Monday, February 26, 2024

Penrith grows STEM partnership

Penrith high school students have presented some innovative solutions to real-world problems, such as heat stress and flood threats, at the CSIRO STEM Community Partnerships Program (STEM CPP) Showcase event.

For the second year, Penrith City Council has worked closely with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to deliver the STEM CPP, which connects students with industry professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and encourages them to think innovatively.

Participating students have been harnessing their problem-solving skills using STEM principles to research issues relevant to their local area.

Their findings were presented to peers, students from other participating schools, Council and CSIRO at the recent Showcase event, held at TAFE NSW – Kingswood campus.

Chifley College – Dunheved Campus students present their work at the CSIRO STEM Showcase event.

Penrith Mayor, Tricia Hitchen said she was amazed by the scope of research and the level of knowledge students demonstrated in their presentations. 

“These high school students have researched relevant issues and opportunities in our Local Government Area, and I am blown away by the clever ideas they have come up with,” Cr Hitchen said.

“Whether it’s how to create cool spaces in urban areas or harness opportunities through the aerotropolis, these students have carefully thought about ways to make sustainable improvements for the benefit of our community,” she said.

“There is a growing need for a STEM-focused workforce and these students are well on their way to successful futures in these fields.”

Students from Glenmore Park High School chose to focus their inquiry-based projects on the threat of floods in the Penrith LGA and created models to show their ideas for flood mitigation.

Two students from Chifley College – Dunheved Campus based their research on high summer temperatures and devised a plan to implement misting systems on sports courts and surround them with native plants known to absorb large amounts of thermal energy.

Council says it looks forward to working with CSIRO and local schools again in 2023 to deliver the program as part of a three-year partnership.

To find out more about the STEM CPP, visit www.csiro.au/generationstem

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