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Extreme science and engineering : a higher education widening participation initiative at QUT

Barrett, Maria, Dawes, Les A., Perrott, Phillipa, King, Colette, & Harper, Angela (2011) Extreme science and engineering : a higher education widening participation initiative at QUT. In Papers from EOPHEA Conference 2011, EOPHEA Conference 2011 Committee, Auckland University Of Technology, Auckland, pp. 112-131.

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Abstract

The QUT Extreme Science and Engineering program provides free hands-on workshops to schools, presented by scientists and engineers to students from prep to year 12 in their own classrooms. The workshops are tied to the school curriculum and give students access to professional quality instruments, helping to stimulate their interest in science and engineering, with the aim of generating a greater take up of STEM related subjects in the senior high school years. In addition to engaging students in activities, workshop presenters provide role models of both genders, helping to breakdown preconceived ideas of the type of person who becomes a scientist or engineer and demystifying the university experience.

The Extreme Science and Engineering vans have been running for 10 years and as such demonstrate a sustainable and reproducible model for schools engagement. With funding provided through QUT’s Widening Participation Equity initiative (HEPPP funded) the vans which averaged 120 school visits each year has increased to 150+ visits in 2010. Additionally 100+ workshops (hands-on and career focused) have been presented to students from low socio-economic status schools, on the three QUT campuses in 2011.

While this is designed as a long-term initiative the short term results have been very promising, with 3000 students attending the workshops in the first six months and teacher and students feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 49945
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: school outreach, equity, science education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Primary Education (excl. Maori) (130105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 01 May 2012 09:16
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2014 12:16

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