Young Aboriginal students commit to maths and science


Aspirant Indigenous students at Wickham Primary School recently signed a deal which will see them continue to immerse themselves in the world of maths and science.

In April, 19 students in Years 4 to 7, along with their families and caregivers, and representatives from the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation and corporate Partner Rio Tinto, attended a Compact Signing at the Wickham Maths and Science Centre of Excellence.

Foundation Maths and Science Program Manager Beth Crowley said the Compact Signing ceremony was an important part of the program as it outlined the responsibilities of each participant.

“By signing the Compact, each partner is demonstrating a commitment which will ensure participating students are provided with a unique opportunity to succeed and excel in the maths and science learning areas,” Beth said.

The Maths and Science Centre of Excellence commenced at Wickham Primary School in 2012 as an initiative developed through a partnership between Rio Tinto and the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation, with initial establishment funding provided by Lotterywest.

“The success of these programs relies on all involved parties being committed to these students’ education, so we were especially pleased to have a great turnout of senior Rio Tinto people at the ceremony.”

Rio Tinto Manager operations Cape Lambert Michael Bailey, Operations Support Superintendent Michael Flenady and Team Administrator Jess Jones were on hand to talk to the kids about their aspirations and to assist with proceedings.

“Michael addressed the students and highlighted the importance of studying maths and science, then went on to demonstrate an example of a fulcrum in action by balancing a metre ruler on two fingers,” Beth said.

“The students took the opportunity at the ceremony to tell everyone who attended what they had been doing at the Centre, as well as show them some of the bridge constructions from plastic straws they had completed as a group project.”

Rio Tinto has supported a number of the Foundation’s Follow the Dream: Partnerships for Success programs around the Pilbara for more than 15 years, and took part in another Compact Signing at the Tom Price Enrichment Centre late last year.

Contact: Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Project Manager Alycia Groth 0427 086 640