Former Young Australian of the Year and Melbourne School of Engineering alumnus Marita Cheng has been named ambassador of the Victorian government’s Tech School Initiative.
The initiative will see 10 new tech schools open across the state, enabling Victorian students enrolled in government and non-government schools to supplement their studies and acquire STEM skills. The schools will be managed and operated by a partnership of local schools, governments, TAFE, university and industry partners in order to foster a number of innovative, shared learning environments across Victoria.
The initiative forms part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to creating the Education State, which aims to deliver excellent education to every Victorian. In particular, it focuses on using leading-edge technology, discovery and innovation to deliver the advanced education and training that Victorian schools students will need in a rapidly changing global economy.
Ms Cheng says initiatives such as these are important, as they give students the opportunity to engage with practical applications of STEM and relate their studies to wider societal issues. Once students have grasped the basic concepts, they can apply their knowledge to challenges in medicine, the environment and other areas.
Following her Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics)/Bachelor of Computer Science degree, Ms Cheng has demonstrated a passion for technology and education. She is the founder of Robogals, an organisation that teaches young girls about robots and 2Mar Robotics, which develops technology to assist disabled and elderly people.