HILLS schools are expected to gain from a State Government focus on children learning to love science from an early age.
In line with an election promise, the McGowan government will provide $12 million to convert 200 primary classrooms in public schools into science laboratories, with an additional $5 million for grants to resource the converted facilities.
Expressions of interest are open for the first 100 schools to be selected across the 2018 and 2019 school years, with each school allocated $25,000 for equipment and resources.
Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills was vital to equip primary school students for the jobs of tomorrow.
She said while some students would become practitioners of STEM, many more would use the generic skill set of teamwork, problem solving, creativity, independent thinking, critical analysis, initiative and communication brought about through the Science in Schools program.
“Some 75 per cent of jobs in the fastest growing industries will require STEM skills and 90 per cent of jobs will need people with digital skills in the next two to five years,” she said.
Ms Shaw said primary schools with more than 100 students were eligible to apply and up to 50 places would be reserved for schools in low socio-economic areas.
“Having worked in the energy sector, I also understand how important it is that we equip our kids for the jobs of the future,” she said.