Orica media event at VUSC leads to new partnership

VUSC becomes 500th School to sign up to the STELR Program

Towards the end of Term 1 our College established a new partnership with Orica who donated over $5000 worth of Science equipment to the school as part of the STELR Program.

The STELR Program is a science education program which is the major education initiative of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE). VUSC now has purpose-built renewable energy equipment and curriculum materials that use the context of wind and solar energy to teach students about energy concepts and electric circuits.IMAG1285_BURST002

As we were STELR’s 500th school partnership, we held a celebration at the Junior Campus Science Centre. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE and Victoria’s Lead Scientist Dr Leonie Walsh FTSE were both present and very much enjoyed seeing our students at work creating solar and wind power with the new equipment.

A short video of the event can be viewed here.

With the support of Orica, VUSC students will now be able to engage fully with STELR – Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance – as part of the national campaign by the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) to get Australian secondary students interested in science and technology courses and careers.

VUSC Principal Ms Genevieve Simson received a certificate of appreciation from ATSE CEO Dr Margaret Hartley FTSE and Orica’s Company Secretary and Group Executive Corporate Services Ms Kirsten Gray to mark the occasion.

IMAG1280_BURST002Guests were able to watch the VUSC students using the STELR equipment at the event. This equipment is now in some 20 per cent of Australian high schools – with an estimated 50,000 secondary students and more than 1,500 teachers involved each year.

“The duty falls on us to make science exciting, accessible and relevant to students’ lives, so they come to the classroom hungry to learn,” said Dr Finkel.

“Students are under no obligation to society to care. Five hundred STELR schools is an excellent beginning, this is our chance to inspire.”

Ms Gray said: “STELR is all about enthusing students and helping lead more young people towards STEM related careers; careers that are critical to companies like Orica, the world’s leading supplier of explosives to the mining industry. Our vision to provide Clever Resourceful Solutions can only be realised if we continue to invest in innovative research and development led by our technical experts, our engineers and our scientists.”

VUSC has a strong focus on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as part of the DE&T’s initiative for Victorian schools. Our new partnership with Orica will see business professionals including scientists and engineers host mentoring programs and workshops for our students to give them an insight into careers in the science, technology and engineering fields.

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