13 September 2023
Featuring a fresh look and new immersive capability, Army’s new STEM engagement vehicle has been rolled out.
In its first three days on the road, more than 300 students from Jerrabomberra Primary and High Schools road-tested the new STEM immersion program, including simulators and a virtual reality (VR) STEM lesson.
The school visit was supported by a pilot, an engineer, and an Army Drone Racing Team member, who talked with the teachers and students and demonstrated the equipment.
Major Anne-Maree Hunt, of the Directorate of Recruitment – Army (DR-A), said the students loved the VR equipment because they found it to be very different to traditional lessons, as the immersive nature of what they got to experience captured their imagination.
“The kids loved the experience. We put them all through a VR session, and they all lined up to go again. No doubt they would keep going through the simulators again if they could,” she said.
At the end of the day students applied what they learned in a competition-style Q&A, and received Army merchandise as a reminder of their experience.
“Our objective is to get students excited about STEM, and at the same time educate them on the pathways and career options available to them in Army,” Major Hunt said.
Previously the truck was part of the FlyArmy program, equipped with portable flight simulators.
During the redesign, Major Hunt looked at how the truck could scale beyond its current capabilities and at the same time support the new rebranded ADF Careers imagery.
Major Hunt said the capability had assisted recruiting staff in having different conversations about careers and opportunities in the Army.
The truck will be staffed by DR-A members and supplemented where possible by personnel in the regions, as the truck travels to a variety of events and schools throughout the year.
Major Hunt said the truck was just the start of an exciting time as Army aimed to get out into the communities and talk through the countless career options.
She said the plan was to visit up to 150 schools and events across Australia over the next two years.