Curious Minds empowers girls who are passionate, high performers in STEM to explore their full potential.

Through a six-month hands-on extension and mentoring program, we combine two residential camps and mentoring program for girls in years 9 and 10 who have limited opportunities because of where they live, including regional and remote locations, their socio-economic background, and/or their indigenous status.

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In a fun and supportive environment, the girls will grow in confidence and ability whilst expanding their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and their scientific networks.

They will also make new friends, be exposed to outstanding role models, practise new skills, and deepen their understanding of what their future may hold in the fields of STEM.

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Do you have a curious mind?

If you’re a girl in year 9 or 10 who is passionate about STEM subjects, or if you’re a female professional working in the STEM industry and would like to become a coach, then please express your interest.

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A message from Cathy Foley, our Patron and Australia’s Chief Scientist

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“Curious Minds’ hands-on focus allows girls to explore their passion for STEM in a supportive environment. I’ve been involved with it since it began, and am honoured to be the patron. I look forward to continuing to support the development of the next generation of female scientists.”

— Dr Cathy Foley, Australia’s Chief Scientist

Meet our team

Toni Falusi

Toni Falusi

Head Coach

Kelsie Dadd

Kelsie Dadd

Program Director

Kate Osborn

Kate Osborn

Program Manager

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  • are in Year 9 or 10 in 2021
  • are highly capable, hard-working and apply themselves
  • are curious—they have a love of learning
  • have potential but may lack confidence in their own abilities
  • are willing to engage
  • have the maturity to participate in a four-day online program and maintain an on-going commitment to a 6-month STEM coaching program.
  • are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident

Curious Minds is a six-month program that combines two residential camps and a mentoring program.

The residential camps enable the girls to explore all aspects of science, technology, engineering and maths through guest lectures, interactive sessions, practicals and field trips.

The coach mentoring program matches each student with a female STEM coach based on a mutual STEM area of interest and, where possible, geographical location. Keeping in regular contact, the coach and student will work on personal goals for the student. This might include discussing study options and career pathways, undertaking further extension work with support from their mentor, developing ideas based on learnings from the camp or working on a project.

Students are required to commit to both residential camps, and to having a phone or video call with their coach every three weeks between camps.

Summer camp

West: Sunday 5 through to Wednesday 8 December 2021
East: Sunday 12 through to Wednesday 15 December 2021

Winter camp

West: Sunday 3 through to Tuesday 5 July 2022
East: Thursday 7 through to Saturday 9 July 2022

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021/2022 Curious Minds program will be delivered virtually.

Curious Minds participants are invited to the program based on their performance in the Australian Mathematics Competition, Computational and Algorithmic Thinking competition and the Big Science Competition.

The program will be particularly targeted towards girls in years 9 and 10 who are disadvantaged, rural/remote and/or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

If you’re a student who would like to express interest in participating in Curious Minds, fill in your details here.

Participants are asked for a financial contribution of $200 to help meet costs incurred for delivering the program. A fee waiver is available for all applicants unable to make this contribution as part of the application process.

The program was developed in response to the Australian Government’s 2014 Restoring the focus on STEM initiative, which aims to support improved science, mathematics and digital technology education in schools and promote improved results in international tests and increased take-up of STEM subjects at the post-secondary level.

The Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) and Australian Science Innovations (ASI) jointly deliver the Curious Minds program, which is supported by the Australian National University.

Girls from rural, disadvantaged or Indigenous backgrounds will be particularly targeted.