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Victorian government invests in new STEM centre

Victorian secondary students will train for the jobs of tomorrow in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at a new specialist centre, under a partnership between the Victorian Government and the University of Melbourne.

The Minister for Education and the Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education on 22 September 2020 announced $1.37 million in funding to create the STEM Centre of Excellence, hosted by Science Gallery Melbourne in Parkville.

The centre will include state-of-the-art learning spaces and introduce secondary students to new and emerging industries, and opportunities in the STEM fields via cutting edge machines, industry-grade labs and researchers in the field.

Science Gallery Melbourne is part of an internationally renowned network, with proven success at engaging 15 to 25-year-old students in STEM subjects and pathways. The Gallery forms part of the University of Melbourne’s innovation precinct, Melbourne Connect, which is due for completion in 2021.

The program will offer a range of programs focusing on creativity, design thinking and STEM excellence, to encourage STEM participation and prepare students for the future of work. Students will benefit from the connection to one of Victoria’s best research institutions and a global network of universities.

The STEM Centre of Excellence is due for completion in early 2021.

The Government is investing record funding to make Victoria the Education State, with more than $128 million invested to deliver 10 new Tech Schools – high-tech education facilities where secondary students gain exposure to the latest technology and real-world industry problems with local partners.

Investment in STEM forms a key part of this and is making science, technology, engineering and mathematics relevant and exciting for all students to lift their aspirations and build 21st-century capabilities.

The Minister for Education stated that the government is investing in Victoria’s future by providing world-class learning opportunities for local students.

The Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education stated that this partnership with The University of Melbourne is about encouraging innovation and giving young Victorians the exposure to the industries that are the future of work.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne noted that the STEM Centre of Excellence at Science Gallery Melbourne will be a key part of the Melbourne Connect precinct. The Centre will provide a unique learning environment, connecting students to world-class research, teaching, and industry partners.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported that Casuarina Senior College students will also soon have access to cutting edge science and technology facilities, with construction about to begin on a new STEM centre. The CSC Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre will be the third to be built by the Territory Labour Government, to support growing worldwide demand for skills in these fields.

Existing, unused classrooms will be repurposed as the new STEM centre, which will offer two new learning areas; a MAKER space for digital printing and laser cutting; a digital room; and a refurbished workshop to support student learning by providing interactive, engaging classrooms that make science and technology learning fun.

A Berrimah company has been awarded the tender and construction is expected to begin soon. The new STEM centre comes in addition to other recent investments in CSC, including a $940,000 library upgrade, and $200,000 for the installation of solar panels under the Territory Labour Government’s Rooftop Solar in Schools program.

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