MIE Community programs have been developed in consultation with regional communities to provide STEM inspiration to the broader community.
I never thought about university being part of my plans for the future. Now I see that this is something I can do!– Program Participant
Our programs target prospective undergraduate students from low SES backgrounds of any age, by offering ongoing campus experiences in STEM with experts and local industry. Experiences such as robotics clubs and women in STEM programs on the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and Fraser Coast campus locations.
Research demonstrates that aptitude and interest are equally crucial to determining the career path an individual chooses. The MIE Community programs focus on participants recognising their abilities in STEM and developing a growth mindset by practicing the STEM skills in activities which are designed to need persistence, yet also enable participants to achieve confidence in their skills by completing the activities successfully.
The MIE Community programs highlight the achievements of women in STEM and we ensure that each program includes female experts, preservice teacher presenters, assistants and role models from USC business and industry. This role modelling is designed to remove perceptions that STEM careers are only for males.
What the research says
The MIE Lab programs are designed to develop a story around the relevance of learning STEM skills and the real careers which are associated with them. Research by Kelleher, et al., (2007), suggests that using storytelling can assist STEM subjects to appear more hands-on and relatable, especially for females. Diekman et al., (2011), suggest that making STEM careers more relatable and accessible to girls in everyday life can also assist to increase their interest in pursuing these careers.
MIE Community is a widening participation program developed by USC to increase participation in tertiary education.
It is partly funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment under the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.