The Connecting Minds Project

The Connecting Minds Project is supported by the Commonwealth through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Council for Australian-Arab Relations,

The problem to solve

We need to inspire girls at a young age to see the potential in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics fields. Part of that is creating role models in the space sector that the girls can relate to.
The second part of the problem is retaining women in STEM fields throughout their careers, which means stopping the leaky pipeline that is so common. It is not enough to talk about record enrolment in engineering or computer science courses in university. A wider perspective is necessary.

Women, space and the world.

It is our opinion that by working together – we can build an amazing future for our youth in the emerging space industry. By collaboration and global outreach, we can inspire our communities to view a space STEM career as one to strive towards and achieve. To do this – we need to change perceptions in our community. How do we do this? Community outreach on a global scale. The northern and southern hemispheres combine to demonstrate what the theme of Expo means – ‘Connecting minds, creating a future together’. What better way than the time of Expo in Dubai – where the whole world is gathering?

The Connecting Minds Project

Australian and UAE educators will work collaboratively to develop and trial space Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching strategies and workshops with groups of girls in their respective schools. Their innovative approaches and initiatives will be targeted at building new networks and linkages across countries and cultures. The aim is to build capability and capacity of girls to improve the uptake of space STEM careers. At the Dubai EXPO in January, opportunities will be provided for UAE teachers and students to showcase the outcomes of their collaborations whilst Australian educators are able to deliver virtual presentations.

Projects will be published and available to all participants. It is envisaged that this program will expand with the intention to physically visit each other’s schools and countries when international travel is allowable and financial support is attained.

Inspiring, supporting and building confidence in STEM teachers. Teaching STEM is a relatively new area of education, and many teachers are hesitant to explore STEM-related subjects and concepts with their students, especially in aerospace. The knowledge and associated STEM skills have been constantly changing over recent years. By providing an opportunity for teachers to deepen their knowledge and enhance skills in these areas, the program will directly influence the positive educational outcomes of our current and future students – our workforce of the future for aerospace and high-tech industries.

Building a collaborative network between teachers in Australia and the UAE. This network will allow teachers from two completely different areas in the world to work together, share their respective expertise and gain insights from each other relating to the teaching of STEM. By providing this unique experience, the teachers will be able to build their confidence for the teaching of these new and dynamic areas of education as they will be part of a supportive and nurturing collaboration. By strengthening the teachers’ networks, they will have an ongoing sounding board and central place to grow as a professional aerospace STEM educator.

By bringing together teachers from Australia and the UAE, there will be many opportunities for the teachers and students to gain insights into each other’s cultures. It will promote tolerance, demonstrate diversity and allow professional dialogue about women in STEM.

Successful collaboration between likeminded global space industry and education partners to showcase to the world how we can work together to solve the problems worth solving. To ‘connect minds and create the future together’.

Connecting minds project

Schools Involved