Building a smart future for the Hunter
RDA Hunter’s ME Program has completed Phase One of its operations and has achieved impressive results. Since 2010, 25 Hunter high schools and 7,500 students have engaged with 32 Hunter based companies through the program.
Funded through the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) the ME Program builds smarter schools by providing the latest technology, opportunities for teachers to align course content with industry, and connecting students with relevant hands on experiences. The ME Program has increased maths and science based subject selection in its partner schools; created iSTEM, a Board of Studies approved course implemented across NSW; and
developed the Living Toolkit, a set of problem based learning resources for teachers.
It has also improved its industry partners’ access to a pool of ready, skilled staff. Industry partner, Ampcontrol, reported a 70% increase in the uptake of apprentices from 2012 to 2013.
Other key outcomes of Phase One include:
• 17% of ME Program students now select HSC Physics compared with the NSW average of 14%
• In NSW 12% of HSC Physics students will drop the subject before Year 12, in ME schools this rate is just 6%
• 12% of ME Program students now select HSC Engineering Studies compared to the NSW average of 4%
• In 2012 West Wallsend High reported it had enough interest to run its first HSC Mathematics Extension 1 class
• 14% of ME Program students will select Metals and Engineering Certificate II for their HSC compared with the state average of 3%
• Schools running the ME Programs’ iSTEM initiative will double between 2014 and 2015 from 7 to 14.