STEM awards for Sydney students

Monday, 14 November, 2022

STEM awards for Sydney students

A Victor Chang School Science Award has been bestowed on almost 40 Year 11 students from the Blacktown region in Sydney.

Enrolments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects are continuing to fall or stagnate, with less than 10% of Australian Year 12 students now studying the highest level of maths.

As a consequence, Australia has dropped in global rankings for maths results — from being in the top 10 in 2003, to 30th.

It’s hoped this year’s awards will help reverse this trend and inspire a future generation of scientists.

“Children are naturally curious, and we need to encourage students across the country to embrace science and understand just how important STEM skills can be in critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity,” said Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

“These budding scientists are already demonstrating incredible skills in the classroom that we hope will lead to a new generation of scientific leaders.

“It’s vital that we tackle this brain drain in Australia and demonstrate that a career in science can be incredibly rewarding and help improve lives the world over.”

This year, 39 students from the following schools were recognised for their achievements: St John XXIII Catholic College, Wyndham College, Mitchell High School, Richard Johnson Anglican School, St Andrews College, The Hills Sports High School, Tyndale Christian School, St John II Catholic College, Evans High School, Nagle College, Toongabbie Christian College, Chifley College Senior Campus, East Hills Boys High, The Ponds High School and Blacktown Girls High School.

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, with the support of Blacktown City Council, wants to encourage students to embrace science and be inspired to consider a fulfilling career in research.

“There has never been a more exciting time to study STEM with incredible advances taking place in robotics, genetics, biomedicine and artificial intelligence,” Kovacic said.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale said the Victor Chang School Science Awards presented fantastic opportunities for local students to foster an interest in science.

“I am very proud of all the students from schools in our City who work hard in science and are setting the foundations to be part of the next generation of Australian researchers,” Bleasdale said.

“Receiving this science award comes with a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the institute’s activities and a career in science. These awards come with a great heritage, and I congratulate these talented students on continuing the memory of one of Australia’s greatest minds.”

The Victor Chang School Science Awards were established to celebrate young, gifted students excelling in science, honouring Dr Victor Chang’s legacy in fostering education.

Image caption: Winners of the Victor Chang School Science Award — Blacktown region.

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