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Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Economic Change Agents: The Role of STEM Education in Australia

Determining whether current STEM outreach initiatives foster the twenty-first century skills needed to drive innovation – the precursor for entrepreneurship.

Background:

In line with the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Australian Government has invested millions into school outreach programs to develop skills and participation in STEM.

STEM drives innovation and entrepreneurship by helping people develop vital twenty-first century skills: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.

Conducted by Deborah Corrigan and Debra Panizzon, this study examined an index of outreach initiatives in Australia to determine how effectively they created these skills.  

Key findings:

From analysing 365 outreach initiatives, the key findings from this research project are as follows:

  • There was no evidence that current programs were helping participants develop these skills

  • Only one entrepreneurship program targeted the STEM area

  • Most programs focused on delivering content rather than building vital STEM capabilities

  • To a lesser extent, the initiatives didn’t make a strong attempt to motivate people to participate in STEM

  • The programs primarily catered to people already interested in STEM

  • There is a large disparity between the national agenda and the current role of STEM education in Australia

Learn more:

To discover more about this study, read the full research report.

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Economic Change Agents: The Role of STEM Education in Australia

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