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Scitech's Aboriginal Education Program brings STEM experiences to the Pilbara

Scitech's Aboriginal Education Program recently visited students in the Pilbara region which saw learning and knowledge shared between the Scitech science communicators and the local community.

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Scitech recently took our Aboriginal Education Program (AEP) to 115 students from eight remote schools across the Pilbara region.

The program’s incursion workshops are designed to be interactive, flexible and encourage understanding through doing, allowing the students to view the world around them through a STEM lens.

AEP Program Coordinator Caitlin McLeod said the students loved the hands-on approach of the activities.

“One activity involves sun sensitive paper which is blue but turns white in the sun. We got the students to place items on the paper and by blocking the UV light they could make patterns. They really enjoyed getting to be creative and they also got to keep what they made,” Caitlin said.

“The section of the workshop where the students go outside and find insects to look at under the microscope is always really popular, and it allows them to have control over the experiment. Another activity uses tuning forks and we get the kids to stick them on their faces to feel a buzzing sensation which always gets a surprise reaction from them. A lot of our STEM activities are designed around creating surprise as we know that experiencing surprise actually allows you remember better.”

While the team were sharing STEM experiences with the students, the communities shared some amazing local experiences with them as well.


“In Kiwirrkurra, a small community 700km west of Alice Springs, locals invited us to go out bush with them and it was a really incredible experience learning to dig for maku (witchetty grubs in Pintupi, the language and people of the Kiwirrkurra community) and sharing food from the campfire,” Caitlin said.

Working in collaboration with the community, the aim of AEP is to increase awareness of the importance and relevance of STEM for Aboriginal students and build the capacity of educators to teach STEM subjects. AEP is run by our Statewide team who visit every regional and remote community every three years, supported by Rio Tinto.


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