PNG science teachers driving change through innovative STEM Education course

By: PNG Business News July 15, 2020

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has a proud history of engagement with Papua New Guinea and earlier this year extended a warm welcome to 26 teachers for a three-month intensive STEM education course funded through Australia Awards PNG by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The experienced teachers – half of whom are women – all have university degrees and come from all over PNG. They will undertake the Graduate Certificate in STEM Education, which will be delivered by QUT’s highly regarded Faculty of Education lecturers. Whilst the course was originally to be delivered over two six-week blocks at QUT Kelvin Grove campus, in Brisbane, due to covid-19 restrictions the participants returned home early. However, QUT and Australia Awards Papua New Guinea are working together to continue delivery of some aspects of the program online, and ensure the teachers can continue their Australia Awards experience during this time.

Course leader Professor Dann Mallett said the course focused on recent developments in teaching STEM subjects in schools and the use of digital technologies as tools for learning.

“All participants are high school STEM teachers and this course is designed to demonstrate the technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, and implement development that will enhance their students’ learning,” Professor Mallet said.

“Each participant has submitted a STEM project they will work on and present at the end of the course."

“Projects include water treatment, converting school waste into valuable resources and ‘STEM today, entrepreneurs tomorrow’”.

QUT international projects development manager David Kozar said the Australia Awards Scholarships aimed to develop capacity and leadership skills so that recipients can contribute to development in PNG.

“The scholarships strengthen the partnership between the Australian Government and the PNG Government and further develop the skills of PNG people to make vital contributions to their country’s economic and social development.”

The course will also include several site visits to Queensland Education schools.

Australia Awards Short Course Awards offer targeted programs tailored to develop knowledge and skills, address priority human resource development needs and build partnerships and linkages between PNG and Australian organisations, in support of PNG’s development and the PNG-Australia Partnership.

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