Rio Tinto has backed a STEM initative in the Pilbara, while Fortescue Metals Group has thrown its support behind Ricky Grace's Girls Academy.
Rio said the Karratha STEM Centre, at Tambrey Primary School, aimed to encourage children to choose science, mathematics and technological pathways required for future jobs.
The miner is the sole partner of the centre and is investing almost $1 million in the project over five years.
It said the centre would be home to a new program developing STEM skills though activities like robotics, gaming and coding for primary school students.
Learning will be based inside and outside of the purpose-built STEM laboratory and extend to educational trips and time spent with the Graham Farmer Foundation’s STEM Centre in Wickham and Learning Club in Roebourne, both of which are also partnered by Rio.
Rio Tinto Australia vice-president of corporate relations, Brad Haynes, said the company was committed to supporting community programmes to enhance the educational opportunities and outcomes for young indigenous people.
“We’re proud to support educational initiatives that encourage learning from early childhood and we’re actively supporting STEM pathways with our education partners. We believe strongly in helping to build capacity in future generations by making STEM accessible for everyone,” he said.
Last month, the state government launched its STEM strategy for year 12 students at Rio's operation centre in Perth.
Girls Academy is an in-school mentoring program for more than 2,600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls.
Fortescue said its sponsorship would support the Girls Academy in Perth, Roebourne and Karratha, with a view to supporting the program’s expansion into Port Hedland in the future.
Mr Grace said educated girls and young women had the potential to be powerful catalysts for change in their communities.
“The Girls Academy equips girls with the tools, knowledge and confidence required to achieve their goals and reach their full potential,” he said.
“We look forward to a successful partnership with Fortescue that will help change lives and communities.”