Three New England students have been selected to participate in a unique coaching program for the next generation of female STEM leaders.
The four-day online Curious Minds Summer Program kicked off for West Australian students on 5 December and commenced for East Coast students on 12 December and is supported by a mentoring program and follow-up winter camp.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce congratulated Matilda Oliver, Sophie Draycott, and Takiah Paton on being among 111 Year 9 and 10 girls selected nationwide as part of the Curious Minds program, supported by the Australian Government.
“We know that many future jobs, including in New England will require maths and science skills. This program will give these three students a flying start into a possible career in one of these fields,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“I know that they’ll be outstanding ambassadors for New England.”
The program is delivered by the Australian Mathematics Trust and features a summer camp, followed by six months of coaching, and concludes with a winter camp.
This year’s summer camp, which will be held online due to COVID-19, will finish on December 15.
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Bridget McKenzie said the program was an innovative way of engaging young women in fields in which they have been typically underrepresented.
“Many of the jobs of the future will require STEM skills, and we want to make sure girls are not just able to succeed in a career in STEM but excel as leaders in their field,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The participants will benefit from the expertise and mentorship of 94 STEM coaches and will also be encouraged to build lasting friendships with likeminded students.”
Since 2014, the Australian Government has provided more than $4 million for the program, supporting the participation of more than 400 girls.