STEM.I.AM Program frequently asked questions
Application and eligibility criteria
Who can apply for an Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM grant funding?
Councils can apply for Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM coding and robotics grants, offered through the State Library of Queensland, to deliver activities through Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) and public libraries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Schools and community groups interested in getting involved should contact us by email to help connect with IKCs and public libraries.
How can schools and community groups get involved?
All Indigenous Knowledge Centres and public libraries that are awarded Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM grants are required to deliver coding and robotics activities in collaboration with local community groups or schools. If your school or community group supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, please contact us by email to discuss potential involvement in activities in your community.
Who can participate in coding and robotics activities?
The Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM coding and robotics activities, including workshops, coding clubs/leagues and competitions are specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from grades 5 to 12.
Do I have to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to participate?
The Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM program is specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in grades 5 to 12. Similar activities may be available for non-indigenous students through local schools, libraries and community groups.
My child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and interested in participating. How can he/she get involved?
Students involved in the Department of Education's Solid Pathways Program will be invited to participate in activities at Solid Pathways camps.
Indigenous Knowledge Centres and public libraries in Queensland will be promoting Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM activities through local schools and community groups. All eligible students are welcome to register for these events.
Interested students can contact us by email about getting involved.
Why coding and robotics activities?
Young people need STEM skills to support a knowledge-based economy to actively contribute to and benefit from positive social and economic opportunities. By gaining a practical application of STEM though coding and robotics, students can understand its importance and value in a real-world context, which is imperative given the demand for these skills. It is estimated that:
- 60% of new jobs will require skills held by 20% of the workforce
- 75% of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills and knowledge
- 40% of Australian jobs are at risk of being automated in the next 10–15 years.
Where will coding and robotics activities be held?
All Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM coding and robotics activities will be organised by:
- Department of Education and Training's Solid Pathways Program camps
- The State Library of Queensland grant recipients—Indigenous Knowledge Centres and public libraries
- Some schools and youth or community groups in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities may deliver Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM coding and robotics activities.
How can I find out about coding and robotics activities in my region?
Why is the program targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students?
The Queensland Government's interim review of STEM in state schools has found that greater participation in STEM from under-represented groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is needed. In 2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students represented only 1.5% per cent of current enrolments in STEM-related university courses across Queensland. This is partly due to a complex set of challenges, including literacy and numeracy gaps, and lower school attendance in regional and remote areas, which contributes to a 20% gap in performance between Indigenous and non-Indigenous 15 year olds.
The Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM program provides opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from urban, regional and remote communities across Queensland to engage in coding and robotics activities to help encourage and inspire them to study in a STEM field at university, as an important pathway to achieving employment in STEM careers, vital in today's knowledge economy.