STEM Careers are for everyone with Future You
Launching across Australia, the reimagined Future You program provides educators, families and children with exciting and engaging resources, activities and lesson plans designed to encourage students aged 8 to 12 to explore STEM careers.
Funded by the Australian Government, Future You aims to change perceptions about STEM careers and build a more diverse, skilled workforce, ready to tackle the technological, environmental, and economic challenges Australia faces.
The Australian Government’s 2022 STEM Equity Monitor, showed that much needs to be done to ensure that the needs of the future labour market are met, and Future You is working to address this concern. Children form beliefs about who should do what job in primary school, so the target age range for Future You was carefully chosen to help young people identify with role models and see the importance of STEM skills.
Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, leads the team delivering Future You.
“Future You aims to challenge stereotypes and help children, their parents, and teachers to understand that STEM is for everyone.”
“STEM skills are required in almost every sector of work, from caring occupations to retail and trades – whether you are running your own business or creating solutions to the global problems of our time.”
“STEM needs creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and a curiosity for the world around us – and we need everyone to be involved to get the best solutions,” says Lisa.
The Future You pilot program in 2020 reached an audience of 3.1 million This year the program turns its focus to delivering a more holistic program that will capture the hearts and imaginations of children across Australia, inspiring them with visions of themselves working with STEM skills in the future.
Imagining the Future
Imagining the Future is a STEM fiction program that encourages children to explore the exciting world of future STEM careers through five interlinked short stories written by some of Australia’s most acclaimed authors.
The series launches with the heart-stopping thriller Far Out! by leading Australian writer, Lili Wilkinson.
Each story is set in the future and explores humanity’s first deep space outpost on Callisto, one of Jupiter’s moons. Alongside Lili’s story, new writing by Alison Evans, Rebecca Lim, Gary Lonesborough and Melissa Keil to be released in 2023 will take children on an interstellar journey of the imagination.
Each story features young protagonists who use STEM thinking, coupled with ingenuity, inventiveness, and courage, to solve problems related to life off-world.
The stories are free to download in written form, or as dramatised podcasts featuring exciting young Australian actors, rich sound design, and a captivating soundtrack. Listen to Far Out! on YouTube, below.
The first story, Far Out!, read by Brenna Harding from Channel 10’s Puberty Blues, features sound design by Weronika Raźna, and a commissioned soundtrack by Freya Berkhout, which features pop song Galaxy Vibes (Far Out!), also performed by Freya.
Curriculum-aligned teaching resources for teachers and families, and activities for children, accompany each story to enrich student comprehension and engagement with the stories and encourage greater interest in pursuing careers in STEM.
Future You’s film strand, Pathfinders, showcases four shorts featuring extraordinary women working in aerospace, conservation, machine maintenance and augmented reality storytelling.
Season One features:
The Storyteller – Mikaela Jade is the Founder and CEO of Canberra-based digital consultancy, Indigital. Mikaela uses augmented reality to tell the traditional stories of the Cabrogal people, and recently addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos on the subject of Indigenous storytelling. Watch her film.
The Fixer – Louse Azzopardi is a heavy vehicle mechanic who started an apprenticeship at 15 and never looked back. Growing up on a farm inspired Louise’s passion for mechanical engineering and she now mentors and teaches other tradeswomen. Watch her film.
The Highflyer – Renee Wootton is an aerospace engineer who discovered a passion for aviation when she joined the Air Force Cadets in her mid-teens. A proud Tharawal woman, Renee now works as the First Nations Engagement Manager for Qantas, and has her sights set on space. Watch her film.
The Protector – Dr Phoebe Meagher, wildlife conservation officer at Taronga Zoo. Trips to the outback with her grandmother sparked Phoebe’s passion for wildlife, and she now uses forensic science to save animals. Her work has been featured on the cover of Australian Geographic and she is a leading authority on Australia’s shark life. Watch her film.
Each of the Pathfinders films, by filmmaker Hugh Clark, is accompanied by a stunning portrait poster by graphic artist Claudia Chineyere Akole, with additional design elements by Cassandre Collins. The posters are available to download from the Future You website, together with teaching resources, activities and career advice packs to help teachers, schools and families to engage with children in discussion and exploration of STEM and possible career pathways.
Production on Season Two of Pathfinders is already underway, with confirmed participants being Australia’s leading authority on edible bugs, a submarine engineer, and an IT architect at Google.
Future You resources are free, and you can view or download them from the website: https://futureyouaustralia.com.au/
Media Contact: Becky Laurence, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0466 942 077