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Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students through Advancing STEM Education

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History of KJR and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

In recent years, KJR has built a strong partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People through many innovative projects, including the Indigenous Australian Datathon, the Marine Debris Task Force, the Rock Art Data Capture project, and more.

Our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People does not stop here. We have seized the opportunity to enhance the STEM education of the younger generation by partnering with the Radiant Life College.

Why STEM Education is important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students experience lower engagement in STEM and face poor outcomes in STEM-related fields after school, in both employment and further education. Data from the Australian Government Department of Education shows that these students underperform in STEM subjects compared to their non-Indigenous peers. For instance, 68% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students scored below the international standard in Year 8, while only 34% of non-Indigenous students did. This gap in STEM achievement has remained constant over the past 20 years. 

Indigenous students’ participation in STEM subjects in higher education needs to accelerate rapidly to reach parity with other fields of study and with non-Indigenous students.

 

RPAS STEM engagement program

In collaboration with the Radiant Life College, KJR launched the RPAS STEM engagement program. The activities offer students a chance to explore drone and AI technology in an engaging, inclusive, and hands-on setting. The program focuses on essential aspects to enhance educational value, including:

• Practical, out-of-classroom learning experiences.

• Introduction to advanced technical skills.

• Illustrating the application of technology in Indigenous culture and land management.

• Demonstrating that advanced technologies like drones, automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are accessible to all and relevant to everyday life.

• Connecting the technology to Indigenous learning and educational needs.

By training local communities in drone technology and digital skills, we aim to equip them with the tools they need to thrive in the modern world.

Our Remote Data Technology General Manager, Aaron Bell says

 

We’re extremely excited and privileged to work with the staff and students of Radiant Life College. Our RPAS program is designed to put technology into the hands of students in a fun and engaging way. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to engage with tech. We have really focussed on hands-on learning and emphasise how the technology can play a role in their future careers. It’s a real buzz working up there and we definitely get as much out of the interaction as the students do!

Our ambition

Building on our extensive experience in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, we aim to further develop our engagement with the Indigenous community. Read more on our other community and innovative projects here: CSR – KJR