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Council tests new partnership with STEM education for longer term employment outcomes

20 Aug 2019

STEM Education

The Cessnock Local Government Area is the home of STEM education in Australia, and Cessnock City Council is breaking new ground forging a fresh partnership.   Council and the STEM Industry School Partnerships Program (SISP) will partner to champion how local government can play a leadership role in STEM education.

Cessnock is home to the flagship SISP program, the Cessnock Academy of STEM Excellence (CASE) where one of Australia’s foremost experts in STEM education, Dr Scott Sleap is encouraging students to think big about their future.

“In Cessnock we are testing ideas in the education of STEM to incorporate NSW’s version of the National STEM Education Strategy,” confirmed Dr Sleap.   Dr Sleap is working towards developing a curriculum model that connects students to ‘real-world’ industry perspectives.

Council’s new partnership focuses on how local industry and businesses are engaged in the education of young people. It aims to foster greater collaboration between local government, education and industry, and will result in greater workforce outcomes for local young people.

STEM literacy is predicted to be one of the most important skill attributes of a future workforce and was highlighted as a priority in the Cessnock City Skills Audit.

CASE is currently at Cessnock High School, Abermain, Cessnock, Cessnock East, Kearsley and Kitchener Public schools. The aims of the SISP program is to develop real world teaching and learning tasks which can be curated into learning materials.

Acting Economic Development, Manager Rhiannon Stevens is excited about the partnership.

“We can’t wait to connect local businesses to the technology, advanced training and support tools which are already being used in STEM education in our region’s schools.”

The partnership will enable local businesses to access labs and workshops, such as industrial 3D printers, laser cutters, and CISCO cyber security training.

Advance Cessnock City has also pledged to connect high performing students for mentoring with local business people and identify possible employment pathways. For more information on the partnership please visit Cessnock City Council Partnership with STEM Industry School Partnerships Program.

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