Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, has welcomed moves to engage younger students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects by training future primary schoolteachers as science and maths specialists.Primary teachers are currently trained as generalists in a range of subjects.
From this year, in a NSW first, teaching students from at least three NSW universities can become STEM specialists by electing to study additional maths and science courses.
“This is a great initiative which will help give young students more confidence in maths and science, so they’re better prepared for high school,” Mr Fraser said.
“Employers want workers that are skilled in mathematics and science, so we want to give our students the confidence to study these subjects at their highest possible level.”
The new primary teaching course requirements were developed by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) in consultation with teachers, teacher educators and the education sector.
“The first group of graduates with a specialisation in maths and science will be eligible to teach in NSW schools from the end of 2017,” Mr Fraser added.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is also rolling out 16 new resources to help improve the teaching of STEM subjects in schools across the state.
The resources include:
Seven new STEM lesson units for K-12, including a ‘coding’ unit which teaches students to use code to choreograph dance and movement;
Eight new Science and Technology activities for K-6, including “Game Plan” where students design, build and test a game based on electrical circuits; and
A guide to support the use of coding as a teaching tool to solve problems within existing subjects.
The NSW Government is also investing $20 million during this term of Government to upgrade 50 science labs in NSW public schools.