STEM and the oil and gas industry
Author – Emma Britton
STEM education initiatives have been introduced across schools in Australia, reinvigorating the teaching approach for science, technology, engineering and maths.
The ethos behind STEM is to educate by doing, teaching technically complex and difficult subjects in hands-on and practical ways, in an effort to make STEM accessible for students of all learning levels.
The main prerogative is to equip current students with an understanding of the modern world. In a response to the changing nature of work, STEM will help to develop Australian students’ skills that are relevant to 2030.
The future will include multiple technology advancements at an increasing rate, sophisticated artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies, all which will ultimately be the responsibility of future generations.
In 2018, we are seeing fewer women in leadership positions than men across a range of sectors, including the oil and gas sector.
Women in Oil and Gas Chair and Founder Veena Mendez says in order to make the gender balance more equal, we need to encourage young women to participate in STEM learning, and in hand this could benefit the oil and gas industry by creating a more diverse workforce for decades to come.
“We hope to see the current gap between young female students embracing STEM learning and the number of females in the workplace in the field of maths, science and engineering start to shrink,” Veena said.
“It’s about introducing students at a young age to STEM related subjects and exposing them to the different ways of learning and immersing students in real world issues.
“STEM is a way of thinking and encourages curiosity and teamwork. It’s about schools embracing the digital age and boosting innovation and science in schools.
“We want to ensure that future generations of workers have the skills they need to live and work in a globalised world, many future jobs will require STEM skills and that’s a certainty.
“Many young students are not exposed to the world of oil and gas, so it is also important for us to educate them about our industry and the future opportunities in the oil and gas sector.”
A recent addition to the STEM debate is the need to introduce “A” for art into the mix. Known as STEAM, the initiative is designed to reunite the arts with maths and science, however critics say that putting focus on other subjects such as art may take away from the overall mission of STEM.
Although the STEM and STEAM debate will most likely go on for some time, the overall concept to champion these subjects in schools will be crucial in educating and preparing students for the future.