On 27 October, it was announced that Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE, President of the Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE) will take up a new appointment as Australia's Chief Scientist.
Back around 2007, Alan's passion to improve STEM education in Australian led him to devise and champion STELR, to provide hands-on, inquiry-based and in-curriculum science education modules that are supported by career pathways and profiles. STELR is now running in nearly 500 schools in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.
When recently asked about devising the STELR program, Alan stated:
“The definitive moment for me was when I came across a series of surveys that showed the main reason secondary school students lose interest in science is that they do not see the relevance. Other surveys showed a strong level of concern by young people about the consequences of growing up in a world impacted by global warming, so we designed a series of modules around this context covering core concepts in physics and chemistry aligned to the Australian curriculum.
The response exceeded our expectations, with widespread uptake by schools and noticeable increases in students selecting science subjects in Year 11. The best thing is that even if students do not select ongoing science subjects or careers they all enjoy an engaged period of science understanding through the STELR modules.”