CONNOR White from Mossman is one of 60 of Australia’s brightest technology-buffs who converged on Macquarie University in Sydney in late January to take part in an advanced digital technology summer-school backed by the Turnbull Government.
The local Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch congratulated Connor on being selected to be part of the first digIT cohort, a program which will help take students’ skills in digital literacy, science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the next level.
“The Turnbull Government has committed around $1 million for digIT through the National Innovation and Science Agenda to ensure we foster the passions of the next generation of technologists and boost their skills,” Mr Entsch said.
“Students like Connor have a proven passion for technology and they’re making Australia’s National Innovation and Science Agenda a reality. digIT will expand their critical thinking, programming and problem-solving skills – skills that will be vital for Australia’s future successes.
“With the help of the Australian Mathematics Trust and Australian Science Innovations, digIT will run a hands-on extension and mentoring program to expose students to all aspects of technology through guest lectures, interactive sessions, practicals and field trips.
“Programs like digIT are critical for this and future generations of students because employment trends show that 75 per cent of Australia’s fastest growing careers demand skills in digital literacy, science, technology, engineering or mathematics.”
Mr Entsch said Connor and the other digIT students would follow up their four-day residential summer school with a six-month program that includes another residential camp and professional mentoring.
“By fostering the skills and passion of these students through the digIT summer schools, residential camp and professional mentoring we expect those students will take what they’ve learned back to their classrooms to inspire and challenge their peers,” Mr Entsch said.
Mossman student Connor White said participating in the program was very exciting, interesting, fun and provided him with a great opportunity to advance his mathematics in a practical situation.
“I met with students my age from across Australia, who were all keen and wanting to push themselves, just like me.” Connor said.
“Excursions to the Data Arena and Google showed us how programming can be used to benefit real life.
“By the end, we were grouped with mentors to help us create our own functional program. I feel proud and honoured to have been given this opportunity,” Connor said.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said many of the 60 students taking part in digIT came from regional, rural and disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Longer-term, digIT will help students build a network of new friends from all walks of life, learn from role models and practise new skills.
Subsequent digIT summer schools will be held in a different capital city each year. They are open to secondary students from around Australia.
For more information please visit: www.amt.edu.au/information/for-students/digit/