23/08/2017 - 09:51

School hackathon has STEM focus

23/08/2017 - 09:51

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RIO Tinto and IT company Empired are investing in the next generation of employees by working with St George’s Anglican Grammar School to run its first hackathon.

School hackathon has STEM focus
St George's Anglican Grammar School and Rio Tinto signage. Photo: Attila Csaszar

RIO Tinto and IT company Empired are investing in the next generation of employees by working with St George's Anglican Grammar School to run its first hackathon.

Representatives from Rio and Empired recently visited the school and presented the students with three real-world mining problems in an effort to encourage the uptake of STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Rio Tinto general manager of studies and technology, James Davidson, said the company was committed to developing STEM-literate graduates.

“At Rio Tinto we believe education is critical to a productive, active and informed society,” he said.

“This hackathon provides a way to make high school students aware of STEM-related pathways in the mining sector.”

Empired general manager Western Australia Stuart Strickland said Empired also relied extensively on bringing enthusiastic STEM graduates on board.

“This initiative is a great way for us to encourage STEM as a career choice for the next generation of ICT talent, and to show our commitment to the Western Australian community,” he said.

The volunteers from Rio Tinto and Empired will work with the students on Saturday August 26 to come up with real-world solutions to problems facing the sector, now and into the future.  

St George’s mathematics teacher Peter Freer said the engagement by the students into real-world learning through the hackathon was far beyond that in a normal classroom.

 “This is a fantastic learning opportunity for the St George’s students as they engage in a project with real-world outcomes,” he said.

The school said its CBD location and proximity to Rio Tinto made it easier to secure this opportunity, which aligned with St George’s strategy to establish partnerships with industry. 

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