about the program
Innovate is designed to inspire young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics job opportunities by encouraging the uptake of STEM subjects.
STEM jobs are growing significantly faster than any other jobs, according to a 2019 analysis by the federal Department of Employment. Yet a lack of student uptake is creating a skills shortage, and in low socio-economic areas there is a disproportionately high percentage of students who are opting out or performing poorly in STEM-related subjects.
This program aims to address this issue by targeting younger high schoolers to build confidence and learning in these areas, as well as build their knowledge of STEM careers.
Mentors do not require a background in STEM or any technical skills beyond basic maths. Sessions involve small groups of students working with mentors on activities that illustrate the practical applications of maths, engineering and design. They use scientific knowledge to assist with problem solving and innovation.
In 2016, the Innovate program won a Gold Global Best Award in the STEM category for the Australia & Oceania region. The award was presented by the International Partnership Network to ABCN and PwC to recognise their collaboration in developing the program.
Program time commitment
Face-to-face delivery: 7 hrs total for students, 7 hrs 30 min total for mentors
Digital delivery: 6 hrs 30 min total for students, 5 hrs total for mentors
said they are now aware of different types of STEM-related careers
said they are now interested in STEM subjects
— Innovate student
“We learned how to look at things differently, to be more creative, and about working in teams. Having mentors is very helpful as it gives you more confidence to express yourself in learning.”