Media Release

Young Australians taking on the challenge of sustainable living

January 28 2021

What does it take to build a low-energy home that can withstand harsh weather conditions?

This challenge – particularly relevant to Australia – will be taken on by secondary school students as they commence the 2021 school year, thanks to a new remote learning module developed by the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), in partnership with Orica, for its STELR education program.

It’s been estimated that homes currently generate around 13 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and improving their energy efficiency is a keen objective of most governments.

And while there’s a clear climate imperative, creating new solutions to this challenge also bring an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs for the future.

STELR’s sustainable housing module inspires school students with the skills, knowledge and incentive they’ll need to thrive in the future.

Through designing a low energy home, students learn about how heat can be transferred via convection, conduction and radiation, as well as learning about the thermal properties of matter.

ATSE Chief Executive Kylie Walker said the sustainable housing education kit is a great resource that engages and challenges students.

“STELR’s Sustainable Housing education kit includes class sets of purpose-designed equipment and all the curriculum materials teachers and students need to become sustainability engineers,” Ms Walker said.

“By leading students through examining the thermal qualities of different materials and comparing their performance, and building energy-efficient model houses, we’re inspiring the next generation of sustainability leaders.

“We’re also excited to welcome back skilled science communicators Lee Constable and Deadly Science creator Corey Tutt, who join us by video to lead students through the concepts and experiments as they build sustainable and energy efficient house models.”

Orica’s Chief Financial Officer Christopher Davis believes it is critical Australian students experience this hands-on style of STEM learning that focusses on relevant and important topics like sustainable housing.

“This resource will better equip tomorrow’s leaders to play an important role in shaping a more sustainable future for generations to come,” Mr Davis said.

Further information on the sustainable housing module

Media contact: Liz Foschia liz.foschia@atse.org.au 0419 976 903

Background on STELR: STELR (Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance) is a national initiative of ATSE. Its primary aim is to address the problem of low participation rates in STEM subjects at the upper secondary school level. It does this by developing teaching modules relating these subjects to highly relevant issues affecting all students. STELR equipment encourages both guided and open-ended research. It has been designed and developed in Australia specifically for STELR and is robust, simple and easy to use.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.