How are science, technology, engineering and mathematics – STEM – applicable in the real world?

Wyndham Central College students will be learning just that next year when the school kicks off its STEM program for year 9 and 10 students.

STEM education leader Paulo da Silva said that although the disciplines’ impacts were found in everyday life – such as cars, mobile phones and satellites – Australia was facing a STEM skills shortage.

He said the new program would allow students to integrate all the disciplines through one major project.

Students will learn theory for half the term and will then use that knowledge to solve a relevant problem in the second half of the term.

Mr da Silva said students were getting a taste of the STEM project during the school’s annual step-up program in which they’ve been given the challenge of designing a cube puzzle using a 3D printer.

“They have to design the puzzle from scratch – it’s very challenging,” he said.

“That task requires maths, requires resilience, requires some engineering, requires some trial and error – and that’s what we want from the students.

“It’s needed, it’s cutting edge. Seventy-five per cent of the jobs in Victoria right now require STEM skills, such as maths, good financial literacy, reading a graph.

“The industry wants students to learn those skills.”