Charles Sturt academic helping to bridge skills gap at STEM subjects workshop

7 AUGUST 2019

Charles Sturt academic helping to bridge skills gap at STEM subjects workshop

The workshop was part of the STEM Industry Schools Program, which connects regional industries with teachers and students to better prepare them for the science-based jobs that benefit regional areas in the future.

  • Senior Engineer in Residence, Peter Thew, leads a session at a professional development workshop in Orange
  • Teachers and students engaged in hopes of developing skills and know-how in STEM-based industries

A Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) academic shared his knowledge of engineering design processes with regional school teachers and students as part of a program aimed at improving outcomes in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Charles Sturt’s Senior Engineer in Residence, Mr Peter Thew, led a session at a professional development workshop at Orange East Public School on Monday.

The workshop was part of the STEM Industry Schools Program (SISP), which connects regional industries with teachers and students to better prepare them for the science-based jobs that benefit regional areas in the future.

Mr Thew – also observed by a group of teachers - guided primary school-aged students through a hypothetical bridge-building process.

His demonstration canvassed selecting a site, determining what sort of bridge was needed, and identifying its design requirements.

He also addressed some of the technical aspects of bridges, as well as the commercial realities of tendering and procurement in large-scale engineering projects.

Mr Thew said it was a pleasure to present to the students, and he hopes the session was beneficial for the teachers in attendance.

“It is rewarding to connect with teachers, both in high school and primary, to see how they teach, and the content they cover,” he said.

“The connection gives us a sense of where students are coming from, and gives the teachers a clear understanding of what we will later teach the students and expect them to know.”

“Understanding engineering also helps teachers guide children who would be well suited towards a career in engineering, and to encourage them to learn what they need to get there.”

Megan Townes from Microsoft also presented at the workshop.

Charles Sturt’s Engineering course, taught in the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences, is one of Australia’s only undergraduate entry Masters level engineering programs.

In 2018 CSU Engineering was named as one of the top four emerging engineering courses in the world, in a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The course focuses on human-centred engineering and diverse opportunities for students to explore authentic problems using state-of-the-art technology.

Media Note:
  • Photo caption: Mr Peter Thew leading a session at Monday's STEM Industry Schools Program workshop. Photo credit: Regional Development Australia Central West/SISP/Orange East Public School.
  • To arrange interviews with Mr Peter Thew, contact Dave Neil at Charles Sturt Media on 0407 332 718 or via email at news@csu.edu.au.

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