WA Museum entomologist Dr Nik Tatarnic explores insect life with young people.

For more than 125 years the Western Australian Museum has applied Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) expertise to identifying and documenting our State’s natural history for the benefit of future generations. When the New Museum for WA opens in the Perth Cultural Centre next year, it will be a key platform for promoting and encouraging STEM culture across all sections of the community.

WA Museum CEO Alec Coles today welcomed the State Government’s commitment to increase STEM learning across all ages and backgrounds, to ensure everyone can develop the skills to embrace a technological future and increased employment opportunities.

“The WA Museum promotes life-long learning in STEM to encourage children and adults alike to think critically about the world we live in, and find innovative ways to address challenges,” Mr Coles said.

“As the need for 21st Century skills grows we recognise we have a key role to play in promoting social inclusion, building community and developing economic growth and opportunity. As an organisation with a significant science focus, the WA Museum is maximising opportunities to engage audiences with the scientific research and discovery we undertake. The learning programs we provide at all of our museum sites, including the New Museum which will open next year, help develop key STEM skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, and innovation and creativity.”

Mr Coles said the WA Museum is pleased to have contributed to the development of the STEM Skills Strategy and keen to support it, particularly by encouraging STEM learning among girls, Aboriginal people, people in regional Western Australia, and those from diverse cultural backgrounds.

“The Museum recognises the importance of equalising opportunities for all STEM learners and we do this by providing different ways for people to engage in STEM activities,” Mr Coles said.

“For instance, our scientists and curators regularly take their work outside the Museum with visits to schools and tertiary institutions, to displays and demonstrations at public events and festivals. This time last year our Museum of the Goldfields team partnered with its local community and utilised all four STEM disciplines to put a teddy bear into space!”

The Western Australian Museum is committed to ensuring all its learning programs and opportunities are informed by current national and international research; to engaging with representative community members to understand learning priorities and different learning demographics; and to adopting an advocacy role to promote the importance of learning, especially STEM learning. The Museum also sits alongside other STEM providers as an important resource for increasing professional learning for teachers.


Media contact:

Mara Pritchard

Manager Communications and Media, Western Australian Museum

6552 7803