- Charles Sturt and CWA Uranquinty Evening Branch secure Wagga Wagga City Council funding to deliver STEM program in regional schools
A Charles Sturt University lecturer has paired with the Country Women’s Association (CWA) to bring state-of-the-art technology to regional NSW to teach students about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Ms Celia Connor is a Lecturer in biology and environmental sciences in the Charles Sturt School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences in Wagga Wagga and has a strong interest in promoting equality of learning in STEM through outreach to regional schools.
She has partnered with the CWA Uranquinty Evening Branch Vice President and Agriculture and Environment Officer, Ms Aurelie Quade.
Both have a passion for STEM education, with Ms Quade serving as a CSIRO STEM professional with a specialisation in plant pathology, horticulture and the environment.
The CWA Uranquinty Evening Branch will receive $4,235 in funding from Wagga Wagga City Council for a stereomicroscope to enable children to collect samples, such as insects, leaves and flowers, magnify them 10 times, visualise them on a TV screen and print a photo to take home.
“The microscope will allow us to engage with students in a fun way,” Ms Connor said.
“But most importantly, we are hoping to break the glass ceiling that exists for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and female students, who may not always envision themselves in science-related careers.”
Ms Connor and Ms Quade will deliver the program in Uranquinty, Humula, Tarcutta and Ladysmith.
STEM programs are shown to build numeracy and literacy skills and Ms Connor said she hopes the children are also encouraged to explore and observe while gaining practical experience.
“A stereomicroscope could help bridge the gap between traditional learning and scientific learning, valuing both as important,” she said.
“At the end of the day, all children are natural scientists and we want to nurture that.”