Murrumbidgee Regional High School (MRHS) has won a prestigious award at the 2021 Minister's and Secretary's Awards for Excellence in recognition of the Australian New Zealand STEM Education Alliance (ANZSEA) program.
The ANZSEA program is a collaboration with the Queensland, Northern Territory and New Zealand Departments of Education, the STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) program, MRHS and the Murrumbidgee Academy of STEM Excellence (MASE) at MRHS.
MRHS Executive Principal David Crelley said the award was 'recognition of all the types of learning experiences available at MRHS'.
"Our STEM program is the envy of all other schools in New South Wales with significant investment and commitment to ensuring our students and staff have access to the very latest in STEM learning and technologies," Mr Crelley said.
"We are extremely proud of our progress and the recognition, yet know this is merely the tip of the iceberg for what we have planned in the STEM space over the coming years."
Leading the way for local STEM education, MRHS teacher Ian Preston told The Area News that the ANZSEA program was part of MRHS's vision to inspire a passion and aspiration for STEM through innovation learning, enriching opportunities and transformational partnerships.
"ANZSEA provides STEM enrichment for students from MRHS and its partner primary schools aligned to the NSW and the Australian curriculum," Mr Preston said.
"21st century learning, particularly collaboration, critical and creative thinking are all cornerstones of the program as students are exposed to skill builder and grand challenges."
These challenges include the likes of 'cyberattack chaos' which saw students adopt a digital security mindset as they investigated the impact of cyberattacks on smart cities, 'disaster resilience for a changing climate' where they worked in partnership with industry and community organisations to build disaster resilience and innovate strategies to deal with disasters before, during and after they occur and 'mining advancements' which saw students collaborate with mining industry experts to explore safety and the impact of mining on FIFO workers, the environment and mining equipment technology.
"The ANSEA program is an example of how an effective STEM program can benefit like minded students in regional locations," Mr Preston said.
"MRHS students in the program have become insightful problem solvers, with the success of ANZSEA leading to MRHS being selected to introduce the Virtual STEM Academy.
This will provide more students with the ability to develop 21st Century skill development particularly in collaboration and complex problem solving."
Ian Preston is now serving as the Deputy Principal of the Virtual STEM Academy.
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