Australian primary school students will be introduced to the transforming power of engineering in a $6.2 million Morrison Government program.

Funded in the latest Budget, the Engineering is Elementary program will introduce students to the skills and concepts needed to pursue a career as an engineer.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said young Australians will now be able to see the benefits of engineering at an early stage of their education, following a successful pilot program.

“This initiative demonstrates the Liberal National Government’s commitment to improving skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, which are vital to our country’s future,” Minister Andrews said.

“The program will be rolled out over the next three years by our national Science and Technology Centre Questacon, which has done such a great job of getting young people excited about science.

“Building our engineering skills is critical as the Morrison Government seeks to build our Defence and cyber workforce to take advantage of our enormous investment in Defence capability and cyber security.

“As an engineer myself I’m well aware of the vital importance of engineering in supporting nearly every aspect of our lives, including all forms of transport, roads, buildings, infrastructure, electrical components and chemical engineering products such as toothpaste and detergent.

“Then there are the high tech products such as computers and iPhones and technology yet to be developed. The potential is limitless and our students have a lot to be excited about.

“We also know that many of the jobs of the future are going to require skills in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. We have to start from a very strong foundation in school to meet the demands of the future workforce.”

The Liberal National Government recognises the value of Australia’s science potential, that’s why we’re increasing funding into STEM fields as part of our broader plan to grow our economy and create more jobs. This builds on our investment of $1.5 billion dollars more into Australia’s science agencies, like CSIRO, compared to when Labor was last in government.

The program, originally developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, will deliver workshops and resource kits to primary school teachers. Workshops for 1000 teachers from up to 500 schools from every state and territory will be provided to teach kids engineering in an engaging way.

Australian schools will also have the opportunity to form links with industry and invite engineers to the classroom.

The program further supports and promotes the Liberal National Government’s commitment to gender equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.