Two Goulburn Valley Grammar School students are currently participating in a unique coaching program for the next generation of female STEM leaders.

The four-day online Curious Minds Summer Program commenced on Sunday, and will be complemented by a mentoring program and follow-up winter camp.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, congratulated Goulburn Valley Grammar School’s Heidi Smith and Tahlia Pate on being selected among the 111 year 9 and 10 girls nationally for the Curious Minds program, which is supported by the Federal Government.

“We know that future jobs, including many in the Goulburn Valley, will require a strong maths and science base, so this program gives Heidi and Tahlia a flying start,” Mr Drum said.

“I know that they’ll be outstanding ambassadors for the Goulburn Valley.”

The Curious Minds program is delivered by the Australian Mathematics Trust and features a summer camp, followed by six months of coaching, and concludes with a winter camp.

This year’s summer camp will be held online due to COVID-19 and run from December 12-15.

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Bridget McKenzie, said the program was an innovative way of engaging young women in fields in which they have been typically underrepresented.

“Many of the jobs of the future will require STEM skills and we want to make sure girls are not just able to succeed in a career in STEM, but excel as leaders in their field,” Senator McKenzie said.

“The participants will benefit from the expertise and mentorship of almost 100 STEM coaches and will also be encouraged to build lasting friendships with like-minded students.”

The Federal Government has provided more than $4 million for the program since 2014, supporting the participation of more than 400 girls.


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