Scientific and technological innovation has never been more important than it is today. Among a host of countries around the world, Australia has turned its attention to strengthening education in the STEM fields. More than a buzz-word, STEM is the marker of prosperity in the 21st century – for both entire nations as well as individual citizens, given the fast growing need for STEM professionals and the fact that STEM jobs are among the highest paying. Yet, VET and tertiary degrees in STEM have flattened, and in some fields have declined, in recent decades. Moreover, according to Australia’s Office of the Chief Scientist, “roughly half of all professional occupations with identified skills shortages are in STEM.” Beyond the economic gains that a talented STEM workforce brings, there is the need to equip the whole of society with scientific and technological literacy in an age that is increasingly technology-based.
Australian Endeavour Award recipient (PDF, 157KB), Dr. Lorelle Espinosa, a leading voice on U.S. STEM higher education, will facilitate interactive workshops in Launceston (23 October 2012, 2:30-5:00 pm, A060 Seminar Room, Newnham Campus) and Hobart (24 October 2012, 2:30-5:00 pm, Flexible Learning Space/UniCentre103.Flex, Sandy Bay Campus) to discuss how we can better engage Tasmanian school students in math and science and prepare them to pursue STEM education beyond secondary school, and how Tasmania can ensure greater access, participation, and degree completion in STEM tertiary education. Espinosa will also provide information on the state of STEM education in Australia and the U.S., and what the two countries can learn from one another.
Dr. Espinosa is a Senior Analyst in Social and Economic Policy at Abt Associates, a global research and program implementation firm in Washington DC, U.S.A.
Attendance to these events is by invitation only.