Students refusing STEM push
Experts say Australian students are turning their backs on maths and science.
The Australian Council for Education Research says maths achievement and engagement has been dropping for over a decade.
The participation rate in advanced maths in Australia has dipped too, down from 14.2 per cent of Year 12 students in 1995 to 10 per cent in 2014.
Education expert Dr Rachel Wilson says it is a worrying trend.
“We're already seeing the impact of the disappearance of current employment fields and the way to protect yourself against those shifts is to be developing skills in maths and science,” she told reporters.
She said that even with strong promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) studies, interest in mathematics is fairly weak.
“We're seeing quite substantial numbers of students now completing secondary school without any maths,” Dr Wilson said.
“The level of maths that students are choosing to study also dropping.”
Aeronautical space engineer Dr Mahya Mirzaei has been visiting schools to inspire girls to get into engineering.
She says the problem begins outside the classroom.
“To a large extent us as a society determine the goals and dreams of our children. So if you look around us, what message are we giving our girls?” Dr Mirzaei asks.
“Most of our daughters are going to follow what society tells them they're capable of and at the moment we're not really telling our girls they can be leaders.”