BAE Systems Australia has launched a national STEM outreach program that aims to inspire Year 4-6 students by giving them access to leading edge technologies and inspiring them to solve real world challenges. BAE Systems will do this in partnership with specialist Australian education technology company, Lumination.

Named ‘Beacon’, the program will initially involve 15 schools in South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia and grow over the three year partnership. Importantly, it aims to engage students in lower socio-economic regions who might not otherwise have access to STEM programs and world leading immersive technology. Beacon is being offered in two delivery modes: a five-day intensive camp and a 10-week program directly connecting the learning outcomes to the curriculum. Students will use immersive technologies – virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D modelling – and will be challenged to develop solutions to real world problems related to sustainability to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

Almost 60 percent of BAE Systems’ 5,500 strong workforce in Australia have STEM-based roles. The highly skilled workforce has been at the heart of the development of world leading technologies and products for the Australian Defence Force for almost seven decades.

BAE Systems Australia CEO, Ben Hudson, said: “STEM studies encourage problem solving and innovation and I’m very proud to support an initiative that brings contemporary technology into the classroom to both inspire students and support teachers. At a time when the number of STEM students across Australia is falling, industry needs to step up to inspire more students to remain in STEM subjects so they might consider an exciting career solving some of the world’s biggest challenges. Our goal with this program is to promote diversity and inclusion in STEM on a national scale, to keep students engaged in their education and raise awareness of future career opportunities. I’m delighted that our partnership with Lumination will also open the door to students who might not otherwise be aware of the enormous opportunities for highly skilled, well-paid careers from a STEM-focused education.”

Lumination’s Head of Education, Rebecca Bendikov said: “Beacon engages primary aged students with emerging technology, giving them new skills to take back to the classroom and inspiring them for a future career in STEM. We’re passionate about supporting students to solve real world problems around sustainability. The content links directly to the curriculum and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals specifically around land, air and sea. Students in years 4 – 6, are introduced to a new world of imagination and creativity by our expert education leaders. We’re delighted to partner with BAE Systems to inspire students to learn about the application of immersive technology while also developing skills related to inclusivity, honesty, innovative thinking, teamwork, boldness and goal setting.”

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