As per Australian Government Department of Education “The average 15-year-old from remote Australia is around 1.5 years behind metropolitan students in science”.
Northern Territory is suffering from similar condition and the lack of qualified teachers/mentors which limits the opportunities for students to learn and acquire digital knowledge. This leads to a significant skills gap, making it difficult for individuals in these regions to compete in the global job market, attract investment, and drive economic growth.
Also, as of 2022 only 15% women in Australia participates in STEM occupation.
The study by Howard et al., 2020 indicated that students from rural areas are losing their motivation in academic work.
As per Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Resources, the proportion of women in STEM-qualified occupations was as low as 15% in 2022 with a small increase of 5% in 20 years from 10% in 2002.
Now the question is, how to inspire the Middle School students towards digital careers.
Solution: Northern Star
Northern Star is a community where local schools, international students, and STEM-focused organisations work together to connect with middle school female students based on shared interests and career aspirations, finding role models to become future northern stars.
To facilitate interactions and activities, there will be an online platform that includes:
Mentor-Mentee Matching: an algorithmic matching system that pairs mentors and mentees based on their profiles and preferences.
Interactive Forums: chat features for mentors, mentees, and experts to engage in meaningful conversations according to a specific field.
Project Showcase: a dedicated space for presenting and celebrating their outcomes.
Security and Moderation: all mentors will be checked to have safe interactions, and there will be moderation features to avoid harassment or abuse.
A safe space for young women will contribute to making positive impacts such as:
Breaking Stereotypes by demonstrating that women can excel in any area, even those that have been historically male dominated.
Providing inspiration for young women to believe in their own potential and aspire to pursue careers in digital fields.
Creating a supportive network for young women as they navigate their educational journeys will help them build resilience and achieve success.