SA school teaching kids jobs of the future

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By Melissa Keogh

Fast forward 20 years and could the students of today be earning a living by making flying cars, travelling to space or building robots?

One thing is for sure – the jobs of tomorrow will be very different to those first projected to leading educator Jayne Heath when she was at school.

Jayne is principal of the Australian Science and Maths School (ASMS) and says the innovative institution, located on the Flinders University campus, isn’t waiting until tomorrow to find out what the future of work might hold.

Last week her Year 10 and 11 students embarked on the second Real Day Out excursion which engaged them with high-tech companies, organisations and future industry precincts across Adelaide.

ASMS principal Jayne Heath, centre, says it's important for students to be future ready by exploring the jobs of tomorrow.

ASMS principal Jayne Heath, centre, says it’s important for students to be future ready by exploring the jobs of tomorrow.

“It’s a really exciting time in SA,” says Jayne, who is a founding staff member at the ASMS which opened in 2003.

“There are all these pockets of opportunities in Adelaide that people don’t know about yet.

“So it’s important for our students to collaborate with others to solve the problems of the future.”

The annual Real Day Out excursion is part of the school’s 21st Century Capabilities and Careers Program, first piloted with the help of employment planning and development company, Workforce BluePrint, in 2016.

On September 21, about 200 students ventured into Adelaide’s CBD, the Tonsley Park Innovation District, Thebarton High-Tech Precinct, and the Mawson Lakes Defence Teaming Centre to investigate future jobs.

They explored future jobs such as drone operators, artificial intelligence trainers, bitcoin (digital payment) traders, coder artists, smart city designers and virtual reality designers.

Students visited Tonsley for a glimpse at future industries which are likely to form the backbone of the SA economy.

Students visited Tonsley for a glimpse at future industries which are likely to form the backbone of the SA economy.

Students had the opportunity to speak with businesses already in these spaces, and tackle real life learning challenges.

ASMS student wellbeing leader Simon Illingworth accompanied students on the Real Day Out and says one of the highlights was meeting with Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese to explore the roll out of Adelaide’s Ten Gig City.

The council project involves a city-wide 10Gb/s capable fibre optic network allowing businesses, government and researchers to connect to one another at lightning fast speeds.

Simon says students also met with the Local Government Association and were inspired to consider a career in local government and what the future of their community could look like.

“It’s about real connections and being able to interact with students, rather than me just talking about it at the front of the classroom,” he says.

ASMS

ASMS students learn in an open plan environment.

The Real Day Out excursion is not the first time the ASMS has been forward-thinking in how it educates its students.

Jayne says it’s crucial for students to be able to wade through the plethora of online information and to “look for credibility”.

“So much information is available to our young people and they need to have the skills to be able to enter a 21st Century workforce and be future ready,” she says.

The ASMS is a school for students with passion for the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

At ASMS students don’t engage in a typical classroom setting, but instead have control over their learning environment which is described as an “open place 21st Century school design”.

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The ASMS is the only high school in SA to offer aviation studies, featuring an industry standard flight simulator.

Also setting ASMS apart from other schools is the fact that it’s the only secondary school in SA offering aviation as a Stage 2 SACE program.

The subject involves students engaging with an industry standard flight simulator and is taught by qualified teachers and pilots.

This month’s I Choose SA for Industries stories are made possible by sponsor, the University of South Australia.

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