Illawarra students are up next to benefit from STEM Industry School Partnership
06 Jul 2020
The Illawarra region has long ridden the waves as an industrial economy powerhouse for New South Wales and the country. Today, Illawarra schools can add an Academy of STEM Excellence to their bow, being confirmed as the latest NSW region to provide students with new opportunities for STEM learning under the NSW Department of Education’s STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program.
The Illawarra Academy of STEM Excellence will be based at three local Hub High Schools led by three local Principals; Corrimal High (Principal Paul Roger), Warrawong High (Principal Brad Hughes) and Lake Illawarra High (Principal Tony Hicks).
The newly appointed STEM Project Officer for the Illawarra Academy, Andrew Laidler, will work with Principals and stakeholders to embed the highly successful initiative within the region.
“The success of the SISP program has been something we in the Illawarra have watched over the past two years, and I’m happy that our teachers are on-board to drive the same opportunities through our own Academies for students in our school catchments,” Mr Laidler said.
“STEM, through the SISP program state-wide and through the Academies within targeted regions, has been about linking learners with exciting projects that connect their minds to the real-life possibilities.
“Illawarra students have some of the same challenges in accessing innovation and industry-connected resources as fellow regional students. We are keen to start unpacking those challenges to create new opportunities for our students and their future,” he said.
The Illawarra Academy of STEM Excellence will make immediate headway in its mission to link STEM learning with future industries, adding news that BlueScope will play a lead role in the delivery of industry-focused school STEM projects.
Michael Reay, BlueScope’s Manager of Corporate Affairs said the partnership with the Illawarra Academy for STEM Excellence will be a great way for BlueScope to strengthen its local communities by helping to inspire the next generation of technical expertise, industry leaders and product innovators.
“BlueScope is really proud to be the inaugural Industry Partner for the SISP Program in the Illawarra and we believe we can play a strong role in both attracting and contributing to the development of local students considering furthering their studies in Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).
“It is extremely pleasing to be able to support local students from our community of schools. We see a great opportunity to leverage our Port Kembla Steelworks, Australia’s largest manufacturing plant, by providing students with practical and real-world insights into the application of their classroom learning and experiences.”
The establishment of the Illawarra Academy of STEM Excellence was led by SISP, BlueScope, the University of Wollongong, and the NSW Government through the Regional Industry Education Partnerships program, all of which will play an active role supporting the regional program.
Illawarra is the SISP program’s eighth regional area to be established since it started in 2017. The SISP Project Lead, Dr Scott Sleap, was thrilled that the Illawarra had been so quick to take up the opportunities presented by the industry-partnership approach.
“Establishing the Illawarra Academy is a big deal for the SISP program overall as well as the region. We have long-recognised the educator talent along this large part of the NSW coast, and their alignment of the principles of SISP with the needs of some of their students,” Dr Sleap said.
“It’s great to have BlueScope as part of the team here and the collaboration will no doubt inspire innovation and focus for Illawarra students.
“Partnership is at our core and I can’t wait to see what this delivers,” he said.
For more information or to arrange interviews please contact:
SISP Academy of STEM Excellence, Illawarra|Mr Andrew Laidler 0409 562 339
STEM Industry Schools Partnership | Dr Scott Sleap 0409 366 504
STEM Industry School Partnerships
c/o Cessnock High School