NBN Co future-proofing Parkwood Primary School students

Parkwood Primary School students with NBN WA manager Jane McNamara.
Parkwood Primary School students with NBN WA manager Jane McNamara.

PARKWOOD Primary School students are getting a chance no other kids in the state have this year to prepare themselves for jobs of the future.

The school is WA’s sole representative in NBN Co’sSTEMpreneur’ initiative, which aims to help students develop skills expected to be sought-after by employers in the near future.

The 12-week virtual learning program involves teams of students aged from 7-11 years-old using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills to develop a technology-driven idea which can benefit the community.

Each team will submit a pitch video outlining their idea, to be judged by a ‘Shark Tank’-style panel to determine the winners.

Parkwood Primary School principal Paul Burke said staff and the 20 students involved in the project were excited by the opportunity to take part in the challenge.

“Our invitation to be part of the program is based on the quality of our STEAM work, which has been recognised at a system level through our work as in inaugural STEM Innovation Teacher Development School 2016-17 and being shortlisted as a finalist in the Governor’s STEM awards,” he said.

“We see this as a very tangible enactment of the learning experiences we design having relevance and meaning to the lives of learners as real-world contexts.

“A connection to contemporary issues allow students to experience the application of knowledge and skills to the world around them.”

NBN Co’s Jane McNamara (third from left) with Parkwood Primary School students (L-R) Fatuma, Graemson, and Katrina.

NBN WA manager Jane McNamara said the program was an innovative way to harness technology to improve students skills.

“Digital infrastructure is becoming more critical to both learning and career opportunities for Australians,” she said.

“Access to fast broadband is driving growth in Australian entrepreneurship and is forecast to create 31,000 jobs by 2021, including 19,000 in regional Australia.”

NBN Co research has found STEM and entrepreneurial skills will be amongst the most sought-after capabilities by employers by 2030 and three in four Australians will spend more time using STEM and entrepreneurial skills in the workforce.

The research also discovered digital economy jobs are growing at a rate 10 per cent faster than all other jobs and by 2030, more than 90 per cent of Australia’s workforce will be using, configuring or building digital technology at work.