Central West agri-tech drone company, StevTech, recently visited Cumnock Public School as part of the STEM Industry School Partnership (SISP) Program – an initiative of the NSW Department of Education and supported by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West.
Over the course of Term 3, the Year 5/6 students at Cumnock Public School were learning about robotics, sensors and programming.
Principal of Cumnock Public School, Amanda Schulz welcomed Director of StevTech, Tristan Steventon to the school and explained that his work with drones in the agriculture industry was a fantastic example of how robotics can be applied in the workforce.
“Many of our students come from farming backgrounds so Tristan’s presentation on how drones are used in the agriculture sector was something they could relate to and were really interested in,” said Mrs Schulz.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Tristan’s career journey from a farming background, to the army and going on to create StevTech. It was also interesting to listen to his advice on the high school subjects he believed would be beneficial for a career in STEM.
“I think Tristan and other industry leaders have the capacity to help inspire our youth to think big and dream of the possibilities there are in STEM – one student already has their sights set on a future with StevTech!”
StevTech was founded in 2016 by Tristan Steventon, formerly an Australian Army Officer of 20 years military service, who grew up on a farm near Parkes.
During his time in the military Tristan worked with high tech drones and sensors and has gone on to utilise his knowledge and skills in robotics and STEM to help Australian farmers.
“Our work at StevTech is about providing data to farmers and agronomists to assist them in their decision making and increase yields and decrease the cost of inputs,” said Mr Steventon.
“For example, we can use drones to scan a paddock for weeds and upload the data as a GPS file. This allows the sprayer to only treat the parts of the paddock where the weeds have been identified, therefore saving on chemicals and making the process more efficient.
“Visiting Cumnock Public School was a wonderful opportunity. I went to a small school in Parkes so it was great to see a vibrant country school like Cumnock Public investing time, effort and enthusiasm in the students’ learning.”
RDA Central West CEO, Sam Harma said working with industry partners like StevTech is an important part of furthering STEM skills in schools across the region.
“SISP is a highly regarded program because it demonstrates the vital role STEM plays in local industries and showcases the jobs, careers and opportunities in STEM that are available right here in the Central West,” said Mr Harma.
“Businesses like StevTech have also proven that the agriculture sector is fast becoming more reliant on technology and automation and that there will be an increase in job opportunities that will require training and expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“RDA Central West is always eager to partner with interested industry leaders and work with local schools to continue to grow the SISP Program and we encourage anyone who would like to know more to contact our office.”
The STEM Industry School Partnership (SISP) Program aims to engage local industries with local schools and deliver real-world STEM-related content directly into the classroom, making learning both relevant and engaging.
Through this collaboration, SISP helps to inspire students to study STEM and grow student’s job readiness skills, while contributing to the overall competitiveness of regional NSW.
Find out more on the program on the SISP website: https://sispprogram.schools.nsw.gov.au/