Thursday, February 29, 2024

Bright minds showcase STEM skills in Penrith

High school students from Penrith City are on their way to landing careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics after taking part in the CSIRO STEM Community Partnerships Program.  

For the third year, Penrith City Council has partnered with Australia’s national science agency to deliver the program for 2023, which culminated in a showcase event recently.

Students from five schools in the Penrith Local Government Area had tangible proof of their thought-leading research on display at TAFE NSW Nepean – Kingswood, with projects exploring topics such as transport connections, managing fire risk by design, air pollution, erosion and heat stress. 

(L-R) Manager TAFE Services Nicole Pearce, Penrith Mayor Todd Carney, NSW Chief Data Scientist Ian Oppermann and Generation STEM Industry Engagement Manager Paloma Stiles.

Penrith Mayor, Todd Carney congratulated the students on harnessing their creative side and developing innovative solutions to real-world local challenges.  

“I was in awe of the projects on display at the STEM Showcase, and the students’ explanations of their work, which included a lot of research on the ground – whether it was at the site of the Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird-Walton) Airport or in their school playground,” he said.  

“STEM jobs are growing nearly twice as fast as other jobs and Penrith is home to exciting health and research precincts, as well as being close to the new Airport, which presents fantastic opportunities for this generation.”

During the year, students were connected with industry professionals, mentors from local businesses and organisations, who nurtured them to think outside the box.  

Three Year 7 students from Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School undertook multi-faceted research, experimenting with coloured materials to see how they absorb or repel heat.  

They also took plant cuttings from their school grounds to create mini terrariums, recording their observations over several months.  

“Using their new skills that are fit for the future, I encourage all participating students to strive for careers in STEM where they will get paid to do what they love – and leave their mark on this City,” the Mayor said.  

Part of Generation STEM, the program is managed by CSIRO and made possible by the NSW Government’s $25 million endowment to the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.  

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