Two top senior students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College secured places at the Queensland University of Technology’s sought-after ‘Future You STEM Summit’, held during the school holidays, from 28 September to 1 October, 2021.
Flinders Year 11 students Charlie McMahon and Louis Prager were recognised for their "outstanding STEM leadership potential" and invited to participate in the Brisbane event as part of QUT’s Young Accelerators Program.
The Summit aims to teach high-achieving Year 11 students the importance of a STEM mindset, helping to guide a new generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to build the jobs of Australia’s future.
The program features interactive workshops and inspiring keynotes, including from Chief Scientist of Australia, Dr Cathy Foley.
Flinders Head of Curriculum, Bill Hooper said it was exciting for keen STEM students at Flinders to be extended and recognised through QUT’s rigorous education summit.
“STEM curriculum is a major focus at Flinders and taught from as early as Prep right through to Year 12 to develop students’ skills in real-world problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration,” Bill said.
“We have many high-achieving students, like Charlie and Louis, who are passionate about further developing their skills in these areas,” he said.
“Flinders is committed to preparing and inspiring every one of our students for Australia’s changing future, with predictions that 75% of the fastest-growing occupations will require STEM-based technological skills.”
At the Summit, Charlie and Louis participated in real-world interactive workshops across the core streams of entrepreneurship, innovation, robotics, sustainability and data science.
Louis is considering tertiary study in the fields of either Medicine, Mathematics or Teaching, and is excited by the workshops on offer at QUT’s summit.
“The virtual lessons through the QUT workshops are of true importance to me and the things I want to do in the future,” Louis said. “At school, I love STEM because of the variety of subjects available and the lovely teaching staff,” he said.
“In all of my Science and Maths classes, the teachers make a real effort to be engaging and keep our interest. While they constantly challenge us with the material they teach and test for, they also support us when we need it most, which allows us to reach our full potential.”
Charlie also studies many STEM subjects at Flinders, with his sights set for tertiary study on a double-bachelor’s degree at QUT in Information Technology and Business.
One of his favourite subjects is the student-led Flinders Electric Vehicle Project to convert a diesel vehicle into an electric car of the future.
“I was so excited to be involved in QUT’s Future You STEM Summit and to have the opportunity to get together with like-minded peers to collaborate on something cool,” Charlie said.
“I hope to move into a career in STEM in the future and help to make the world a better, safer, more efficient place."
Image caption: L-R: Charlie McMahon and Louis Prager at the QUT 'Future You' STEM Summit, September, 2021