Students gain insight into career skills

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Paraburdoo Primary School student Sian Mettam
Camera IconParaburdoo Primary School student Sian Mettam

Three schools in the Pilbara took part in three weeks of skills education, from collaborative game design and coding to delivering engaging online learning, this month.

Over the past three weeks, Future Minds start-up founders ran a series of remote classes at Paraburdoo, Dampier and Baynton West primary schools.

The Future Minds Accelerator is a four-year, $10 million program by Rio Tinto to help teach children the skills they’ll need to thrive in the jobs of the future.

One of the start-up companies, Buzzy Games, had the children work together to come up with video games.

Buzzy Games founder Mike Gardiner said the classes involved students creating, then coding games they had designed.

Mr Gardiner said the children performed well in the classes, producing more content then he expected.

“We’re hoping that they can be inspired and realise that any of them have the ability to take an idea, put it on paper, and then develop the skills to make a game that could be as popular as Minecraft — that is 100 per cent possible,” he said.

Paraburdoo Primary School teacher Dorinda Truscott said she wanted to engage her students and educate them about what the future might hold for them.

“It’s really important to motivate them around technology and engineering, and teach them that the sky is the limit,” she said.

“By working with a program like Buzzy Games, where kids are problem-solving and using skills like collaboration, teamwork, coding, maths and science, kids will get a better understanding of the skills they will need in the future.”

Rio Tinto’s Chris Osborn said it was important to give children opportunities to improve STEM skills.

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