Central Council

STEM professionals in schools - information night - ONLINE ONLY


From: Thursday August 24, 2023, 5:30 pm

To: Thursday August 24, 2023, 6:30 pm

The ESA Central Council and the heads of Economics departments at various Australian universities have had a number of discussions about declining enrolments in Economics and the lack of diversity in enrolments. There are low enrolments of women, but there are also low enrolments of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is largely due to the decline in the number of high schools that offer Economics as a subject. High schools in disadvantaged areas are particularly unlikely to offer Economics. Over the long term, this will impact the ability of economists to understand the full range of challenges that Australians from all backgrounds face. (See A Matter of Diversity | Speeches | RBA.)

In response, we’re asking ESA members to consider getting involved in CSIRO’s “STEM Professionals in Schools” program. This program pairs a professional from a discipline that uses STEM skills (such as economics) with a STEM teacher. ESA members who are interested would be paired with a math teacher in year 7, 8 or 9 at a high school in a disadvantaged area. The partnership can take many forms, but it might involve the volunteer speaking to the class, or providing some real-life examples of how math is used in our work, and why our work is fascinating.

We’re focusing on year 7, 8, and 9 and because that is the age at which many people disconnect from mathematics. The goal would be to encourage students to stick with mathematics beyond year 10 (so that they can enrol in a Commerce degree if they choose), and to raise awareness of Economics as a possible field of study. And evidence shows that there are significant benefits in terms of job quality and job satisfaction to students continuing to study mathematics. For those of us who are passionate about seeing more women in economics, it is often women who disconnect from mathematics; and women are much more likely to choose economics as a field if they hear from women economists, or if they realise that the field is about solving real-world human problems (see Why Study (or Not Study) Economics? A Survey of High School Students | Bulletin – June 2020 | RBA).

Thanks for considering this opportunity! It will be a really rewarding experience. There is more information below, but please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the program.

Video Links:

Partnering to enhance STEM engagement

Some examples of professionals involved with maths teachers:

Teaching the beauty, power and usefulness of maths

Studying maths makes it all add up

To apply to be involved in the program you can register on the CSIRO website here. Click on the big Blue button “Apply Now” at the bottom of this webpage and follow the prompts.  Please allow 10-15 minutes for registration and you will need a mobile phone handy as a code gets sent to it as part of the registration process.

Registration and joining this webinar

To register please book online below. This information session is available to anyone who is a current or past member of ESA.

The link to join this webinar will be included in your auto-generated invoice email - please look out for this and keep it safe until the webinar is due to be broadcast. Note, these emails sometimes get caught in spam folders. The timing of this event is AEST  (Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne).


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