feature living STEM brings first nations knowledge to the classroom

Living STEM water filtration workshopLiving STEM water filtration workshop

Pictured LR: Murujuga Ranger, Sarah Hicks; Living STEM Project Lead, David Broun; Teacher from Onslow Primary School, Rebecca Mackin; and Aboriginal Educator from Onslow Primary School, Irene Hayes.

Chevron Australia is proudly partnering with CSIRO to deliver the Living STEM program – enhancing the connection between First Nations’ knowledge and the classroom.  

The program, which formally launched this week, provides primary and secondary school teachers with training and resources to embed First Nations scientific knowledge in the classroom through hands-on projects relating to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  

The projects are developed in collaboration with local schools and communities, spanning chemical, earth, physical and biological sciences. This includes food preparation and cooking techniques, traditional fire-starting methods, using resins and gums as adhesives, and looking after Country with fire. 

By making STEM more relatable for students, Living STEM aims to improve student engagement and positively impact educational outcomes, as well as foster stronger partnerships with families and communities.  

Chevron Australia’s General Manager Asset Development, Michelle LaPoint, said that the company is proud to partner with CSIRO to deliver the Living STEM program. 

"We’re proud to partner with a well-respected organisation like CSIRO to deliver this exciting initiative,” she said.

“Living STEM encapsulates the benefits of learning from the world’s oldest continuing living culture and deepening the connection between First Nations' people and school children across Western Australia.”

Michelle LaPoint

Chevron Australia General Manager Asset Development

CSIRO Director Education and Outreach, Ruth Carr, said the program will use learning and engagement principles to connect students to science in a culturally interconnected way. 

“Living STEM draws on community engagement principles of Two-way Science developed with Aboriginal desert schools,” she said. 

“The Two-way Science model allows students to explore STEM subjects that value and connect with their cultural identity, leading to increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning.  

“Living STEM is another way to connect students to science in a meaningful and culturally interconnected way.”   

Living STEM will initially be rolled out to selected schools in the West Pilbara region, with opportunities to expand to other areas in the future.  

Learn more about the Living STEM program.