AN interactive expo in Colac on May 28 will highlight the role maths and science play in agricultural jobs and encourage more students to consider working in the field.
The expo at COPAC will feature more than 20 presentations which will give Year 7 students from Colac Secondary College, Timboon P-12 and Camperdown College experiences of how maths and science are applied in a range of dairy industry occupations.
The expo is part of the Maths and Science @ Work program developed in partnership between the dairy industry, the three schools and South West Local Learning and Employment Network.
WestVic Dairy has secured funds from Schools Connect Australia to deliver the program which will feature three expos over the next three years. Further expos will be held in Timboon and Camperdown in 2014 and 2015. Year 7 students from all three schools will attend each expo.
There will be a formal launch of Maths and Science @ Work in Colac on May 3.
The project is the first of its type in Australia and could be used as a prototype for similar events to promote maths and science in other agricultural industries.
Project coordinator Libby Swayn said the project was designed to make maths and science relevant and exciting for Year 7 students, and ultimately aimed to address the decline in the number of students studying science and mathematics in senior secondary school levels and to increase student awareness of agricultural careers in the region.
“By building stronger links between the education sector and the dairy industry, we will increase student interest in agricultural careers and increase their interest in undertaking maths and science subjects at VCE level,” Ms Swayn said.
The expo will highlight the diversity of jobs in the dairy industry and show how maths and science is used in the workplace.
“It will feature hands-on activities from the farm to the processors and everything in between,” Ms Swayn said.
Presenters will include feed company representatives, vets, dairy builders, spraying contractors, processors, herd improvement operators, research scientists, farmers, financial advisors and cattle breeders.
“A lot of students might not associate the dairy industry with such a diverse range of careers,” Ms Swayn said.
While including a practical activity, the presenters will also outline their career pathways and explain how maths and science helped them achieve their goals.