NEC and Celestino helping foster Australia’s next generation of tech innovators
(left to right) Duncan Challen, Celestino General Manager, Business Development, Matthew Scard, Celestino CEO, Jason Price, President & CEO NEC Australia & New Zealand, Andrew Thompson, NEC General Manager, Chief Digital Office
NEC Australia has become a “Foundation Partner” of Celestino’s Sydney Science Park (SSP) STEM Schools Challenge for the next three years.
The SSP STEM School Challenge, designed in collaboration with the Association of Independent Schools (NSW), offers public and independent schools the opportunity to develop transdisciplinary STEM knowledge and experience through real-world, hands-on, and industry-led experimentation.
Embedded within the school’s curriculum, primary and secondary students are challenged to create innovative solutions and concepts for sustainable, resilient, liveable towns and cities, using SSP as the centrepiece.
The STEM Schools Challenge aims to develop the next generation of thinkers, innovators, and changemakers to tackle important issues such as smart cities, urban development, sustainability, energy, water, transport and mobility, health, heat, and circular economy.
Delivered at no cost to schools, more than 1,600 students from over 20 schools from across NSW have participated in the 2023 SSP STEM Schools Challenge. Students from as far as Balina, Townsend, and Dubbo have travelled to Western Sydney to be part of the SSP STEM Schools Challenge.
SSP is a 287-hectare mixed-use zoned greenfield development located 3km north of the planned Nancy Bird-Walton International Airport. SSP has the vision to create an internationally recognised epicentre for innovation, research and commercialisation that will be embedded within a thriving residential community.
NEC General Manager, Chief Digital Office, Andrew Thompson said the STEM Schools Challenge provides students with an understanding of how technology can create smarter and more environmentally friendly cities.
“NEC is proud to be a foundation partner with the Celestino’s SSP STEM Schools Challenge,” Thompson said.
“This is a fantastic initiative and provides a very different environment to the classroom, where students are out on site, working together to find solutions to real-world problems including environmental sustainability and the journey to net zero.”
“Not only does the SSP STEM Schools Challenge help students shape smart cities they want to live, play and work in, but it also provides them with a fantastic introduction to a rewarding and fulfilling career in technology and smart city planning.”
Celestino’s General Manager, Business Development, Duncan Challen, said the SSP STEM Schools Challenge aims to improve both teacher and student motivation, engagement, passion and outcomes in STEM.
“As a property developer of significantly sized greenfield master planned communities, including in Western Sydney, Celestino recognises the important role these future leaders will have in shaping the development of more liveable, healthy, connected, sustainable and resilient cities.”
“These school students are the future prosperity of NSW and Australia, and it is important that we provide them with the platforms to help them think about a career they may have never imagined before, and that we listen authentically to their voices on how we should build their new cities,” said Challen.
“We’re really pleased to have NEC join the SSP STEM Schools Challenge as a Foundation Partner. With NEC’s technology, expertise, and passion to create a brighter world, their involvement in the SSP STEM Schools Challenge enables the showcasing of cutting-edge technologies that are tackling real challenges and shaping a brighter future for the next generation.
NEC’s support helps our mission to deliver this amazing STEM program to more schools, students, and teachers”, said Duncan.