Curious Minds: a hands-on extension and mentoring program to ignite girls’ passion in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Curious Minds is a six-month program that combines two residential camps and a mentoring program, for year 8, 9 and 10 girls who are interested in STEM.

In a fun and supportive environment, the girls will grow in confidence and ability whilst expanding their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and their scientific networks. They will make new friends, be exposed to outstanding role models, practise new skills, and deepen their understanding of what their future may hold in the fields of science, engineering, technology and maths.


What is involved?

Two residential camps enable the girls to explore all aspects of science, technology, engineering and maths through guest lectures, interactive sessions, practicals and field trips. The residential camps are held in December and July. For the 2017 program, these are being held at UNSW in Sydney.

The mentoring program sees each student matched with a female mentor recruited from a variety of STEM backgrounds. Together they construct personal goals for the student. This might include discussing study options and career pathways, undertaking further extension work with support from their mentor, developing ideas based on learnings from the camp or working on a project.

Curious Minds is an invitational program. Students are invited based on their performance in the Australian Mathematics Competition *link*, Computational and Algorithmic Thinking competition *link* and the Big Science Competition *link*. The program also targets girls who are disadvantaged, rural/remote and/or Indigenous. Students will be identified and invitations sent to schools.

For more information contact Vanessa Kates on vanessa.kates@asi.edu.au or phone 02 6125 6228.

Who is behind Curious Minds?

Curious Minds is jointly administered by the Australian Mathematics Trust and Australian Science Innovations.

Curious Minds is part of the Summer Schools for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) project and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the Restoring the Focus on STEM program (initiative) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Curious Minds is generously supported by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Microsoft.