Samsung Australia moves to bridge STEM gap

Samsung Australia announces partnership with CSIRO as new research reveals steep STEM gap between young people in regional and urban Australia

SYDNEY, Australia – July 11, 2017 – New research from Samsung has revealed a perceived inequity between young people in regional areas and those in capital cities, particularly in relation to job opportunities, salary and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.[i] 

Although Australia’s growing STEM problem is considered a national priority, 87 per cent of respondents from regional Australia do not know what STEM stands for. Further, 90 per cent of respondents believed students in capital cities have greater opportunity to pursue careers in STEM compared to their regional counterparts. A majority of respondents also agreed that the quality of STEM education (77 per cent) and access to technology (76 per cent) is lower in regional Australia compared to capital cities. 

Tess Ariotti, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Samsung Australia, says only 16 per cent of students entering higher education in STEM fields[ii] and 81 per cent of Australians are more embarrassed by the prospect of not being able to read or write, than by being unable to use technology or solve a maths problem. Yet, 91 per cent of respondents identified STEM skills as important for success in the workplace. 

“This disparity is indicative of the depth of Australia’s burgeoning STEM skill problem; it is not just about having our students capable of doing the work, but also educating them as to how their skills can be applied and what this will help them achieve in the future,” said Ariotti. 

When it comes to the solution, 92 per cent of respondents indicated the best way to encourage young people to take up careers in STEM was to offer support and STEM programs, by providing access to technology.

“Samsung is pleased to collaborate with CSIRO to continue to raise the awareness of STEM in regional communities, said Ariotti. 

“The community is telling us that access to technology is one of the key factors encouraging young people to take up careers in STEM. Providing access is vital if we’re to continue developing awareness of STEM, especially in regional areas where the need is greater.” 

The results of the survey come as Samsung Australia announces its partnership with CSIRO that will see Samsung tablets loaded with Windows Office Home and Student software and links to CSIRO’s STEM resources and programs distributed through State Library of Queensland across Queensland’s network of public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres for use in programs designed to encourage young people to undertake study in STEM subjects. 

The tablets are to be used by Queensland libraries for indigenous-specific programs as well as to support other marginalised young people in these communities. 

Mary Mulcahy, Director Education & Outreach at CSIRO says the partnership builds on CSIRO’s suite of STEM education programs and aligns to the organisation’s priority to skill the leaders of tomorrow. 

“Technology underpins innovation in our economy, and the jobs of the future are requiring higher and higher levels of digital literacy and problem solving competencies. Our collaboration with Samsung demonstrates our commitment to providing access to digital technology and skills for all Australian,” said Mulcahy. 

“Our work with CSIRO is contributing to bridging the STEM gap where it is needed most. We are committed to continuing to provide access to digital technology in pursuit of greater STEM competency among our students, particularly in regional Australia.” added Ariotti. 

The technology is expected to reach support students and young people in approximately 19 different Councils across the state.

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About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies.

The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com

About CSIRO

At CSIRO, we do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today – for our customers, all Australians and the world.

CSIRO is a leader in STEM Education, developing and providing high quality, innovative and authentic STEM education experiences to Australian students and teachers for more than 35 years.

Learn more about our impact at: www.csiro.au/education 

[i] Samsung Omnibus (July 2017) – 1,000 interviews with Australian males and females aged 18-75 years old. Sample was nationally representative of population based on age and gender at a state level

[ii] Department of Education & Training: https://www.education.gov.au/student-data

 

 

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