Professor Klinken was the keynote speaker at a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education presentation at Cecil Andrews Senior High School last Thursday .
The school hosted the presentation to promote STEM in the school curriculum.
Prof Klinken said STEM education was a key factor in the state�s science priorities � mining and energy, health and medicine, agriculture and food, biodiversity, marine science and radio astronomy.
�I believe STEM education and science in years 11 and 12 should be made compulsory in schools,� he said.
�Forty per cent of current jobs in WA will not exist in the next 10-15 years, but 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations will require STEM.�
Prof Klinken said the desalination plants in WA had been criticised in the eastern states.
�Twenty years ago, 90 per cent of our water came from dams. Now only 8 per cent does,� he said.
�People in the eastern states said we shouldn�t have built desalination plants, but I tend to disagree with them. �
To encourage the next generation of medical researchers, Prof Klinken created the Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, which enables students in years 10, 11 and 12 to work with the latest technology.
He said WA�s universities and research institutions had a well-|established reputation for expertise medical research, but greater communication and collaboration between universities, schools, research institutes, government and the media was needed.