Peel Bright Minds was launched at Make Place on February 8 and celebrated the promotion of Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (ESTEAM) in the Peel region.
The event was attended by representatives from regional and local government organisations, researchers, industry, schools and community organisations.
Peel Bright Minds is a joint initiative of Peel region stakeholders and Inspiring Australia.
The concept was founded at a community meeting held at Make Place in May 2017, that identified the need for a regional initiative to promote ESTEAM.
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Peel Bright Minds’ founding sponsors are Regional Development Australia (RDA) Peel, Inspiring Australia, Peel Development Commission, and Peel Harvey Catchment Council. Alcoa Pinjarra Alumina Refinery has also provided funds to purchase branded materials for events and activities.
RDA Peel chief executive officer John Lambrecht said Peel Bright Minds filled an important gap in the region in bringing together ESTEAM to strengthen the workforce readiness of our community in Peel.
“While there are many strengths in the region, there are also important challenges around perceptions of and engagement with ESTEAM,” he said.
“Peel Bright Minds will contribute to addressing these challenges by promoting ESTEAM and citizen science and their benefits, facilitating collaboration among stakeholders and the community, and celebrating our unique regional strengths.
“Inspiring a curious community to engage more with ESTEAM will help us to prepare ourselves and our community for the future workforce.”
Peel Development Commission chairwoman Paddi Creevey said she was excited to see what Peel Bright Minds would do for the region.
“There are a number of science hubs in different locations around Australia, and what excites me is to see what lies ahead for our region with the inception of Peel Bright Minds,” she said.
“We will have jobs and industries here that will require different skills and we want our young people to have those opportunities.
“One way of helping them understand those opportunities is to have an initiative like this that will encourage their curiosity; give them access to great mentors and really open possibilities they might not have known about.”
“The Commission is very pleased to sponsor Peel Bright Minds as the goals align with our Peel Regional Investment Blueprint pillar of Capable People.
“We need to initiate, encourage curiosity and open possibilities to provide for the different workplace skills of the future, and I think Peel Bright Minds is a terrific example of the collaboration we do so well here in the Peel when we identify a need.”
Peel Harvey Catchment Council chairman Andy Gulliver said that informed and engaged young people provide a “beacon of hope for the future”.
T”heir energy and enthusiasm will drive the improved care for our community and environment that is vital for our collective futures,” he said.
“ESTEAM and Peel Bright Minds provide tremendous vehicles for us all to support an enlightened community in creating that future.”
Initial activities of Peel Bright Minds in 2018 include running interactive ESTEAM activities in stalls at Mandurah CrabFest and Stretch Festival.
In May, an Innovators’ Tea Party for Peel Bright Minds event will offer upper high school students opportunities to connect with female mentors working in STEM disciplines.
This event aims to inspire young people, and particularly young women to pursue careers in STEM.
Other proposed activities include:
- ‘ESTEAM’ awards to celebrate the achievements of individuals and organisations in the region
- industry tours to provide an opportunity for community members to learn about innovative industries in the region
- networking opportunities for ESTEAM champion teachers
Another potential activity is a series of ‘Science café’ events to discuss research implemented locally in an informal setting.
This would provide an opportunity for Peel community members to learn about research being conducted in the region, and an opportunity for researchers to develop their science communication skills.
Peel Bright Minds will also play a role in facilitating connections and promoting existing programs and opportunities that are available to residents, businesses and organisations in Peel.