The LifeJourney team has been busy in 2019, traveling across the country sharing our resources and learning from colleagues in the field. We started our July with a trek to sunny Brisbane and the AAMT Bi-Annual Conference. We heard on several occasions from speakers including, Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel and CSIRO Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley, that maths underpins the foundation of all STEM careers of the future in areas like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and data analytics.
Andrew McCallum, Director of Cryptography at the Australian Signals Directorate, delivered a fascinating presentation about utilising mathematics for encrypted communications, while sharing his passion for maths, problem solving and hist journey to a career at ASD. Donna Buckley, mathematics teacher and Cyber Teacher champion at John Curtin College of the Arts in Western Australia, joined our team for a conference workshop to demonstrate how cybersecurity can be applied in a maths classroom and how to leverage the free ASD CyberEXP online program to inspire your students. Teachers were highly responsive to the free resource and supportive community of practitioners. By the end of the conference, it became clear that cyber security was a sub-theme on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
Continuing to follow the warmth, the next engagement was a Cyber Teacher workshop at Edith Cowan University with Dr Michelle Ellis in Joondalup, WA. The workshop was led by Tim Edwards and Donna Buckley, with input from industry speakers, including Peter Morris of the Perth Office of the Australian Cyber Security Centre. The teachers were very enthusiastic about building a strong Cyber Teacher community that will connect teachers right across the country. A follow-up Teacher PD is being organised via TeachMeet WA for September 12th at John Curtin College of the Arts.
Next stop, a snowier climate at the Baw Baw LLEN Career Job Skills Expo in Gippsland, VIC to speak to students from over 30 schools from Latrobe, Baw Baw, South Gippsland and Bass Coast shires. Students were quite curious about how cyber security connected with their aspirations. Many students were excited to learn that if they were interested that core skills such as mathematics, language, legal studies, history and psychology all had a place in cyber security. Parents who attended were also keen to learn about emerging careers in cyber security.
Still in Victoria, cyber security continued to be a key theme of DigiCon, 2019. LifeJourney’s Cyber Teacher presentation for teachers focused on the ASD CyberEXP program. Teachers were keen to use the resource to inform their students about the newly accredited senior VCE Applied Computing in 2020 and the Digital Technologies curriculum.
Last week, LifeJourney helped to facilitate a webinar for the Queensland Department of Education to introduce Queensland teachers to the ASD CyberEXP program. This will be followed up with a booth at the STEM Teacher Symposium and two events with University of Queensland later in 2019. Lastly, in Sydney at the 2019 Informa STEM Education conference, Tim Edwards provided a keynote presentation, titled ‘Connecting Students to Future Careers in STEM’ and provided the audience of teachers with a glimpse into LifeJourney’s work in Australia over the past few years.