WAYNE DENNING, QLD – IS A FINALIST FOR THE IDX LEARNINGS AND EDUCATION AWARD PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET.
Wayne Denning is a proud Birra Gubba man from Blackwater, Central Queensland and the owner and managing director of Carbon Media.
Wayne globally promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through media and digital forms and believes in the importance and potential of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders participating in STEM related fields.
It’s the reason why he conceived the STEM.I.AM program, designed to promote the study of STEM with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth around Australia.
What’s STEM? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
In the spirit of Australia’s first Aboriginal inventor, engineer, author and activist, David Unaipon, STEM.I.AM is about encouraging Indigenous children and youth to start robotics and coding as an important building block to their future.
“I want young Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders to look to inspirational leaders like David Unaipon and say ‘I too belong in the STEM space and can make my mark on the world.”
Put simply, there are not enough Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders entering into engineering professions.
“With only 1.5% of STEM enrolments in 2016 being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders we are significantly underrepresented. Supporting the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in the innovation system is important to ensure that we benefit from the positive social and economic opportunities.
This is a huge challenge particularly as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids don’t even know that participation is even an option for them.” Wayne said.
STEM.I.AM aims to help overcome some of these challenges through promotion of the exciting programs happening around Australia in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children participating in them.
“The aim of the program is to continue the journey of our first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inventors and encourage our youth to take up coding and participation in digital fields as an important building block to their future.”
This year STEM.I.AM and Girl Geek Academy hosted an Indigenous #MissMakesCode workshop. The workshop saw a group of young girls participate in a day of coding, storytelling and game making. #MissMakesCode is one of the first initiatives in the world designed to build confidence and skills for young girls in STEM fields.