learning approaches and an enhanced curriculum, sharpen skills and abilities of teachers as well as build public and student awareness.