RDA Hunter’s role as a regional facilitator has helped land another partnership to benefit the Hunter – and beyond.

The Hunter’s STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program has made a positive connection with the Newcastle Branch of Engineers Australia (EA) and the NSW Department of Education. A recent meeting of stakeholders coordinated by RDA Hunter’s SISP Industry Liaison Officer resulted in a partnership that will see participating Hunter school students better understand the enormous career opportunities that exist in engineering.

SISP, a Department of Education program that is inspiring students to study STEM and prepare for their futures, has partnered with EA Newcastle to enrich and expand the peak body association’s existing highly successful Engineering Studies Teaching Program.

The partnership will see EA’s members contribute their experience and technical expertise to enhance the existing teaching and learning resources developed for senior school Engineering Studies courses. They’ll also help contextualise curriculum to improve student understanding of engineering career pathways.

The new activities will see professional engineers visit participating SISP schools to assist students in their subject selection and provide them with career development mentorship. Students will be exposed to in-class presentations, career case studies by visiting engineers, excursions and competitions which will contribute to a greater understanding of the breadth of engineering opportunities available in the Hunter.

“RDA Hunter is very pleased to be co-ordinating the Hunter region’s school and industry participation in SISP. We’ve been able to contribute the experience we’ve gained over ten years of delivering successful STEM workforce development programs to the Department of Education’s emerging SISP program. The Hunter’s collaborative environment is helping shape an education initiative that is relevant and has the capacity to be replicated widely.” said RDA Hunter’s Director of Regional Development and Executive Officer, Mr Trevor John.

According to Dr Scott Sleap, DoE’s SISP Project Lead, the new SISP/Engineers Australia partnership will be launched in the Hunter then rolled out across NSW.

“This initiative is yet another example of the Hunter region developing ground-breaking STEM focused education programs. The value of SISP activities and partnerships like this have been recognised within the Department of Education and have contributed to the expansion of the program to other NSW regions. It’s great to see the State’s school students benefiting from the Hunter’s experience in successful school/industry partnerships.” he said.

Helen Link, General Manager Engineers Australia, Newcastle Division said, “We are very excited to support this partnership and are very confident it will encourage more young students to take up STEM subjects and consider a career path into engineering”.