TJ Ryan Foundation Board member, Geoff Edwards, provides a review of the recently released Strengthening School – Industry STEM Skills Partnerships report from the AI Group, commissioned by the Office of the Chief Scientist. The report assesses recent efforts to improve student participation in STEM-related disciplines by encouraging school and industry collaboration, including through student placements in host firms and organisations.
'The report ... describes a number of pilot projects in which primary and secondary schools engaged with industry with a view to strengthening the interest of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
'This critique is written in my capacity as an independent scholar. It draws on insights gained at events organised by the Royal Society of Queensland and summarised on its website (http://www.royalsocietyqld.org/education-in-stem/), but it is not written in my capacity with the Society and the views expressed are my own.
'... Industry placements can have mutual benefits but carry significant overheads for both sides. They are no substitute for reform of the education system so that every school graduate leaves with adequate life and work-ready skills.'