Brightest young Indigenous minds gather at Flinders

Some of Australia’s brightest young Indigenous minds will arrive in Adelaide this weekend to embark on a two-week program at Flinders University designed to boost interest in further science and technology education.

One of many initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Indigenous students in both secondary and tertiary education, the Aboriginal Summer Schools for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) hopes to inspire Year 10 and 11 students with exceptional capabilities to undertake further study.

Working with leading academics and student mentors, the 24 participants, who will travel from as far away as the Kimberly region and Far North Queensland, will focus their studies on three key scientific areas – Health Science, Electronics and Environmental Science.

“We have identified these three areas as being of particular importance in both the research and development fields at present and, as such, can provide the students with a real insight into what potential study and employment opportunities may lie ahead for them,” ASSETS Coordinator, Ian Maynard said.

“For this reason, we have also chosen to take a ‘hands-on’ approach to their academic program over the three-week period, with a field trip to the Warriparinga Wetlands in Bedford Park and a robotics workshop at Flinders among the many activities planned,” Mr Maynard said.

In the final week of the program, which will be held at the Australian Science and Mathematics School at Flinders University, the students will form groups to conduct a research project and presentation in one of the three key areas they have studied.

“We are hoping the ASSETS program will not only provide the students with a healthy interest in the sciences, but help to foster their social and leadership capabilities as well – we want these kids to go back to their communities and inspire their peers to also pursue further learning,” Mr Maynard said.

ASSETS 08 will be held from Monday, January 7 until Wednesday, January 16 at the Australian Science and Mathematics School at Flinders University, and the students will be accommodated at the Wiltja Residential Project at Northgate.

ASSETS08 is being conducted by the Centre for Science, ICT and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional (SiMERR) Australia, in conjunction with the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the Australian Science and Mathematics School, with support from the Dare to Lead and Wiltja initiatives.

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