Building STEM skills

STEM is science, technology, engineering and mathematics – skills vital for Queensland’s future.

STEM skills are addressing issues associated with growing populations and food shortages. STEM touches every aspect of our lives, from smart phones to transport, to development of new foods to the types of jobs students might be interested in.

STEM professionals are helping us reduce emissions and adapt to climate changes. They are developing new vaccines and medical treatments, and revolutionising the ways we entertain ourselves.

STEM skills include critical thinking, statistics, engineering-design thinking, problem-solving, creativity and much, much more.

Learning a STEM subject gives students – from school to technical and further education through to university – opportunities to pursue fulfilling careers and make real differences locally, nationally and internationally.

Awareness, education and training in these fields will help today’s students generate and contribute to the scientific developments and innovations of tomorrow and provide solutions to some of the big issues we will face in the future.

We know from our research into Queenslanders’ perceptions of science, nearly four in five parents encourage their child to study science in high school, with very few parents discouraging their children from studying science.

“The skills gained in a high-quality STEM education will be essential in many of the new jobs in the years ahead. STEM jobs are being created at 1.5 times the rate of non-STEM jobs. Yet the STEM-qualified workforce is growing at only half the rate of the non-STEM-qualified workforce” (Science and Technology Australia, 2021).

As part of the Engaging Queenslanders in science strategy, the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist works closely with the Department of Education and other partners to help inspire young people to consider choosing STEM subjects and careers.

For instance, we:

  • contribute to the STEM Cross Sector Reference Group with all three education sectors represented to prepare Queensland students for success in a global economy underpinned by STEM capabilities
  • contribute to the SPARQ-ed Advisory Group to deliver accessible world-class biomedical education experiences that inspire students to consider STEM subject and careers
  • profile the winners of the Queensland Women in STEM Prize and the Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Awards to encourage students to follow in the footsteps of our outstanding achievers (these events organised by our office recognise scientific excellence)
  • host or promote National Science Week events to celebrate science each August
  • deliver the Sustainability and Science Schools Showcase to inspire students to implement sustainability practices and citizen science in schools
  • fund Wonder of Science to deliver the Flying Scientists program to reach students and communities in rural Queensland
  • fund schools and other community groups to engage with students under the Engaging Science Grants program
  • fund the position of manager of the Inspiring Australia Queensland to increase STEM engagement and to support the development of scientifically-engaged communities.

More information