Around 110 outstanding female students will take part in intensive summer camps to ignite their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The four-day online Curious Minds Summer Program kicked off for West Coast students on 5 December and commences for East Coast students on 12 December.
The program is delivered by the Australian Mathematics Trust and aims to ignite girls’ passion and participation in STEM.
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Bridget McKenzie said the program was an innovative way of engaging young women in fields in which they have been typically underrepresented.
“This unique program gets students excited about the vast opportunities a career in STEM provides and can even set them on a path to a rewarding career in a STEM field.”
“Many of the jobs of the future will require STEM skills, and we want to make sure girls are not just able to succeed in a career in STEM but to excel as leaders in their field,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The participants will benefit from the expertise and mentorship of 94 STEM coaches and will also be encouraged to build lasting friendships with likeminded students.”
“Since its inception in 2014, the program has provided valuable opportunities and experiences for Year 9 and 10 girls who may not have otherwise been able to access them.”
“Delivering on our commitment to provide educational opportunities for all Australians, the program prioritises students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, remote and rural locations and areas with higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage,” Minister McKenzie said.
Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Brain Schmidt provides an opening address before students take part in sessions on topics including biology, chemistry, digital technologies, engineering, earth and environment science, maths and physics.
Participants will also benefit from six months of mentoring and a winter camp.
Since 2014, the Australian Government has provided more than $4 million for the program, supporting the participation of more than 400 girls.