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• cumbersome and unmaintained online
• online resources lacking information
on jobs and articulating information
• quizzes using speculative questions;
• online resources rigidly categorising
What are the problems?
While the strategic skill sets inherent
in STEM subjects are in high demand,
participation is in decline, especially with
girls and underrepresented minorities.
Stereotypes around STEM careers persist
and there is a lack of diverse role models.
Katrica Falkner, from the University of
Adelaide’s Computer Science Education
Research (CSER) group (Falkner, 2017) says:
Since 2001, enrolments in Engineering (and
related technologies) have seen a steady
increase through to 2015, moving from
58,330 to 106,283 students. However, both
still stand in stark contrast to a number of
other discipline areas, with Management
and Commerce, Society and Culture and
Health having high and increasing
Enrolments are also increasing
at a much greater rate for males
compared to females, the CSER
group notes (with male enrolments
increasing by 73.49%, but female
enrolments increasing by only
40.51% over the same period).
In 2017 a committee called
the STEM Industry Forum was
created. This committee is
chaired by Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief
Scientist, and includes representatives
from industry, including Boeing, Google, the
Commonwealth Bank, as well as receiving
Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
support. It recognised the need for three
priorities: evidence and impact around
career development materials; a focus
on career opportunities; and support for
educator professional development.
How does Careers with STEM address
What is STEM + X?
In 2014, in partnership with Google,
Refraction Media kicked off the Careers
with STEM magazines with an inaugural
magazine called Careers with Code, aimed
at addressing the decline in enrolments
in ICT studies and focusing on career
opportunities in digital technologies,
particularly for women. In 2015, this was
joined by issues of Careers with STEM Science
and Engineering and in 2016 we produced
the first issue of Careers with STEM: Maths.
These quarterly magazines are distributed
free to every Australian high school (4–50
copies, depending on the title) and are
available as free e-magazines through the
Appsare essentially software programs:they
“understand” certainbasic functions,suchas sending
a textor playing a game,andexecute these as they
receive your instructions. They’re coded ina variety
of programminglanguages (like Microsoft’s Xamarin),
dependingon your phone’s operating system(OS) and
whatthe app’s creator was working with. “If yousee
yourself as imagining whatthe future might be,coding
is where youcouldhelprealise it,” says Professor
Maurice Pagnucco fromthe UNSWSydney.
CS:Computer programs (code)
The phone’s OS (e.g. Android’s Nougat)
is its mostimportant software program,
as itenables the phone to runandcoordinate
multiple programs atonce.The central
processingunit(CPU) executes a fewlines of
code fromeachapp ata time,andhow they’re
cycled inand out is determined by the OS.
CS: Software (code)
Another importantprogramis your
phone’s voice-activatedassistant (e.g.
Google Assistant), which translates your
words into a digital signal, thenuses its
vocabulary andlanguage software to
recognise the signal and respond.
STAY IN TOUCH
Touchscreens are capacitive, whichmeans they’re
equippedwithelectronic sensors that register where our
electricity-conducting fingers touch the screen. These
sensors senda signal to the microprocessor, whichworks
out what you’re asking the phone’ssoftware to do.
CS: Electrical engineering (combining the
technology of hardware and microprocessors)
When you make a phone call,
the sound waves –your voice
– are convertedinto a digital
signal by the phone’s
microphone.This signal is
transmittedto your friend’s
phone,and then converted
back to sound by their
radio waves withatleastthree
global positioning satellites
to pinpoint your location.
informationto the phone’s
software so you can see your
to your destination.
CS: GPS satellites
Bluetooth technology,in the formof
a tinycomputer chip andtransceiver,
uses low-power radio waves
(between 2.402GHz and 2.480 GHz)
to connectsmartphones with– and
send data to – other devices,like a
car’s stereo, withoutusingcables.
CS: Computer chips, transceiver
IN THE CLOUDS
The cloud(internet) servers that allow
us to access andstore music,emails
andotherdata and programscan be
divided into two parts: the software
interface thatwe interactwith; andthe
data server storingthis informationon
a remote computer, like ata Google
data centre. Once we make a request,
the two systems communicate via the
internet andenable youto access or
download the information.
CS: Distributed computing
Supportedbythe Australian Government Department of Education andTraining. Careers withSTEMposters are a publication of Refraction Media. © 2017 Refraction Media, all rights reserved.
This workislicensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial4.0 International Public License. Contactinfo@refractionmedia.com.au or (02)91885459
DISCOVER MORE CAREERS WITH Code! VISIT CAREERSWITHSTEM.COM FOR INSPIRING STORIES , AMAZING PEOPLE , INTERACTIVE QUIZZES AND MORE.
As technology gets smaller, cheaper, and capable of new functions, devices
like smartphones are becoming more powerful – all thanks to CS
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