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Where math, science and traditional knowledge meet

There’s an innovative education project underway in Australia that’s transforming how math and science is taught to Indigenous students.

It’s demonstrating how the national science curriculum can be taught with inquiry-based methods and using the traditional knowledges of Australia’s First Nations Peoples.

Now, individual students are soaring to success after attending summer schools and award winners are changing the world with their research.

The project was developed by the CSIRO in partnership with the BHP Foundation to target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students as they progress from primary to secondary school, onto tertiary education and into employment.

The goal is to increase interest and academic achievement in STEM subjects and related professions as only 10 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Australia progress to university.

Since the Indigenous STEM Education project kicked off in 2014, it’s engaged over 17,898 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and 1,755 teachers from 166 schools across Australia.

That includes:

  • 74 per cent of participants at the Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science intending to have a STEM career;
  • 80 per cent of teachers reporting improvements in student understanding and learning after 12 months; and
  • Positive engagement with schools, teachers and communities in using ecological knowledge and western science as part of the Science Pathways for Indigenous Communities program.

Read more about the Indigenous STEM Education project.

Read more about BHP Foundation’s projects in our latest publication.