This #throwbackthursday post takes me back to 2011 Toronto, when I came across this image at a bus stop advertising a Canadian university. While the name of the university has long since been erased from memory, the idea underlying this image has always resonated with me – how do we train today’s tertiary students for tomorrow’s workplaces, including for jobs utilising technologies that haven’t been invented yet?
My work in museums consistently shows that twenty-first century audiences will be better connected, more informed, more engaged, older, more culturally diverse, more interested in ideas and architects of their own learning. They will be mobile, accessing information wherever they are and whenever they choose to. In this way, they will be active participants, rather than passive receivers of content and information. I believe these are much the same qualities we see in today’s tertiary students, even the older bit, and particularly the active bit!
As the museum prepares to celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow with a Women in Science Symposium and the launch of UNSW’s Science 50:50: “… a program that aims to inspire Australian girls and young women to pursue degrees and careers in science and technology, so they can succeed in an innovation-driven future”, I felt it was timely to reflect on how we will train workers of the future (be they girls, young women, boys or young men!) for jobs and technologies that haven’t been invented yet. I’ll be curious to hear and reflect on how this challenge will be met, and how, by engaging with students in STEM subjects museums could have some role to play in encouraging all audiences (including students) to think about and develop skills needed in our “innovation-driven future”.