$1 million in grants from tech giant Salesforce will assist expanded STEM learning opportunities for approximately 3,600 students at 18 schools.
The funding will support professional development for more than 50 teachers in delivering blended online and classroom teaching. Teachers will be supported to create flexible learning environments as well as new STEM education opportunities.
The Schools Plus Collaboration Forum, a joint venture with Salesforce that connects principals, teachers and STEM experts from across Australia to explore ways to develop students’ STEM skills and mindsets is another initiative brought live under the funding.
And the CareerTrackers program will support 375 Indigenous high school students through career and leadership development activities, engagement with inspiring Indigenous university graduates, professionals and managers and paid professional internships upon completion of the HSC.
CareerTrackers will also use the funding to support its research into the factors that contribute to Indigenous participation in higher education and the professional workforce. This research is used to directly influence the programs and initiatives CareerTrackers runs.
Salesforce will partner with Schools Plus to deliver the programs.
“Our vision is that all Australian children have access to great education opportunities, no matter their postcode or background. Salesforce shares that vision and knows that building the capacity of our teachers is one of the best ways to ensure all students can reach their potential, including in the STEM careers that will shape our nation’s future,” said Rosemary Conn, CEO, Schools Plus.
“Addressing the inequalities faced by Indigenous Australians is one of the greatest moral obligations for Australia and the business community. The first 10 years of CareerTrackers saw an incredible impact with Indigenous university students and thanks to Salesforce we are codifying our program for high school students to prepare them to enter higher education and professional careers,“ said Jennifer Elliott, Executive Director, CareerTrackers.
“Equal access to education is critical to establishing a better and more equal Australia. We cannot achieve equality for all if Indigenous Australians and Australians from disadvantaged backgrounds have unfair and unequal access to learning and career opportunities,” said Pip Marlow, EVP & CEO, Salesforce ANZ and ASEAN.
“Businesses can be a powerful platform for positive change, but it’s also everyone’s responsibility to open more doors, to better represent the communities we live and work in, and shape a better tomorrow for everyone.”