Above: Chairman of Future Edu Warwick Moppett with Narrabri High School students at the Future Edu information night, from left, Georgina Goodhew, Blake Ryan, Makayla Johannesen, Alyssa Ford and Courtney Rutter.

A Narrabri community group, Future Edu, is actively working with local organisations and young people to promote students’ interest and engagement with the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where study is coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community and careers. Locally, ‘real world’ options are wide, ranging in this district from agricultural science to astro science.

Last night Future Edu held an information evening attended by students, including some who have changed their curriculum after work experience in high tech industries, local science and tech industry representatives and the senior project officer, Department of Primary Industries Regional Industry, Education Partnerships, Anthony Hollis.

“People in the room were asked to make a commitment or engage with Future Edu to consider a cash contribution , or sponsor an event or activity for Future EDU, or more importantly provide an opportunity to the schools to assist them with learning STEM subjects” said Future Edu chairman Warwick Moppett.

“For example, if we have a science teacher interested in chemistry and water, we could ask the shire council to open up their high tech water treatment plant to encourage understanding of the processes of water delivery to the home” said Mr Moppett.

“There is a lot of science and engineering involved in just that.

“These are the kind of resources we already have within our community that organisations and corporations can commit to with our program.

“If we are successful over time, an agricultural science teacher would be attracted to Narrabri having seen the level of support from the community, say from existing research stations.

“A teacher would find a curriculum almost laid out because he or she would have access to these organisations and their people.”

Future Edu has a program which will promote engagement across a number of project ideas to encourage young people to consider STEM subjects.

There is a recognised shortage of science and technical career graduates in the Australian community.

The Future Edu project is taking the initiative in addressing this locally.

There are many local organisations which can be part of the program.

Mr Moppett said the interaction with local science and tech. entities could expose students to the science and technical environments right here in the shire and improve their choices in career and curriculum.

And the local science jobs options available range from agricultural science to astro science and much more in between.