Image: Think ahead: Noah Fittler, Jarrod Hickey and Samuel Maljers are three of 16 students to graduate from the 17 week STEMship program on Thursday. The program was piloted last year. Picture: Marina Neil
After one term of year 11, he decided to leave school to accept a STEMship, which is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics scholarship offered as a collaboration between TAFE NSW, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter and the government. The 17 week project-based training program includes studying electronics, pneumatic systems, computer-aided design and sheet metal fabrication and participating in four weeks of work placement with STEM orientated firms. “It’s all been worth it,” Sam said. “I put in the hard work and it’s paid off. This has set me up for life and I can’t ask for anything more.” He worked with Varley and has been offered a four-year auto electrics apprenticeship. Jarrod Hickey, 16, decided on a trade so he could “get paid to learn”. He said the program brought him one step closer to his dream job of working as an aircraft maintenance engineer. Noah Fittler, 16, said the course was “an eye opener” and cemented his desire for a career in electronics.