The purpose of “Count on Industry” is to impress on the students the need to be proficient in mathematics and science in an increasingly complex technological age. These subjects are essential to their being competitive for skilled, interesting and well-paid employment.
Adrian Price from the Australian Industry Group (Hunter,) introduced the day talking to the students about the changing nature of technology and the workforce and how students need to have a well-rounded education but will also need to be adaptable and innovative to cope with the ever changing nature of the workforce.
AGL Macquarie Generation, TAFE NSW Equine and Agriculture, David Cant Surveyors, Coal and Allied, John Flood Real Estate, Sandvik, NSW Police Force, University of Newcastle Civil, Chemical and Chemical Engineering, Hedweld Engineering, Austin Engineering and Tutt Bryant all sent employees to work hands on with our year 9 students and the Year 10, 11 and 12 students studying courses within out Trade Training Centre. Representatives from industry prepared and ran small hands on mathematics and science activities. The students rotate through the different activities every 12 minutes.
Examples included a surveying task, an apprentice electrician explaining the mathematics he used in his everyday work, working out forces to distribute the load on a huge mining truck, programming a robot, working out how to determine the correct equipment to lift a 12 tonne object, determining the safe load for a large mining truck. NSW police had students looking at safe stopping distances and how to determine the speed of a vehicle without the usual speed camera. A Real Estate agent provided students with a task to see the viability of buying a $300 000 rental property. TAFE NSW had students measuring the dimensions of a full sized model of a horse to determine equipment choices and working out ratios to mix fuels correctly. Newcastle University Engineering students provided Year 9 with a practical insight into the mathematics involved in Chemical, Civil and Computer Engineering.
The day was a huge success. The presenters stressed to students the importance of mathematics and science and problem solving skills in the areas that they worked in and encouraged students to attempt the highest level of mathematics they were capable of. The activities revealed to the students to the world of maths and science in their future employment and clearly lifted the student’s interest in these subjects.