Our Australian chapter STEM Airborne Outreach Program is the brain child of our wonderful Dr Zara, (DR Z as she is more fondly known as by her students). Dr ‘Z’ is the founder of Sci-Fly, and is partnering with WAI Australia to ultimately increase the number of girls in Aviation. In doing so the program also endeavours to benefit and inspire all students, in particular providing authentic STEM experiences to underrepresented groups in remote regions.
If you have ever been to Australia you realise how huge our country is; our continent spans the width of the United States across the breadth of the continent and from Canada into Mexico from top to bottom.
When you look at the map of Australia, you can see that all of the capital cities are located on the coastal areas, locations outside of this are all classed as regional or remote. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 66% of the population live in capital cities, leaving 34% of the population as regional or remote locations.
Due to this huge expanse, a lot of schools in the outback locations and regional areas do not get access to educational content that would include STEM subjects. This means that these children are disadvantaged simply because of where they live!
Filling positions for teachers in these areas is also challenging for the education department, they struggle to get qualified teachers to relocate to remote locations, STEM subjects are an even more specialized field, making it even more challenging to fill teaching positions to educate young minds.
Our goal is to take the education to the students by way of our STEM Airborne Outreach initiative. Dr ‘Z’, who is also a private pilot, will fly herself to remote areas and deliver the STEM education program the students. Using her expertise as a physics teacher and combining this with her passion for aviation, the 12 month STEM program has been designed with a strong aviation foundation to deliver education to students that we hope will inspire and engage these students to consider a pathway into various aviation fields.
Our chapter is also hoping that in the future we can hold STEM boot camps for students to continue feeding their young minds, and STEM Train the Trainer programs to help train teachers in these remote areas to continue what we have started with the programs that Dr ‘Z’ has developed.
We have various online resources that can be used by schools to deliver STEM education, see below for links. We are anticipating a 2017 mid year launch for this program. If you would like more information or would like to host a STEM education session at your school, please contact us below.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available for our program. If you would like to support this initiative please contact us.