St Francis College, Crestmead (SFCC) gave students a hands-on experience on what it is like to work as a marine biologist, thanks to a Queensland Government science funding initiative.
Science Minister, Leeanne Enoch said that SFCC was one of 21 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education groups, scientists, community organisations and schools to share in more than $203,000 in funding as part of the latest round of the Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants.
“During National Science Week this year, the college held (delayed due to COVID-19) a series of marine science education sessions for its students across all year levels,” Ms Enoch said in a statement.
“Students will be able to get an up close and interactive experience in handling live marine animals and will be able to learn more about life below the surface of our oceans directly from a marine biologist and other marine experts.
“The aim of the project is that students gain a greater understanding of the importance of protecting and conserving our delicate marine life and ocean, while also being inspired to become a scientist or STEM professional in the future.”
Ocean Stars Marine Education founder, Rebecca Davis explained at the SFCC hands on event, that the students experiencing marine life is good for our planet.
“That way they will care a little bit more and maybe live their lives in a way that’s going to look after the planet,” Ocean Stars Marine Education, Rebecca Davis said in the video above.
Ms Enoch said the Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants support scientists, community organisations and schools to carry out projects and activities aimed at increasing the reach and impact of science across Queensland.
“These grants are an important way to increase how Queenslanders are engaging with scientists and other STEM professionals to get a better understanding of how science, technology, engineering and maths can improve their lives and the environment.
“Employment in the STEM sector is growing two times faster than any other industry, so it is important Queenslanders embrace science-based opportunities,” Ms Enoch said.
Interim Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Paul Bertsch said currently only 21 per cent of Queensland workers have STEM qualifications and it is predicted that more than 90 per cent of all future jobs will require some form of digital literacy.
“Through this grants program, students and communities across the state have the opportunity to engage with scientists and participate in STEM-based activities, and it is this interaction that builds interest in STEM subjects, qualifications and careers,” Professor Bertsch said.
Ms Enoch said since the Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants program began in 2016, more than $1.4 million had been allocated to 149 successful applicants.
The program provides funding of up to $10,000 for projects, events and activities delivered within a 12-month period.