BALGA Senior High School has partnered with Google and Australian Schools Plus to form an after-school robotics club.
The club aims to equip students with Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills and prepare them for future careers.
The school successfully applied for Schools Plus and Google’s program, which will also cater for Year 5-6 students at Warriapendi and North Balga primary schools.
Balga SHS principal Mark Carton said the club would start with robotics and coding.
“This process is about setting up a Stem centre that becomes a community connecting point so primary schools can come in here and use the facility and take the resources to their school,” he said.
“Google are committed to providing professional learning for all staff over the course of this year and that is basically free of charge so that we are up-skilling our kids.
“We already started as a high school in coding but this has given us the impetus and financial support to go a little bit further and build it into community time as well.”
Google Australia engineering community outreach manager Sally-Ann Williams said the program would introduce a future that kids have not explored and develop staff members’ Stem skills and knowledge.
“For us, it is not just about creating computer scientists or people who can be programmers but it is actually about people who want to work in agriculture and combining that with computer science,” she said.
“We just want to bring that to life for kids at a real young age so that they stay engaged in it and then really whatever they are passionate about – they can bring those two things together.”
Federal Jobs and Innovation Minister Michaelia Cash, who visited the school today, said it was “fantastic” to see Google inspire local high school students to gain Stem skills.