Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Investing in Our Children: Skills They’ll Never ‘Lego’

The Territory Labor Government is preparing young Territorians for jobs of the future through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and Territory students and their teachers are embracing the challenge by taking part in the NT’s inaugural FIRST Lego League tournament.

Minister for Education Eva Lawler said STEM subjects are important for equipping today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow, regardless of the occupation or industry they choose. She was at Nightcliff Middle School where more than 80 students and teachers were taking part in the tournament.

“Our government recognises the need to invest in our children, so the Territory isn’t left behind. That is why we are focusing on STEM and delivering on our election commitments to introduce coding training into primary and secondary schools across the Territory, and to upskill teachers in digital technologies,” Ms Lawler said.

“This year more than 200 Territory teachers have taken part in a range of professional development opportunities, including weekly coding workshops, online training and specialised events such as this FIRST Lego League tournament.

“Schools are embracing STEM and this tournament is the perfect example, providing an opportunity for students to use their new skills, learn more and enhance their problem-solving abilities.”

The FIRST Lego League is a competition for upper-primary and lower-secondary school students. Teams of up to 10 students build, program and compete with a robot, while also learning about a modern problem in science and engineering, and developing solutions for it. The global theme for 2017 is hydro dynamics.

“Learning STEM is essential for the development of critical thinking and creativity, and events like this are hands-on, interactive and engaging for students,” Ms Lawler said.

“Territory students will become our future entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators — so it is vital we also upskill our teachers so they can prepare students for the future.”

This year the NT Government formed a partnership with the University of Adelaide to support teachers learning Digital Technologies. The partnership also gives Territory teachers access to a national library of robotic equipment to experiment with.

“Teachers are essential for the success of STEM in Territory schools and it’s fantastic to see many educators are actively involved and boosting their knowledge of digital technology, robotics, coding and engineering — this is just the beginning,” Ms Lawler said.

“By investing in STEM education we are investing in our students, our teachers and our future.”

Media Contact: Leanne Hudson 0427 687 079